Apartment tour: 1BR in Park Slope

Interior decorator Lily Zingman updates traditional aesthetics with her modern, multicultural sensibility.

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  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

    Born in Israel and raised in South Africa, design guru Lily Zingman (lilyzdesign.com) subtly infuses her diverse upbringing into her chic aesthetic. "My style is about bringing traditional things back with a modern twist," she says. "I love [living in] New York because it's a mix of all different worlds." She shares an approximately 600-square-foot rental pad with her husband, Cobi Tiomkin, an aspiring restaurateur, plus their two dogs, Jack and Wiley. "[When we moved in,] I warned the landlord that I'm a decorator and was planning to bring it on," recalls Zingman. "He was totally cool with [us modernizing] the place."

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

    Both Zingman and Tiomkin harbor a deep love of food, which they display in their kitchen through small touches like oversize silver letters on the wall that spell eat from Anthropologie (locations throughout the city; visit anthropologie.com) and perforated restaurant-utensil cylinders from Ikea (1 Beard St at Otsego St, Red Hook, Brooklyn; 718-246-4532, ikea.com), used to store dish towels.

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

    A set of metallic refrigerator magnets from Pottery Barn (locations throughout the city; visit potterybarn.com) spell out words that hint at the couple's shared culinary passion.

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

    Three white-framed chalkboards were used in the couple's June 2009 wedding and still display the celebration's menu. "Cobi [is working toward opening] his own restaurant," Zingman notes with pride.

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

    "I got an orange Le Creuset pot as an engagement present, and the color just kind of hit me," says Zingman. "I really wanted that tone in the kitchen." She achieved the vibrant shade with Benjamin Moore's mandarin orange interior paint, which pops up again in a poster she procured from Etsy (etsy.com). The glass jar and salad bowls are all from the Brooklyn Flea (176 Lafayette Ave between Claremont and Vanderbilt Aves, Fort Greene, Brooklyn * East River Waterfront between North 6th and North 7th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn * brooklynflea.com).

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Zingman scored this vintage good eats sign at Bob and Judi's Collectibles. "We're not religious, and we like good eats, so bring on the bacon!" jokes the decorator, who, along with Tiomkin, was raised Jewish.

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

    The bathroom's airy aesthetic was derived from Cavo Tagoo (cavotagoo.gr), the Greek resort where the couple spent their honeymoon. "Our room overlooked the Mediterranean Sea, and it was like heaven to us," says Zingman. "We wanted to bring that feel back home." To evoke Mykonos, the couple kept to a mostly white palate, using affordable touches like a patterned shower curtain from Target (locations throughout the city; visit target.com), plus lamps and a black-and-white landscape print from Ikea.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    "I will do anything for Lily," professes Tiomkin. "But I won't paint for her!" Even so, Zingman convinced her spouse to tackle the bathroom, after she hand-stenciled this portion of the water closet, taking inspiration from Brooklyn Follies, a novel by Paul Auster. "It's sort of about a guy who's looking for a place to die and ends up in the place where he was born," Zingman explains. "It mentions Brooklyn, so it was good enough for me!"

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

    Glass flasks and beakers hint at the pair's penchant for scientific paraphernalia. "We got them in Israel," notes Tiomkin. "Lily likes them, and I like science fiction---like mad scientists."

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

    A series of frames from Bed Bath & Beyond (locations throughout the city; visit bedbathandbeyond.com) flanking the doorway hold images of favorite memories, including snapshots from the couple's wedding, honeymoon in Mykonos, a New Orleans vacation and an impromptu beach photo session with friends. "[The store] had a clearance on a bunch of frames that were all in different sizes, which was great for my photo collage idea," recalls Zingman. "They were only sold in black, so I spray painted them white to give them a more fresh, modern spin."

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    The other side of the doorway displays pieces that allude to the couple's wanderlust and passion for far-flung destinations: The top frame holds a collection of Chinese calligraphy brushes Zingman found while scouting items for a client. The carved wood puzzle is a souvenir from Santorini, where the couple spent their honeymoon.

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

    Zingman constructed this banquette from two Ikea benches and custom seat pillows from e-tailer CushionsXpress (cushionsxpress.com). "They do any fabric and piping you want, and they're so cheap," she enthuses. A CB2 table, purchased off Craigslist, is adorned with a porcelain vase from Jonathan Adler (locations throughout the city; visit jonathanadler.com). Additional seating comes in the form of a chair from Time Galleries. "They sell beautiful antique furniture at amazing prices," she gushes.

