interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: ann wood

by anne

the super talented ann wood was sweet enough to share a special diy project with us, but now she’s back with an incredible sneak peek into her brooklyn home/studio near prospect park. ann typically works with vintage or salvaged materials for her work, describing the certain tenderness in the re-use and re-purposing of things that were once personal and perhaps treasured possessions. funny how the same can definitely be said for her home as well. i don’t know how you all feel, but to me, this peek into her home feels like a look into a mythical dream world (complete with castle!), so don’t miss additional images here. [thanks so much, ann!]anne

[above: I started pinning lace and dissected antique garments to the linen drapes about a year ago, to keep track of tiny pieces and be aware of and inspired by what I have.  It has grown sort of accidentally into something I love.]


I live and work  in a small place in Park Slope Brooklyn that I like very much. It is an ideal place for making birds and owls and bats and ships, cardboard castles and other things.


The chest of drawers  was part of my father’s workshop.


A  shipwreck on  a roiling, boiling, frothy sea of antique wedding gowns!  And a very old table, I found it last year at the Park Slope flea market  ( 7th Ave and between 1st and 2nd ) I love the curly legs and it was almost free.



The paper snowflakes  over my bed were cut by my friend David Doernberg .


I can’t function without  a big bulletin board for reminders,  plans and  experiments.  The little pile of fabrics are wonderful vintage and antique kimono sleeves, a gift from Stephen Szczepanek.  The cake stand is made from  paper mache over an armature of cardboard and a bleach bottle..


I store my patterns, buttons, tiny pine cones,  acorn caps and other important little things in business card boxes.


I’ve had the little velvet lamb my whole life.


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  • Oh, wow, I love this sneak peek! It’s by far one of my favorite ever; it really helps me understand the working context of your aesthetic vision [and, I love your work; I wrote about it a few months ago!]. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • The sneak peaks this week are blowing. me. away. This apartment is a giant ball of creativity!

  • i love ann’s work , and her living working creating space is just as i had imagined it! that cardboard castle is such a thing of beauty.

    oh and i’d love to go flea market shopping with her!

  • LOVE it! OMG! Yeah…I keep scrolling over and over the pics! Just so much fun, personal, quirky…awesomeness. And the ships are just makin’ me swoon!

  • wow! I wanted to ask about every single little piece in there…like the teacup hanging over the bed? and the lamp on top of the old table (with the twisty legs). Oh, to live with all these beautiful treasures must be such a special treat.
    Great Sneak Peak!

  • I really love ann wood’s home. Also as a sneak peak I see someone living here. And I want to meet her. It’s not just a show home it’s beautiful, unique and lived in. Thank you for sharing.

  • Her home reminds me of that Michel Gondry movie “The Science of Sleep.” Interesting and surreal.

  • This is Wonderful Anne! The boats floating in the air make me happy. And i love seeing you your collections scattered through your space. I too need a bulletin board to hang everything i find, need, write down, if i see it, i remember and am inspired. That chest of drawers from your father is incredible.

  • Ahhh I love your home! It’s all so vintage and so very personal and creative. I love all the little things you have on your walls. I love pinning random little things up to inspire me. You are so lucky to have such beautifully high ceilings.
    Did you make the cake stand? Could you possibly tell us how??
    Polly R

  • Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful work. I followed Ann’s link to her site and her creations are unique, quirky, and very lovely. Simply amazing!

  • I love the dreamy delicacy and the creativity that thrives here. And the apartment’s original shutters (painted or dark, dark wood?) and plaster garland are tooo sweet. They find their match in your quirky mix of things. Your place is a fairy tale and yet so real-life! A definite switch from the Danish Modern look that often prevails here (which I love too!)

  • Holy Mackerel! This is the most charming and delightful Sneak Peek ever! I love it… and have also very much enjoyed exploring Ann’s blog and etsy shop. So cool!!!

  • The aesthetic reminds me a bit of The Science of Sleep (especially the ship on waves of fabric and the cardboard castle). There is so much great stuff going on in there!

