sneak peek: kristen stocks of deluxa

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kristen stocks owns a vintage store in brooklyn, is in a band and has two pet bunnies – how cool is that? boyfriend and bandmate andy created the promotional agency loveless music group before starting his own label, self storage recordings. kristen’s store deluxa has become one of my favorite vintage spots – when i don’t have a chance to visit in person, i always keep on top of her finds via her blog and etsy shop (i wanted those mad men glasses!) not only is her home fun and cheery, but it’s also an inspiring testament to chasing your dreams! {thanks, kristen and lorie reilly for the photographs!}

[When we decided to start a vintage store, Deluxa, and a record label, Self Storage Recordings, at roughly the same time (which was roughly when the economic trouble started), it quickly became clear that downsizing our personal space was necessary for our businesses to remain viable.  Instead of moving to a smaller apartment or to a fringe neighborhood, we bravely decided to shed our two bedroom Park Slope apartment to opt for something about half the size of our former living room—we moved into Deluxa’s back office. Living in what is now transformed into our studio apartment in Deluxa taught us to a) keep only what we adore and b) keep only what is functional. Oh, and of course c) keep everything bunny-friendly.  It was a painful divestment, but also liberating to be left with only that which was most precious: being together, being with our bunnies, having our few prized possessions and continuing our new future as self-employed entrepreneurs.]

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My favorite thing in our bathroom is my collection of rock displays I hung with ribbon and hot glue.  One set belonged to my father as a child, and the others I’ve picked up who knows where.
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Another DIY is the wood grain shelf liner on our fridge.  Our space is so small and our fridge is so large, that when we got it covered it practically disappeared into our space and felt much less obtrusive. Much cuter too!  The magnetic letters I bought at the grocery store for a dollar and spray painted black to be a little more modernist. We spray paint all kinds of things both for our space and for the store—lamp bases to picture frames to coat racks.  The top of our hutch has my single Catherine Holm bargain find and some other great vintage cook wear.  I carry a lot of cookware in my store and find that in general the market for vintage cookware is a bit neglected, but I’m happy to promote enamel and copper wear pieces, not to mention Pyrex, Fire King, and even appliances like hand mixers and blenders that are much sturdier and stylish than their modern counterparts. The print here above my vintage yellow pans, “Chicken in a Hot Air Balloon” is by Jay Schmetz . He does lots of whimsical paintings of animals doing silly things.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Kristen’s sneak peek (including all the images on one page) after the jump!

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Andy made the bunny hutch for Bernina (white) and Belikin (black) and added the vintage boat letters to spell out “Bunnies”.  This is their all around hang out area where they eat, relax, snuggle together, and do their litter box thing (yes, they are litter box trained).  Andy displays a bit of prized record collection here.  One day, we hope to have a vinyl pressing of our own band, Luxa to add to the wall collection when our full length is done.

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Living with two house rabbits has its limitations as well: no chewy exposed cords, no tasty wood legs, no comfy narrow crevasses to wiggle into and not wiggle out of.  In all, not that difficult, because having a house rabbit is well worth the rewards—the can be the quirkiest, spunkiest, and most adorable creatures, as full of personality and charms, bringing lots of joy to our life.  Check out the House Rabbit Society for more info, and as always, adopt.

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I made our pillows from tee shirts and tea towels.  The fish tank furnished with brontosauruses from the Museum of Natural History gift shop and is also lined in wood grain contact paper backed with graph paper.  The pair of king and queen paintings are my favorite pieces of art that I have.  I found them at a now defunct Salvation Army on 8th St. in Manhattan for $20.  The compositions, the colors, the style, the whimsy and attitude—I’m completely enamored and would never part with them.

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Our metal drawers came from an electrician’s workshop, and perfectly fits all our odds and ends from knitting supplies to hammers to back stock CDs to sticky notes.  The coffee table/trunk and the sofa/bed serve to tuck away extra storage, there are also a number of vintage suitcases that are squirreled away, much more pleasing storage option than plastic bins.

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For our shelving, we only keep out our most important books for inspiration/reference and a few family and vacation photos (in vintage frames of course).  On top of our shelves, I’d held onto a gorgeous piece of wrapping paper for years and years, not knowing what to do with it until one day I found a pair of frames and made instant art. It makes me so happy to see this pattern every day.

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Overall, I don’t think we’d trade having a live/work space anytime soon for a “real” apartment now that we’ve gotten down our certain exuberant minimalism.  I still get to collect vintage furniture, housewares, art, and decoratives; Andy still gets to obsess over music all day, both of us free of the traditional 9-5, with our businesses as our creative outlets, merging our “work” and “home” lives into one great living, breathing lifestyle.”

  1. melanie says:

    i love how you let the bunnies roam around the house! they must be much happier that way. i think this is my favourite sneak peek so far! it’s so colourful and perfect!

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