Ceramicist and jewelry designer Juliet Gorman and interaction designer Elliott Malkin live in a Brooklyn apartment that spans two floors, enabling the couple to feel like they’re living in a tree house. The building has a storied past — jazz musician Slide Hampton once lived in the building, and saxophone player Eric Dolphy supposedly composed “245” here. The couple tries to create the same sense of discovery with the objects in the apartment, which are mostly made by family members or purchased from Etsy artists. Everything has a story. Thanks, Juliet & Elliott! — Amy A.
Image above: Our landlords made crafty use of the space around the staircase by adding custom-built bookcases, which continue all the way upstairs to the ceiling of the next floor. Elliott’s mother, Roberta Malkin, is a visual artist, so when we moved in, we asked her to decorate the chalkboard surfaces in the apartment. Her painting and printmaking is woven throughout our apartment.
Image above: We love our sunny kitchen with its handmade touches. The main counter has a reclaimed marble top and doors comprised of old cabinets. The light fixture is made from a vintage glass jug; our landlord sliced the bottom off and used it elsewhere in the apartment for a port window. I’ve had those kitchen chairs for ten years and have recovered them many times. The current fabric I bought at Purl SoHo. The oil painting on the wall is by an old family friend, Eugene Gregan.
Image above: We are among the lucky few to have a working fireplace in New York. (You may be getting an idea why I almost fainted when I first viewed the apartment — quickly followed by flight into rental paperwork flurry.) We’ve hung one of Elliott’s mother’s oil paintings above it, which looks so beautiful to me against some favorite vessels I’ve made over the years. The painting is flanked by a beloved still life by my grandmother and some amazing photographs that artist Douglas Gayeton gave me years ago after we collaborated on a project. His book on the slow food way of life in Italy is definitely worth checking out. Once we moved in, we scored gorgeous rugs and a super comfortable arm chair at great prices at ABC Carpet’s Bronx outlet. The chandelier is from Jonathan Adler.
Image above: The bed — a shrine to linens! Hanging the flag above the bed was just a whim — neither of us is particularly patriotic, but I guess we pledge allegiance to vintage textiles. I picked up the flag and the beautiful vintage crazy quilt at 10 Ft. Single in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The bedspread came into my life after a particularly obsessive search for reproduction linens, which led me to the UK’s Antique Designs. The throw pillow is a beauty from Lena Corwin.
Image above: Before I picked up pottery, I was a textiles girl all the way, and I still quilt. So I couldn’t resist recovering our Room and Board couch’s seat cushions in a vintage fabric. The pillow is from the lovely people at Etsy’s Sukan shop.
Image above: We aren’t big planners when it comes to laying out a salon wall. We kind of just go for it. In this case, we mixed old photos of my family (my grandmother was an opera singer who took many beautiful formal portraits) with Elliott’s mother’s old woodblock prints and other pieces we’ve accumulated. My absolute favorite piece is the handmade doll by the divinely inspired Mimi Kirchner. Mimi overdyes toile fabric to approximate tattooed skin.
Image above: Above our upstairs (non-working) fireplace we hung a watercolor that is very special to me — a gift from Elliott on my 30th birthday. It’s by the talented and kind Bella Foster and inspired by a spread in World of Interiors, the magazine that I will go to my grave subscribing to. Working off Bella’s watercolor, we hung some mobiles we’ve collected over the years as well as vintage teacups I picked up on Etsy.
Image above: Hanging on this wall is another absolute favorite from Elliott’s mother. I love how it mixes with the little ceramic tumbler I bought from Stefanie Scheier in Berlin and our hammered zinc dresser. My house is my studio, so Elliott puts up with random beaded necklaces strewn everywhere.
Image above: My mom was a potter years ago; in fact, she studied at the same historic school as me, Greenwich House Pottery, so we display a few cherished pieces of hers along with my vessels.
Image above: I have a fantasy alternate life as lamp maker. My bedside lamp is the very first that I realized from clay blob to shade (out of a Liberty fabric). Since then, I’ve made a few more and daydream about doing a line someday. If anyone knows who made the lamp in Tiny Furniture, let me know! I am lusting after it. After deluding ourselves about mirrored bed tables on 1stDibs, we settled for a pair from Target that work just fine — if I don’t think too much about how they were produced.
Image above: One of the ingenious space solutions our landlords devised was to build a sleeping platform/desk above the downstairs bathroom, midway up the ascent on the staircase. I’m perched on that stool as I write this!