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Interiorssneak peeks

sneak peek: brin reinhardt & nathan ursch of breuckelen berber

by Shannon Grant


Furniture industry veterans Brin Reinhardt and Nathan Ursch have lived for two years in their Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, home, which is outfitted with decor and furnishings that exemplify their modern and eclectic tastes. Like many of the pieces they own, the space has a lot of history, having been a former sand factory in the early 1900s. The rustic wood ceilings and exposed pipes and brick are the perfect backdrop for their collected vintage finds and more modern pieces. Brin and Nathan are co-founders of Breuckelen Berber, which offers a carefully curated selection of vintage carpets from the Berber tribes of Morocco. Their aim is to connect the rich history of the rugs’ origins and patterns with today’s modern interiors. Thank you, Brin and Nathan, and thanks to Ian Tong Photography (and Nathan!) for the photos! — Shannon

Image above: We salvaged this vintage toy pedal Vespa from an antique shop in Maine. We go there every summer, and it never seems to fail that every time we come home with loads of things we can’t seem to live without, despite our agreement to come home empty handed. We love its color and patina, and it somehow filled the void left from selling my vintage 1960s Vespa a few years ago. It’s parked in front of our favorite Brooklyn Flea find, an Italian teak bar cart designed by Ico Parisi. The mid-century painting is unsigned and was a steal at auction for $25.


Image above: Our dining area is furnished with a lot of Jean Prouvé from Vitra — an EM table, Standard Chairs, and Rayonnage Mural bookcase. Too much Prouvé perhaps, but we both love his industrial aesthetic and don’t think we’ll ever grow tired of it. The tambour credenza was an eBay find from Pastoe, a company from the Netherlands. It’s one of our favorite more current pieces. Art and accessories include a vintage kinetic sculpture, a mounted Eames plywood leg splint, a pair of vases from ENO, a collection of bulls in various mediums, some vintage chemistry lab glasses, and a few Japanese Ikebana vases from the ’50s. Though the suspended Artichoke lamp is so recognizable, we still appreciate its form and the way it emits light. And it was the right price, essentially a bonus at no charge from one of our former jobs.

See more of Brin and Nathan’s Brooklyn home after the jump . . .


Image above: The built-in shelves in our living area house everything from books to decorative objects to extra linens and clothing. I don’t know what we’d do without it. The biomorphic coffee table from Lane I purchased back in my college days from an antique shop for a song. It’s moved with me to every apartment I’ve lived in ever since, and I don’t think we’ll ever part with it. A classic Swan chair by Arne Jacobsen is our cat’s favorite place to sleep (smart cat!), under the warmth of the Parentesi lamp from Flos. The blond planter near the window is vintage and does a nice job of hiding the radiator.


Image above: Our living area, grounded by one of our vintage Beni Ourain carpets, is where we spend most of our time when we’re home. Our sofa is by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso, upholstered in alpaca velvet. It is ridiculously comfortable and was a very worthwhile investment. We both love interesting lighting and like to have several options in a space to adjust according to task and mood. A glimpse of the wall-mounted Mod 265 lamp is shown here; it’s both functional and attractive, having a kinetic sculptural quality. A Biagio lamp designed by Tobia Scarpa is perched on an Eames storage unit. Biagio is one of our favorite objects — it transforms a cold, hard piece of marble into an incredibly beautiful form and has a very soft quality when lit. It’s perfection.


Image above: An iconic Olivetti Valentine typewriter by Ettore Sottsass adorns our bookshelf. Nathan gave it to me a few years ago, and it is to date the best Valentine’s Day gift ever.

Image above: This Arcosanti bell by Paolo Soleri is one of the largest we’ve seen. We spotted it in an antique shop in San Francisco and didn’t think twice about buying it the second we saw and heard it. When it catches the breeze, its low, soothing chime permeates the apartment. It’s wonderful.


Image above: Our vintage speaker cabinet, designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller, disguises our modern sound system. We just love its original textile grill front. More finds from Maine above include another unsigned abstract modern painting and some mid-century pottery pieces, alongside one of several Noguchi lamps in the apartment. We’re sort of addicted to them. The ladder accesses a small loft area above — a perfect spot where we store some of our carpet inventory.


Image above: Thanks to Erie Basin in Red Hook, I discovered this strange genre of vintage fur-covered animal figures. They are both awesome and creepy at the same time. Here are some cats, but the rest of Noah’s ark is here, too (bull, giraffe, camel, and horned critters included). They became a bit of an uncontrollable obsession last year.

Image above: Our bedroom is on the smaller side, but it’s comfortable and cheerful. The neon “S” has no personal significance; we just love its form and colors, plus it works! Other lighting includes some new LED lamps from the Bouroullecs for Flos. They’re great — they use very little energy, the LEDs last forever, and they’re the most delicious shade of green. Artwork in our bedroom includes a DIY textile panel stretched on a frame (it’s a Sarah Morris design for Maharam), antique paper mache taxidermy molds, and a mid-century painting by Frederic Varady. Our maple vintage dressers are by Paul McCobb.


Image above: My Danish teak vanity partnered with an early Arne Jacobsen stool. You can’t see the top of the vanity here, but it’s black glass with a green and yellow geometric pattern that just makes the piece. Underfoot is another one of our Moroccan carpets; this one is from the Azilal tribe, woven in the 1950s. We love its simplicity and warm patina.


Image above: One of several groupings of vases, combining old and new. We love to have lots of different shapes and colors on hand for flowers and branches.


Image above: Our kitchen is always the center of every party we host. One of our Boucherouite carpets adds a punch of color to the walnut and stainless finishes. Nathan loves to cook. This kitchen is well designed and a joy to work in. More vases above include some Russel Wright ceramic and spun aluminum pieces. Our espresso machine is always working overtime. We also have several vintage Italian stovetop models. They embody what great Italian design and engineering is all about.


Image above: A glimpse of the bathroom, with some old Deco medical jars and a first-aid cabinet from a ship. A mid-century gouache coincidentally matches the paint color just perfectly. I love my baths, and this apartment has a tub that makes me smile.


Image above: Our entryway, where our cats Charles and Ray (that’s her) are always waiting to welcome. An industrial shoe rack was a score for $100. It holds our shoes, bags, scarves, etc., and actually makes the “stuff” attractive to look at. The Deco party masks were found on Etsy and framed, and the Grand Prix Jacobsen chair was hunted down at the Brooklyn Flea.


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