  • what a lovely and refreshingly unique apartment to feature on this blog. i love especially the hanging bats and the unmade bed. beautiiful.

  • the link to the additional images on flickr says, they are private? anything I missed, or is that a mistake?..

  • Does she style Anthropologie catalogs? Some of the spaces remind me of they way they style their curtains/home accessories/furniture/linens. That curtain is so beautiful and full of history and thus meaning! It’s so cool that you can imagine the history of it just by looking at it, and that all of the different stories behind it are woven together.

  • Ann Wood is my hero. I have a little bird from her at home, Rebecca, that sits next to me as I work.

    Thank you for posting this, I love that it’s messy and wonderful. I look at the homes on this site daily and wonder how long it took them to clean and put things away before getting out the camera – or if anyone even lives there! That’s not how artists live, THIS is how artists live – with supplies and wonderful little messy work areas out where you can see them!

    Love it!

  • I want to know more about the castle on top of the dresser!!!!!
    did you make that? your room looks like a dream. wow!

  • Wow. I’ve got to say, I’m with Kirsten on this one, it’s a cluttered mess. It’s stuff piled upon stuff piled upon even more stuff. Yikes.

  • In love…. I totally thought of The Science of Sleep also, how magical. It’s a little like Where The Wild Things Are as well, just a little daintier and more ladylike. I’m so inspired.

    And yes, please make the Flickr set woork, I want more!

  • so quirky. it’s refreshing to see someone’s home that is so very original. I appreciate that she marches to the beat of her own drum and unlike so many other homes we see, decorates just how she likes instead of perhaps how she think she is supposed to. Although I love Eames chairs, white painted furniture, and mod-screen prints, they too get old and expected. It’s really nice to see something so different. Bravo.

  • Thanks so much everyone for checking out my little place and the generous and kind comments. And thanks to Grace and Anne for inviting me.
    polly the cake stand is paper mache over part a bleach bottle and cardboard -tip- fill the base with pennies for stability
    silentfragrance – you can read about the castle here:
    Sarah – I got the antique iron bed at a flea market

    Thanks again -ann wood

  • Okay this really nice to see. An unpretentious, creative, lived in, dreamy space that is a direct result of her spirit. That’s a home to me. I’m really inspired.

  • I’m also totally into decorating with vintage and found objects–it’s so much more environmentally friendly and there are so many great old pieces out there! I absolutely loved the pirate ships just floating through the air!!!

  • I am in LOVE with the ships. Where oh where are they from? Homemade? An artist? I must know!

  • I love those set of drawers from her Dad. This is such a treat! I love all of the dreamy things she has created around her. Her home is as lovely and interesting as dear Ann herself.

  • Your creative womb remoinds me of Wendy Addison’s “Theater of Dreams”.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • It speaks to me with a sweet memory…at age 4 or so, I was hanging around my mom’s kitchen chair while she played canasta…bored, gazing out the window, I vividly imagined a beautiful clipper ship sailing across the night sky…I have never forgotten that childhood “hallucination”. An observation:
    Can it be that the reason I’ve never really made much use of the tiny pine cones, scraps of paper, pebbles, seeds, etc. that I’ve been collecting all my life is bc I don’t organize them? And to think that there is organization in this lovely, inspiring fairytale environment is very odd indeed.

  • This space has the look and feel of something so personal, I almost feel like a peeping tom! Everything in Ann’s home has meaning and memory attached. I love the old set of drawers especially.

  • although i applaud the fact that this sneak peek is unique, i can’t say that i’m a big fan.

  • LOVE the chest of drawers, just love. I join erica in the drooling. it’s fantastic to see a space that is obviously lived in, loved and absolutely a reflection of Ann.

  • Ann’s place is just as I imagined. Just as with what she creates, I could wander and explore her place for hours and still keep finding new beauty. Thanks for sharing.

  • reminds me of my grandmas house. she teaches dance all around the world and always comes home with weird and wonderful souveniers, her house is full of them.

