New York-based designer Mikel Welch is no stranger to non-traditional spaces. He has mastered weaving together different elements to create rooms that wow with details, finishes and functionality.

Welch, a 2020 NEXT WAVE honoree, has an impressive career as both a set and interior designer. He’s been a host and design expert for Trading Spaces, HGTV, Real Housewives of Atlanta and Good Morning America.

Welch recently collaborated with Walker Zanger at the Brooklyn Heights Designer Showhouse.

About the Event

The Brooklyn Heights Designer Showhouse is a biennial event that features a historic home in the community. Interior designers and material manufacturers join together to revamp the property for the community to visit. Proceeds from the event benefit the Brooklyn Heights Association, which promotes balancing historic preservation with 21st-century ideals.

Designed by Mikel Welch

About the Home

The home, built in the 1820s, is a wood-frame residence with three stories and a beautiful garden in the back. The stately home is now nearly 200 years old. It was important to honor the home’s history when re-envisioning it for the modern world.

Welch Reimagines the Lower Floor as an Entertaining Area

Welch had a very unique space to work with, but there was so much opportunity. His approach was primitive modern, and he set out to create a room that is welcoming and functional. The lower level includes a wet bar and a fireplace. He described the room as non-standard, which presented challenges.

“Spaces like these have a trickier set of parameters. But with this comes ingenuity and [creativity],” he said. “Odd spaces help you flex your design muscle.”

He also explained that you need multiple plans in such a project, because something is always going to not go as expected. With this in mind and lots of inspiration, he began reimagining the recreation room.

He adorned the room with contemporary furniture from Room & Board, then complemented it with antiques and vintage accents. A sophisticated blue-gray hue, Abysse, covers the walls and cabinets above the wet bar. The color gives the room a cozy yet chic feel.

With the wet bar, Welch was able to use several Walker Zanger products. For the backsplash, he used the Knit Felt Corduroy Chevron. The textured porcelain tile in the Chevron layout is neutral but doesn’t play the wallflower. It adds interest and dimension. The countertop is the Secolo Calacata Borgia 12mm polished porcelain slab. The tile has a white creamy background with veins of grays and other neutrals. The space received much exposure, as it hosted all the events related to the 2019 Brooklyn Heights Showhouse.

“This was my fourth showhouse that I got to do. … [I found out I had the lower level,] and I’m like, ‘The basement?! I don’t want the basement,’” Welch said. “It ended up being the best thing that could have ever happened. … I even had a custom Walker Zanger marble I used for the countertop. The room ended up being the one place where we had so much traffic coming in.”

Visit the Home Virtually for More Inspiration

Learn more about the Brooklyn Heights Designer Showcase and its designers on the Showhouse’s website. The kitchen, kid’s bath, and master bath also feature Walker Zanger products. Get inspired today!