Sarah Bedford is a painter who grew up on a ranch in Montana with dusty antiques and family heirlooms stashed in trunks. Her sensibility leans toward “more is more.” Alan Hill grew up in a 70s Los Angeles contemporary with Herman Miller and Danish modern designs. He runs a graphic design firm in New York, so his aesthetic is usually less is more. Over the years, they’ve honed their mutual tastes and modest budget to some folksy flea-market finds mixed with well-designed pieces by Wegner, Moller, Larsen, Widdicomb, Miller, Knoll, and others. For their home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, there was no master plan, just the general goal of creating a space that felt open and airy. Thanks, Sarah and Alan! — Amy A.
After a decade in Manhattan, we longed for more space and no co-op board! Luckily we saw this house listed over Thanksgiving weekend, and it was love at first sight — we pounced. Its previous owner had bought it in the 70s from the Little Sisters of the Poor, and had lovingly upgraded the house in a minimal, historic way. They re-lined three of the six fireplaces — bless them — and the day they were moving out, [they] suggested a paint color for the living room — a greenish-gray Benjamin Moore hue “November Rain,” which we still have on the walls. Over time, we re-plastered the walls, sanded the old pine floors and restored the original bedrooms upstairs. A few years later, we got to the kitchen and later still, the study.
Photo: Amy Barkow
Image above: The dining room tends to be the epicenter of our household — from newspapers, homework and loitering cats to large dinner parties where everyone congregates. That said, we decided to downplay the heavy baroque element of the chandelier (left by the previous owner) and large marble fireplace by going with modern furnishings and consolidating a lot of artwork by various friends on one wall. By sheer luck, we found six near-perfect Moller chairs at a store around the corner in Greenpoint (sadly, it has since moved). Table from Room and Board; platter from Pip-squeak Chapeau; rosewood sideboard by Ib Kofod-Larsen. That was a piece I had been tying to find for years and had shipped from Washington, DC. Crocheted “snow ball” sculptures are actually covered rocks by my sculptor friend Stephanie Syjuco; assorted ceramic mushrooms and feathers are my own. Artwork on the wall: my own as well as artists listed/linked above, including Tom Burckhardt, Kate Shepherd, Mark Grotjahn, Amy Barkow and Sebastian Bremer.
Image above: [We] renovated the kitchen and decided to keep it small rather than cut into the dining room. [We] found the stove locally — an Italian brand called Bertazzoni that looks amazing but seems to have no manual and kind of feels like it will burn the house down. Color — went for gray, as it goes with everything. Madeline Weinrib rug. Um Project milking stool.
Image above: Our son’s play room. My old Herman Miller desk, Knoll chair and Ikea stool. Giant poster for Del Monte Round-up was a Mother’s Day gift from my husband and a play on the word “Roundup,” which is the name of a town close to where I grew up in Montana.
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Image above: I remember when we first saw the house, I was so excited that this fantastic 19th-century cupboard still existed in the kitchen. Later on, we discovered a section of the marble buried in the back yard that happened to be the missing part of the counter. We were able to restore missing parts with shelves.
Image above: Our daughter’s room. Old rope bed bought for $10 and re-made to function. Artwork is mine. Mustache bunny from Kid Robot. Tord Boontj garland around lamp.
Image above: On the master bedroom mantle — primitive soapstone heads found in a junk shop in Montana. Black Forest cuckoo clock face/frame, assorted beads.
Image above: I had been searching for these Hans Wegner chairs for some time and finally discovered them on Rivington Street — really comfortable, even though they appear otherwise. Sheepskin from Ikea; couch Knoll reproduction from Cite; rug from ABC. Chrome lamp is from Restoration Hardware; the taller floor lamp is from Mitchell Gold. Plus miscellaneous flea market tables.
Image above: Handywoman special! Though the wood mantle existed, the previous fireplace was covered up with drywall — I found the metal surround at a salvage place in Clinton Hill and did the tiling. Wegner chair; teak side table; antler candlesticks from Golden Calf. Painting from the 1930s of Longs Peak in Colorado by a local ranger, found on a vacation there a few years back.
Image above: Back entry to the garden. Auction painting of (slightly Scandinavian) matron reminds me of a nurse and has loomed over various rooms over the course of our marriage. Cupboard and chair from tag sale.
Image above: Work desk downstairs. I try to keep this table (from Moon River Chattel) free of clutter for about an hour a day; otherwise, it’s piled high with art materials. Photos of children by friend Josephine Schiele.
Image above: Boy’s room. If I could go every year with a big truck, I would do Renningers Kutztown Extravaganza (sometimes the best bargains are to be had the last two hours.) For example, this fold-down English brass bed was bought for a song. Assorted other items: artwork above chest was a wedding gift from my friend Mark Grotjahn; snowman picture is actually a two-sided teaching diagram from Canada; hanging modern lamp (can’t remember who designed it!); rug by Madeline Weinrib.
Image above: My desktop (though now against a wall). Grandmother’s brass letterbox; children’s art is always great to look at for inspiration; bronze figs and ceramic flowers are some of the things I’m working on right now; paper pile of collage stuff.
Image above: Daughter’s room. Ikea chair and floor lamp; some hand-me-down red metal chairs from friends; giant fur bean bag from PBTeen. Artwork on mantel: portrait of a girl by my friend Julia Warr; larger print behind by my friend Maki Tamura; tree vase from Golden Calf; and other art on the wall is mine.
Image above: Master bedroom with sweet nook. Bed from Room and Board; Euro pillow linens from Pip-Squeak Chapeau; lamps from Pottery Barn; rug from Carini Lange; and antique side tables found out and about.