  • I would love to go to her house for a rummage sale. I’d snag up her father’s work chest, the gorgeous white frame, the bat sculptures that look like pencil drawings on my screen, and the curtain and bedding are just fabulous!

  • totally science of sleep! and i love the unmade bed. i wish i could work in spaces that are overflowing–i need organization and neatness before i can think clearly! but this is enchanting.

  • What a magical dream. It’s practically the apartment version of Sarah Ryhanen(Weeder’s Digest)’s bouquets. So personal, wilty, decadent, musty, inspiring and bloody gorgeous!
    Thanks for sharing occasional sneek peeks that don’t feature that dang Eames rocker!

  • FINALLY a space that looks like somebody LIVES and creates there. So often the photos of featured houses are SO immaculate and though beautiful a bit sterile. I love this sneak peek. Ann Wood you rock.

  • You have such whimsy and talent… the most inspiring work/live space I have seen in months! You are a gem.

  • The ceiling height, ribbon plaster detail, old floor – LOVE it. All the stuff is fabulous stuff – not “mess” as some call it – it has to be there ready to be inspired by or transformed into beautiful birds, ships and other wonderful whatevers! Thanks so much, Ann, for letting us see it.

  • Absolutely magical!
    I`d die for a drawer chest like that! :) and that card box storage arrangement..adorable!

  • Each to his own but I find this style to be pure chaos. Where is the serenity. Looks like a giant case of “one of everything”. I guess I’m just one for edited and pure design.

  • I think this home/studio is perfectly fit for purpose. We are afterall looking at the home/studio of an artist who works in found objects NOT a designer who sits in front of a computer all day. Im not sure Brad Dufton was being at all kind when he made his “cluttered home, cluttered mind” comment, but then Im sure Brad has probably never produced a great work of art, a good website maybe, but not a great work of art.

  • This isn’t meant to sound as gloomy as it did when I first thought it…lol!
    BUT I love all of this. It screams youth, independence, freedom…print all these pics out and do not lose them or youth (at least in spirit), the indepence, the freedom.
    Don’t succumb to ‘growing up’ no matter how young or old you are.
    (print this comment too…keep it with your pics!)

  • Ditto others–this is exactly how I imagined Ann’s house. I was lucky enough to have a pair of Ann’s bird cake toppers for my wedding cake, and I have loved her work since. Thanks for featuring the Sneak Peek of Ann’s wonderful home!

  • Thanks again everyone for taking the time to comment on my place, thank you for the encouragement, also, I can certainly appreciate that it’s not for everyone, it’s not meant to be – it’s for me. This isn’t a style of decorating – it is my life and my process of working, it’s where I think and work and it is work I truly love so I am happy and grateful.

  • I appreciate the whimsy and texture, but I have to agree with Kirsten: whoa, too messy for me.

  • Oh wonderful! I’ve loved Ann W’s blog forever, now I love her home, too! One part Terry Gilliam, one part faerie, one part Brooklyn. Perfection!

  • Everything is just divine- perfectly divine. I’ve been a big fan of Ann’s for quite some time now, we have a similar aesthetic I think. I really enjoyed seeing the glimpses of your home/studio. Like you I live in the same room I work in, so I totally understand the need to screen off the sleeping area- I’ve done it with a bookcase. Otherwise I’d just stare at my desk and think while I should be sleeping!

    Thank you Design*sponge- this is a very heartfelt post. <3

  • I love this. I’ve been feeling that other sneek-peaks lately have been a bit repepitive, lovely but repetative. This is like a breath of fresh air. I finally know what my homes been lacking, floating tall ships!!!! And it’s not messy, it’s layered.

  • This posting is killing me softly! What a magical place! Ann, do you need a roommate?!