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

    A sturdy, decorative wooden door, which Zingman added nails to as accents, rests behind an Italian leather couch sourced from Craigslist. "We dream of [living in] a brownstone, which is what the door reminded me of," she says. Striped walls are a recurring design motif in the couple's apartment. To create perfectly straight lines, Zingman divided the wall with painter's tape. She then filled spaces in with Benjamin Moore's wickham grey hue and, once the paint dried, removed the tape to reveal the even bands of color.

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

    When asked about his influence on the apartment's aesthetic, Tiomkin laughs, saying that he only asked for "veto power." Even so, he managed to convince his wife to allow these miniature Star War bobbleheads, most of which are from Neergaard Pharmacies (454 Fifth Ave between 9th and 10th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-768-0600). "These have baby eyes," concedes Zingman. "I just fell in love with them." Also resting on the Ikea shelving unit are two ceramic gazelles from Jonathan Adler, where Zingman worked as a sales associate for about a year.

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

    Zingman purchased this antique secretary desk from the apartment's previous tenant for $100, and utilizes it for linen and jewelry storage. The white porcelain dog perched on the floor next to it was sourced from a House Beautiful trade show. "I accidentally broke his ear on the subway ride home," she confesses.

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

    "The whole place was vanilla cream," recalls Zingman of the apartment's once-banal color scheme. "I wanted to get rid of that right away." To add personality, Zingman painted this wall black and then made a stencil from an illustration board, traced it in chalk and painted the decorative white shapes to create a columnlike effect. She then adorned it with two plates that display replicas of a design by Italian artist Piero Fornasetti. "He has more than 350 variations of this one woman's face, and I just loved them!" she says.

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

    Jonathan Adler bedding is enhanced by two custom-embroidered pillows---"My l is in the laundry!" admits Zingman with a laugh---which the couple picked up in Tel Aviv. "It's really expensive to get that kind of thing done here," notes Zingman. "It's not as costly to get a high-end look [there]."

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

     Tiomkin and Zingman snagged this mantle from a store's going-out-of-business sale. "It was green and rustic, and I kind of wanted it that way," recalls Zingman. "But Cobi wanted to sand and repaint it."

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

     "I work from home a lot, so it had to be a sanctuary," Zingman says of her cheerful office space. She ripped up the original linoleum floor and painted the wood floor underneath white. She also used black-and-white--patterned cotton from Mood Fabric (225 W 37th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves, third floor; 212-730-5003, moodfabrics.com) to create a curtain that hides office supplies. "People make fun of me that I do a lot of stripes, but it works for me," she says of the vibrant walls, painted using Benjamin Moore's sun porch tone. A white mirror from Time Galleries hangs above the desk.


  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

    Faux antlers, which Zingman painted white, were sourced from three different eBay vendors.

Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

Born in Israel and raised in South Africa, design guru Lily Zingman (lilyzdesign.com) subtly infuses her diverse upbringing into her chic aesthetic. "My style is about bringing traditional things back with a modern twist," she says. "I love [living in] New York because it's a mix of all different worlds." She shares an approximately 600-square-foot rental pad with her husband, Cobi Tiomkin, an aspiring restaurateur, plus their two dogs, Jack and Wiley. "[When we moved in,] I warned the landlord that I'm a decorator and was planning to bring it on," recalls Zingman. "He was totally cool with [us modernizing] the place."

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Bob & Judi's Collectibles (217 Fifth Ave between President and Union Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-638-5770)
Zingman scours stores throughout the city for eclectic accent pieces and favors this antiques shop for trinkets such as the couple's good eats sign. "They source their wares from garage sales throughout the United States," she notes.

Jamali Floral & Garden Supplies (149 W 28th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves; 212-244-4025, jamaligarden.com)
"They have so much artistic inspiration there," says Zingman of this Flower District staple. "They sell peacock feathers, coral reefs and shells—you can get really creative."

Sterling Place (352 Seventh Ave at 10th St, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-499-4800, sterlingplace.com)
"It's our go-to place for buying gifts," shares Tiomkin. "They have really interesting tchotchkes, like miniature replica boats and a pendulum that makes patterns as it swings in its sand base." The couple's best finds range from cuff links that tell the temperature to a picnic kit, complete with plates, napkins and glasses.

Swallow (361 Smith St between1st and 2nd Pls, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; 718-222-8201)
"It has a collection of all kinds of little faux bugs," says Zingman, who incorporated several of its gold bees into her bathroom decor.

Time Galleries (562 Fifth Ave between 15th and 16th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-788-8300)
Zingman praises this antiques store for its covetable old-timey items at reasonable prices. "One woman bought a lamp here for $200, and I later found it at the D&D Building for $5,000."

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