interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: the jewels of new york

by Grace Bonney

today’s home tour is a special sneak peek into the homes of diana and lisel of the jewels of new york. this afternoon they’ll be sharing two delicious recipes with us for in the kitchen with friday, so i thought it would be perfect to catch a little glimpse of their homes before we get cooking with them. these talented women certainly have a way with design and photography so, let’s take a peek into their beautiful brooklyn homes…

[images above: Diana’s Apartment: I live in Red Hook, one of the oldest industrial neighborhoods in Brooklyn. It has the feel of a sleepy, abandoned shipping port and for me is one of the most peaceful places in New York. My apartment is a charming prewar with tin ceilings and molding. It is so old, that over time it has become slanted. The first time I noticed was after I moved in and baked a cake that came out completely crooked. This room is my kitchen- This is the place where Lisel and I spend the most time. We are constantly cooking, experimenting with new recipes, and having friends over for meals. I wanted the feel of the kitchen to be soft and feminine, with hints of copper to bring some warmth. I was inspired to hang my pots and pans on the wall after seeing Julia Child’s kitchen.]

[image above: Diana’s Apartment: This is my chicken coop that serves as an open pantry where I store produce, canned foods, and my favorite cooking ingredients. It is replicated from vintage chicken coops and was handcrafted in upstate NY. You can find them online at Sundance.]

[image above: Lisel’s Apartment: I recently moved to the historical neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. It’s full of beautiful architectural details, cute shops and charming cobblestone streets. Lisel’s Dining Table: I love farm tables and always dreamed of owning one, so when I first saw David Ellison’s work at the Lorimer Workshop there was no hesitation in contacting him. It was a two month wait but I have to say it was well worth the wait! This trestle table is my favorite piece of furniture.]

[image above: Diana’s Bedroom- I love melancholy blues. They make me feel relaxed and fresh. It was difficult for me to find the subtle shade I was looking for, so I ended up layering white paint over a vivid blue. My bed is a soft white because I want to feel like I’m waking up on a cloud every morning.]

CLICK HERE for the rest of The Jewels of New York sneak peek (and full-sized images) after the jump!

[image above: Diana’s Bedside Table: The history of Red Hook inspired me to collect nautical and Dutch objects. On my bedside table I have Japanese fishing floats, a brass anchor candlestick holder, sailor knots, and a Dutch pipe. My very favorite object is a black 18th Century Wedgwood Basalt Creamer given to me by my friends at Bower antiques.]

[image above: Lisel’s Bedroom: I’ve kept my bedroom simple and spare, it is the coziest nook in the apartment.]

[image above: Lisel’s Bedside Table: These are some everyday objects that I’ve collected in the past years. One of my favorites is a cameo inspired necklace, which has a piece of cognac leather with a horse’s head stamped into it.]

[image above: Diana’s Bathroom: I picked up this dreamy little mushroom cluster from my favorite ribbon and crafting store Tinsel Trading. It is by Wendy Addison, known for her handcrafts made from vintage materials.]

[image above: Sitting on the steps in front of Lisel’s apartment.]

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  • Great apartments with lots of light pouring in. i like both of the neighborhoods as well and am very fond of Redhook. {i was sorry when the Old Reveere Sugar mill was torn down)
    Very cool that Chicken Coop pantry. My favorite photo and scene here (and they are all very good) is of the stove in Diane’s apartment with the copper tea kettle, vintage fan and dried flowers next to the cutting board. The natural light hitting this scene is wonderful.
    Great spaces and locations. . .

  • Beautiful apartments, both of them. I love the soft light, the comfy bedrooms… really dreamy.

    Red Hook was the last place I lived (a loft in the luggage factory on Delavan) in Brooklyn before moving upstate, and I agree completely about the peacefulness of the neighborhood. I do miss it. (Though it must be really nice to have a grocery store there now! Taking the bus to and from gross Key Food on Atlantic was no fun…)

  • Loved the anecdote about the crooked cake. I can see a piece of wood propping up half the stove so that doesn’t happen again!

  • oh, i just love this house. it has such a great rustic, homey feel, but it isn’t cluttered at all – very well thought out and executed!

  • this is my favorite sneak peek to date. not so much because it is my own personal style but because it comes off as so authentic and not just going with the current trends. i was unable to pick something out that i didn’t like. truly lovely.

  • Ah ha! I painted my kitchen light pink (ralph lauren’s garden rose, i think?) last year and had to fight TOOTH AND NAIL to do it! Everyone was all “Pink? In a kitchen?”

    Thanks for the vindication :)

    I also really love the different woods against the pink.

  • I love that both apartments look like real, stylish people live there. There’s nothing forced or ostentatious about their dwellings. Nothing too design-y.

  • Beautiful apartments, not overly contrived. The bedrooms look very soothing, and the pink kitchen looks like such a fun, cozy place to cook.

  • I’ve had the pleasure of being subject to their test-kitchenings, and let me say they’re real deal Holyfield. Two very good souls with very good homes.

  • Thank you everyone for all your wonderful comments!
    It was a pleasure to be on Design Sponge today.

    Kristen, I got my necklace from Opening Ceremony in NYC.

  • i love david ellison’s tables. can’t afford one, so i conned my dad into building me something similar. can’t wait until it’s done!

  • sun pouring thru those wonderful windows..love the pantry shelving, dining room table..the kitchen is so warm and charming. gorgeous photography!

  • I LOVE Red Hook and this beautiful apartment. It looks like a small piece of heaven in the craziness and constant bustle that is NYC.

  • Diana — I’m pretty sure that charming apt of yours was previously my boyfriend’s, who moved to Portland, OR (where I’m from) in Jan 08. Boy, have you transformed it! If the Hibachi’s still upstairs on the roof, you are welcome to use it — we used to eat kosher dogs up there when I came to visit in the summer. The view is lovely, but watch the ladder. I’m sure it’s still missing a hinge.

  • oh i love these phot0s….. so beautiful!!
    specially i love bent wood chairs.
    is it the ernst chair?

  • Simple, clean with attention to detail. A breath of fresh air and tastefully decorated. Adore both of their apartments.

  • I think a while back you featured a dining room table with cabaret chairs like that, and since then I have been trying to figure out how to use them in my (future) home. I love this farm table with them. I think it is such a fun addition!

    I also love the bike in the bedroom, particularly because that is where I am going to have to store my new bike soon. I never thought of getting a black bike- it’s so beautiful! I think to spice it up I would add fake flowers into the basket of my bike so it’s even more like decor.

    Great great space overall.

  • Allison, I got the chairs from Kurt Petersen. I got them in black but they have other finishes available too. They are really well built and compact! You can see more at:


    If you have the time you should also search ebay for “thonet bentwood chairs.” You can find cute pairs or individual ones with a lot of character. Good Luck!

  • Thanks so much for the info! I’ve looked high and low on ebay and googled a bunch, but was leary of ordering from a company that hadn’t been recommended. I will have to check that one out! Thanks!

  • Can you tell me about your comforter? It looks very comfy, but light. As summer will be here soon, I am looking for some lighter bedding. Cheers!

  • This is all just lovely … I am also curious about the comforter or duvet cover in the first bedroom (Diana’s). It looks very soft!

  • their places just scream character – especially with the closeups of the bedside table and bathroom.. this is all too lovely not to re-post! hope that’s okay..

  • Oh, I am so glad I saw this link on twitter! I dream of living, someday, in a prewar era home. Hubby says no – but I’m holding out! Awesome pictures and store! So glad you shared!

  • Dear Diana and Lisel,

    I love your dining table and dining chairs. Could you please let me know where I can find it?

    Many thanks!