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

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