amy azzaritointerior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: zoe of cloth clothing

by Amy Azzarito

i love getting a peek at homes above stores or studios. it just seems like the best of both worlds – all the pluses of working at home and of working in an office. zoe van de wiele lives above her clothing boutique, cloth clothing, in fort greene, brooklyn. it’s a full-house with her husband hub moore, their two daughters – frida and happy -, and a cat and dog – kittyman and chill-e. luckily hub is a woodworker, so he’s been able adjust the home as the family has grown and their needs evolve. (for more, see the complete flickr set!) {thanks zoe, hub, frida and happy!} {and thanks to mackenzie stroh for all the house photos, and michael k. mills and shannon greer photography for the shop photos!} -amy a.

[We bought the building 10 years ago, it has evolved organically and out of  necessity. There’s a lot going on in the space with my shop, my husband’s work and 2 little kids. My brother-in-law, Maxwell Moore, who is an architect, also gave us lots of good ideas.  I like old, simple and calm – wood/brick/cement.  I grew up in loft spaces with my artist parents – Gerald and Ann van de Wiele – so I wanted to make this space feel more open and raw.  It’s hard to do that where the bedrooms are needed, so we used as many glass doors and windows as possible to keep it open and light. I also like inexpensive or free so a lot of what I’ve decorated the house with was given to me or found on the street. I also have found many a good deal on eBay. The chair [photo above], is a good example. It was hanging from a tree in the back yard of a friends rental apartment, left behind. I asked her to give it to me when she moved and several years later, she did.]

[photo above: That’s Chill-e, our Basenji, sitting below a painting that Hub’s mother did of him and his brothers when they were little.]

[Hub’s grandfather was an architect and built a house on Cape Cod with all wood walls – it had that wonderful silver grey beach house look. It inspired us to want all wood walls in the kitchen. I wanted the space to feel like a room that I wanted to live in rather than a cold white kitchen.]

[All art is by Frida and Happy – a sitter of ours put a couple pictures up a few years ago and there was no turning back.]

CLICK HERE for more of Zoe’s Peek (and all the images on one page!)

[photo above: The arches were actually the original back windows of the house built around 1850. At some point an extension was added, and they were closed up into doorways. We uncovered them but they were chopped and broken. My husband got a book on masonry and rebuilt the arches. The space was originally a 2-bedroom apartment. We took out all the walls to make it one room and a kitchen. We (rather my husband with help of his pal Karl) stripped the paint off the whole length of the rooms brick wall. We even removed the plaster from the walls of the bathroom to expose the brick. I think we spent the first 3 years here just slowly removing what was there while living on the floor below.]

[photo above: The rug and the rocking chair were both eBay finds!]

[photo above: Hub is also a musician and the kids’ room used to be his studio – the shelving was originally built to house guitars and other instruments. We added the doors and chalkboard to make it more kid friendly. The picture of the dragon on the chalk board Frida did especially for the sneak peek! Happy drew the sun in the top corner.]

[photo above: Hanging above the bed is a diagram of a male and female fly – bought on eBay.]

[photo above: Behind the chair where you see the other bedroom, which used to be an alcove. We closed it off for baby #2 – Happy – but added the window to keep the light.]

[This is the former alcove – now Happy’s room.  There’s not much room for anything but a bed and the mobile. The mobile came from Acorn a shop on Atlantic Ave.]

[photo above: The dresser in the master bedroom belonged to Hub’s grandmother. It was in her bedroom and he wanted it for sentimental reasons.]

[photo above: The huge mirror was from an old family house, the chest on the floor, which I really love,  was found on the street in Brooklyn when I first came here 20 years ago.]

[photo above: The green chest is my newest acquisition given to me by my sister-in-law! The horse painting was done in the ’50s by Hub’s great-uncle.]

[photo above: This bathroom was added after Frida was born, and I insisted on having a second bath downstairs. We wanted to do it on the super-cheap so I used as many free components as possible. The tub was $50 – from a yard sale – and the sink was found in a friend’s backyard where it was being used as a planter. The mirror was a Brooklyn street find.]

[photo above: That tub is amazing! We paid money for that! It’s almost 6 feet long and really skinny, we didn’t have much space to work with here and I wanted a skinny tub without even knowing they existed. I haven’t seen another like it.]

[photo above: From the turn-of-century until almost right up until we bought it, the ground floor of the building was a bar – and not a nice one from what some of my older neighbors have told me. (We actually found bullets in the floors.) It’s now under landmark status so we were limited in terms of what we could do. Really we just cleaned it up and restored it to it original design. I’ve run my shop out the space now for six years.]

[photo above: The store has a similar feel to our house. I worked really hard to get the lighting right because it’s not a space with much natural light. I want people to feel comfortable when they come in so it was important that  the decor be down-to-earth and not uptight.]