  • I have loved Ann’s work and process since I saw her featured in Home companion years ago! So fun to see a mini update and to see her offering her whimsical ponies for all to play with!
    How generous you are Ann to let us into your work space to get a little feel of your process! As an artist myself I am totally feeling the method to your madness and completely seeing the love that goes into your work because of the treasures you have found ,created and the sentiments that are attatched in your work! xoxo Sheri DeBow

  • Ann, Pure, pure magic. You are such an inspiration. Now I’m going to make one of your horses. Thanks so much for your generosity.

  • I love your place! Your definately my kind of people….Thank you for sharing your horsies, love them too. The ships and the birds are sooo cool.

  • this is totally freaky but i wanted to comment b/c i was going to say that something about ann’s place reminds me of the movie “the science of sleep” and upon peeking at the comments discovered a few others said the same thing!!

    anyway, this apartment is the home of my dreams!! i love places that really show someone’s creativity, personality and love. so inspiring!

  • It feels like one of those places I always wanted to be in. so many nitches to explore, so many places for my eyes to roam.

  • this is absolutely lovely. it is so nice to see a space that oozes with creativity, projects, and inspiration all in one. i much prefer this sneak peak over the oh-so-neat, composed spaces that could never look that way from day to do. thank you for sharing!

  • Oh my gosh, your place is amazing, beautiful, magical. Who needs to buy a home decor magazine when there are photographs such as these online?!

  • Wow! Ghostly enchanting, loved it all, it’s like walking through a concrete awesome dream!

  • I stumbled upon your site and fell in love with your work. I was wondering if you sell your paper creations such as the ships. Please contact me. Thank you so,

  • I love this! I am at the moment renovating my appartment in an old house – and I have so much stuff myself.
    Happy to see a contrast to the minimalism – Got a lot of inspiration now!

  • Oh Ann,

    How I love this sneak peek into your world. It makes me more comfortable with my own place. Like you, I also have huge bulletin boards for notes and reminders and as I work with paper, I have sheets and sheets of paper hung up on trouser hangers so that I can be inspired by seeing them! Thank you for allows us a peek into your world!


  • I think Ann has said it best. This is not a “style” of decorating ..it is her home, her place of work and creation…her soul. We ( as a public) are consistently marketed at..by the TV , magazines, the computer and the phone!! We are fed notions of what others believe will bring us happiness: Buy this ; wear that; if you want your neighbors to like you …put this kinda blue pillow on the couch and they’ll think you’re hip!! There’s so little honesty left in most of us as to who we really and we’ve become empty glasses waiting to be filled from someone else’s glass left on the table. How sad. I bet Ann couldn’t care less what we think of her home and she’d feel sorry for the person who’d try to copy it thinking they could then magically become Ann. Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is ..in looking through not only Ann’s home and work space, but also all the others on this site too…remember the homes hear are not yours, they never can be..they are extensions of their owners….spaces not to be copied or marketed as a look. By all means if you love Ann’s ships buy one or two or three..love it/them ’till you can no longer; but better yet make your own something or other. If you’re not so inclined I bet you’re a good baker, or gardener…reader or helper. Go do something real ..live your own life.It seems we have lost this ability in our society and we certainly will never find our lifes’ purpose trying to have someone elses life , home or talents.

  • I love both the building/room and the wonderful contents. They all work so well together. I’m considering using the linen curtain technique for some of my fabric scraps that I don’t want to lose track of.

  • They are absolutely the most beautiful rooms I have seen since a while.
    Of course the apartment on his own has a bone structure, which helps to create, but Ann for me has absolutely sensibility for composition.
    It’s not a disorder, as some people say, there is order and structure in a free composition,
    Suzanne, from Italy.

  • What a happy, beautiful place. What a space for her fertile mind to work with. Energy!

  • I have to laugh at the people who commented that it was a mess, they must be very well organized or non artists as this house is very tidy for such a talented artist, a work of art in itself. Go Ann, love your work and your ability to change direction any ole time you like, lol please keep it up, very refreshing.

  • Everyone needs a piece of furniture from their dads shop. Great space. Love the old finger block parquet floors and the intricate inlay work.

  • Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from
    an established blog. Is it very hard to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start.

    Do you have any tips or suggestions? Many thanks