interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: carl and russell of repop

by anne

we’ve see them work their magic in the sneak peek of the home of robin lester, and soon we’ll be seeing what they’ve cooked up for grace and ac (stay tuned in the next few weeks!), but today we get a special glance into the home of carl and russell, the brains and brawn behind the vintage shop repop. their brooklyn industrial style loft is an ever-changing interior as pieces from the shop constantly make their way in and out of this wild, sometimes over the top mix of rococco, mid-century, danish and primitive ideas. who knows what their home looks like today, but here is what it looked like the day it was photographed. [thanks russell and carl!] –anne

[above: The “grande” living area features an impressive tufted sectional we discovered for the shop but could not resist keeping in place for our own pleasure. Upholstered with horse and mohair the sectional bears an exquisite carved golden frame and is usually the seating of choice for our guests when we throw parties. As many know we have a love affair with flocked wallpaper. But since we are unable to hang wallpaper in this space, on the walls above the sofa we feature a collection of illustrative paintings by John Mathias who has an obsession with 60’s advertisements. His wife, Miss Ellie, manufactures the necklaces which are positioned on the necks of the bejeweled beauties. We often feature their wares at RePOP. We enjoy old suitcases and trunks. They make the best solution for coffee tables as they are stackable, easy to move around and offer incredible amounts of storage space. Plus, they are not too expensive and you can always place drinks atop them without worrying about damaging wood. ]

The breakfast nook in our kitchen is one of the most beloved areas of the loft featuring an old Coca Cola Bottle Cap advertisement we purchased at one of my favorite antique malls in Kansas City. Carl and I love primitive, handcrafted furniture and since our loft bears no closet space or shelving whatsoever, we were in need of a fabulous piece to stow all of those kitchen necessities like spices and cookingware that can so easily clutter up a stove top. This particular cabinet is so functional what with the open center cubby. It comes in quite handy as a make-shift bar or cutting table. We rarely use our farm table for it’s actual purpose. Rather it most often becomes a work station for the two of us. Still, because of the rustic feel of the nook we couldn’t help but turn the tables on the look by throwing in these fabulous space age Saarinen style smoked lucite, white leather and steel legged tulip chairs!

I found the distressed elephant in Brimfield. It was one of those aged artifacts that beckoned to me from across a field of furniture and bid me stand entranced before it for 10 minutes with appreciative tears in my eyes before taking the plunge to make it my own. The elephant, who I’ve named Ghosty, has so much personality. Both sad and captivatingly beautiful in my eyes, he is by far one of the most special center pieces we have ever owned.

Carl and Russell’s furniture in one of the homes they’ve staged in Brooklyn. Bedroom featuring Black and White Lacquered 60’s American of Maartinsville Dresser featuring a victorian cast iron boutique sign, cowhide rug, flocked loveseat from Antiquarian and original pin-up art by John Mathias.

Study corner: 80’s deco revival end table with 60’s mod sphere lamp and Paul Mccobb Desk and Chair.

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  • hello,
    we would love to know the name of your favorite antique mall in kansas city.
    thanks for sharing!

  • I was always told to not say anything if you couldn’t say something nice; but I’m doing my best to break out of that habit.Not really feeling this look. It feels stuffy, pretentious and undoable at home.

  • Well, sort of in agreement with Get Togetha’s comments, I feel like the first 3 are more antique store or themed indie cafe than comfy home. The last 2 I really dig, though, for the furniture. Again there’s something not very warm or inviting about them…

  • I had the pleasure of knowing Russell and Carl while they were in Kansas City. I loved seeing the inside of their Brooklyn home. Glad to know they stayed true to their style.

  • I don’t get it- what about this feels stuffy? A little old fashioned maybe, but stuffy- I don’t see stuffy anywhere.

    I love the kitchen- lots of character.


  • Grace, I love all your sneak peeks, but this is one of the ones I wish I could see in person – feels like pictures couldn’t possibly do it justice! Thanks!

  • I completely appreciate where they are going here but it feels a little too grandma for my own taste, and uncomfortable too.

  • awesome, awesome, awesome. this has to be my favorite sneak peak. I love their store and have always wondered what pieces they find for the store that they sneak into their own home. thanks!!

  • oh my! i have been inside of this space after a few First Friday art events that the boys have thrown inside the shop and i can tell you from experience that there is nothing stuffy, pretentious or uncomfortable about it! naturally their home would become somewhat of a storage facility to house items that cannot immediately fit into the shop. it’s a constantly revolving museum of furniture and art. and i am happy to see that someone out there is giving a home to some more historical pieces that have been discarded in recent years of design.

  • an appreciative thank you to those who get our sense of humor, can see the warmth of classic pieces, and understand that it is an ever shifting interior of various items which we showcase before displaying in our shop. to answer anne marie’s question, the kansas city mall we love dearly is the River Market.

  • Also, because of this Design Sponge article featuring John Mathias’ Bejewelled Beauties paintings, an Italian arts blog has included his work alongside articles about David LaChapelle and Banksy and others.
    Check it out if you like (scroll down 3 or 4 articles) : http://www.artsblog.it/

    Thank you Anne and Grace!!

  • I have that exact desk. It was my grandmother’s, and I have started to refinish it. Nice to see it elsewhere!!

  • FYI: Before you refinish the desk please check on the inside drawer or on the bottom for the Paul Mccobb stamp. If it is a real designer piece refinishing it incorrectly might highly damage the worth of the item. You may want to consult with a professional.

  • Carl & Russell are the two un-stuffiest people I’ve ever met. I’m glad to see they are doing what they’re clearly meant to be doing. Their place is GORgeous!

  • Carl and Russell do you ever worry about bringing bed bugs into your home? I bought a beautiful mid-century piece in Brooklyn and it had bed bugs, as we later learned. Everything in my house is vintage, but since that experience i have found it hard going back to shopping for antiques, AND I LOVE vintage. Any advice? Love your apartment. Pieces are well selected and put together.

  • i’m so sorry that has happened to you! bed bugs have never been something that we’ve encountered as for the most part any upholstered vintage furniture has been treated by the respectable dealers we work with before we even stow the pieces into our van. obviously if you purchase something upholstered from a marketplace there are no guarantees, but usually antique and furniture boutiques are hyper aware as it would be bad for business if they were not. however, on your own i suggest thoroughly vacuuming, washing and then spraying solution before bringing used upholstered furniture into the home. if it is a chair with cushions, remove covers and have them laundered or dry cleaned as a precaution. Most importantly, deal with vintage sale’s people that you trust.

  • I love LOVE this room…but I hate hate hate those female headshot looking paintings. Wow. Those should go, and it would be perfect.

  • Oh and the stuffy comment is really lame. Just because it’s old and ornate and…gasp, the color GOLD, doesn’t mean it’s pretentious and stuffy.