[photo above: My clothing in general is a little more casual in a designer sense. Contemporary yet casual. I guess that’s me.]

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  • I visited Cloth for the first time about a month ago, and Zoe mentioned that her home was going to be featured here on D*S. It was totally worth the wait. Simple, timeless, elegant and beautiful…all without sacrificing the comfort that her family needs. I just love it! And her shop is amazing…totally worth a visit!

  • wow. i LOVE this place. i WISH i could do something like that with mine. if only i had the time. and the winning powerball combo!

  • hmmmm
    OK – I really love this house – I want to live in the nook with the hanging chair but I’m just not into the wood walls and the cabinets in the kitchen.
    That said, I adore the bedrooms and that small green dresser…
    It’s also great to see how this kid’s things are part of the home.

  • This is truly a home in every sense, I absolutely love it, especially the artwork all clustered together by the table for all to enjoy.

  • Oh my, that floating wicker chair is just heavenly. I love that brick wall as well and the whole store looks divine!

  • the kitchen seems warm and inviting, like a swedish sauna. i love it with those green tile floors.

  • love that you just taped up your kids artwork – it creates a giant abstract piece – I need to do that cause i put things aside to get framed and then never get it done!

  • I love this one. Love the rough state of the old bath fixtures. The natural materials and mix of rustic and modern. The flickr set is private, can you change that?

  • I really enjoyed reading this article about your personal design. I loved the look and feel of the wood and brick. It is an old-fashioned yet modern look. Thanks!

  • I love the brick arches! How did you strip the paint off the brick? I have a brick chimney that was painted and would like to expose the brick.

  • lovely place, peaceful little corners, creative spaces, pieces with history – gorgeous! Shop looks so tempting, any chance of online store any time soon?

  • I can’t believe you named your child Happy. …is there a story behind it?
    (hey, somebody had to ask, we’re all thinking it).

    Great house and shop – they’re absolutely beautiful!

  • aw, she’s my neighbor! i’ve been meaning to stop into cloth since i moved to FG and now am excited to know the “face” behind her store and lovely home.

  • cool tub, but you might lead check it if kids bathe in it. We have a nice old tub and ended up getting it coated (painted, really) because old tubs have lead in them (which seemed like a bad combo with out little kids who inevitabley drank their tub water).

  • Hey Guys!
    Zoe here! sorry to only be answering your questions now…some family matters arose today……first off thanks for all your kind remarks! While I’m not a super designery type we really did enjoy re-inventing this space! it is an on going project …..
    To our surprise the tenant we inherited when we bought the building painted all 30 feet of the brick in the apartment that we had hoped to one day reside in. When we finally took over the floor we knew we had to expose the brick again so it would match and flow into the brick arches at the end of the room that we were to re-build. We tried every form of peeler, remover, scraper, power water washer (don’t try this at home) -both friendly and not- until we realized that the only way to get that paint off was to sand it off with the help our friend Karl, a couple of power grinders and the patience to go brick by brick. We have not seen Karl since. No but really, it was a piece of work considering the size of the wall.

    Just prior to reading your question I was wondering when someone would ask about Happy! We love her name -it came from a family friend.

    The couch came from Gus Modern. I have to say I do like their furniture; its modern, reasonable, and very well made!

    The swinging chair! I saw and sat in the chair hanging in a friend’s back yard -it was there when she moved in. She gave it to me when she left. It is truly a great chair and a comfy design. While I thought it might be some exotic and fancy make, it turned out to be a limited run Ikea. Still in great shape after being outside for several years.

  • Love the wood cabinets in the kitchen. My husband, a carpenter, really liked exposed wood and as a recovering painted wood lover, I have come to appreciate it more and more. Love the whole house, looks like a great place to raise a family.

  • Lovely and cozy space! I’m a map and earth globe collector, so I couldn’t help but notice the globe lamp. Where is it from?

  • Happy’s room is perfect, love the windows that you added! I must say the painting by Hub’s Mother is so beautiful; clearly he comes from a long line of artists and clearly Frida and Happy are keeping with family tradition. I know nothing makes my children prouder than when they hang their art work on display!

  • My dad’s house is full of unpainted wood furniture that he and his father made. I grew up with wooden boats. I love wood. One day I will have an wood kitchen very much like yours; I’ve had it planned for years! Love it!

  • Chippy paint (LEAD?) plus little children = Scary!!

    Please (for your kids sake) have all that paint tested. My girlfriend is a school teacher who has to deal daily with the effects of lead paint on kids.

  • I love the sconces in the bedroom – could you tell me where they are from? It looks so lovely to have the light shining up.

  • Love the brick wall, it gives it an american loft look, very cool and very cosey.

  • I love this space. So earthy, warm and calming. I always appreciate a home that looks elegant yet lived in…especially with children. Beautiful.

  • I love the combination of exposed brick walls and wood kitchen. I’d love to sit in there with my morning coffee!