Interiorssneak peeks

Sneak Peek: Adrienne Antonson of STATE

by Amy Azzarito

Artist and designer Adrienne Antonson and her husband, Kevin Murphy, have lived in four states in the last three years, so they’ve become experts at quickly setting up a home. They’ve lived in this South Park Slope, Brooklyn, apartment for 11 months and have just renewed their lease for another year, which will make this the longest they’ve ever been in a place. Adrienne loves the minimal look and feel, as she’s constantly struggling with the chaos of stuff — something to which every designer or crafter can relate. Adrienne makes clothing under the label STATE, a women’s line made from sustainable materials and natural fibers. She runs the line out of her home, so there are odd collections, clotheslines bisecting rooms, dye pots hidden under tables and paintbrushes in the sink. It’s a far cry from their last space on Vashon Island, Washington, off the coast of Seattle. The couple was living on an alpaca farm where Adrienne managed a herd of 50 alpacas and began felting with their fleece, an experience that has become a large part of her work. Thanks so much, Adrienne and Kevin. And thanks to Isabelle Selby for the lovely photos! — Amy Azzarito

Image above: This room was originally our living room. But it gets the best light in the house, so I had to sit Kevin down one night and break the news: studio-takeover. (It eventually happens in every house!) The long strip on the wall is a metallic snakeskin that I found at a thrift shop on Vashon Island, WA, when we lived there. It was the first piece I hung on the wall in my studio, and it set the tone for the shape of my wall collection, which keeps growing . . .

Image above: I had been wanting a floor lamp for some time. When unpacking here in Brooklyn, it occurred to me to merge my wooden tripod with this hanging farm pendant. I attached them with a zip tie! The vintage couch is a Craigslist score from Vashon Island, and I’ve just wrapped the bottom cushions with a great old rug. I felted the white rug from alpaca while living on the farm. The chevron blanket was a wedding gift from NuBe Green and matches our wedding invites. The painting of love bugs is a piece of mine from college.

See more of Adrienne’s Brooklyn home after the jump . . .

Image above: We recently decided to stay in this apartment for another year (making this the longest we’ve ever lived anywhere!), so I’m finally letting myself invest a little more than I normally do and do some fixing up! I recently took off the unattractive cabinet doors, and it made the kitchen a million times better.

Image above: What I love about this is that the radiator heats up the pots for you. They’re already nice and toasty when you put them on the stove! My mom gave me the unusual antique hammer from the amazing Seattle shop Souvenir the night I had a show there. It’s the only hammer I have, and I use it all the time.

Image above: No matter how small my studio is, I always have a thinking chair. As you can see, Magda does most of the thinking. The vintage armchair matches our couch, the rug is another felted alpaca piece from my farm days and the gilt mirror is a family antique.

Image above: I treated myself to this new (antique) industrial Singer machine for my 30th birthday. I made the thread storage stand in the corner from a long sturdy stick and wire, and my husband’s grandma, Nana Margie, made this chair!

Image above: Inspired by a pattern I painted on a tape dispenser one night, I painted this pattern on the bathroom walls the next day. It’s a tiny room, and I love how the design wraps from wall to wall. I hope my landlord does not read Design*Sponge. The tiny metal bull was a wedding gift from a bachelor friend.

Image above: This is the strangest and most interesting part of our apartment. It’s a windowed-off skylight shaft in the middle of the railroad layout. It was a mess when we moved in, so I climbed in and totally cleaned it out. When my mom came to visit, we got some lumber and built a tall table in it by leaning inside the windows. It’s now my “greenhouse” and was the reason I started collecting plants for the apartment, which you can see have spread throughout! 

Image above: The wall hanging is felted alpaca from the herd I used to work with. The wooden stump is a treasure box my parents made. It has little drawers and is where I keep some jewelry.

Image above: Our bedroom is always a white/neutral palette. The rest of our house can get chaotic and wild sometimes, and I love keeping the bedroom minimal and light. Those are some of my insects above the bed in shadow boxes made by my folks.

Image above: This is our ancestor wall. It’s a gathering of old family photos and relics. The tiny boots were Kevin’s favorite pair from when he was 5! The golden party banner that reads “No Time to Lose” is by contemporary artist Lisa Iglesias, and the painting on the table is by Helen Rice, both talented friends of ours.

Image above: I made Kevin and I “Husband” and “Wife” trophies after our wedding. Now they collect our accessories.

Image above: Our house is constantly moving around, so I prefer fixtures with wheels! I laid out the studio so I could easily clear a wall for photoshoots.

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  • I love the way you could make a house your home and also work from there! We’re also move a lot and we attach to every place as our home. Thanks for share this.

  • If you landlord DOES read design*sponge then he’s sure to appreciate the wonderful things you’ve done to this apartment, so I think you’re safe! :)

  • Husband and Wife trophies are brilliant! Your place has a calm and relaxed but fun vibe, thanks!

  • What a wonderful home you got. I love it and I guess all your visitors too. Your landlord, I guess, would love the way you made his flat into such a wonderful, warm and welcoming place. He can be greatful to have you as his lodgers.

  • I would think too that your landlord would be thrilled to see this apt on Design Sponge!
    You have, quite simply, made it a whole hell of a lot easier for him to rent after you move out.

    It’s famous now:)

    Lovely job- so very personal!

  • Love your studio workspace! It really lets you breath. Where did you get that desk? I’ve been trying to put my own studio together and love the minimal simplicity of it.

  • I love how you’ve incorporated the elements needed for your business into a very livable space (& that you lived on a Vashon Island alpaca farm. I live in Washington & have just discovered how wonderful alpaca wool can be while making myself a camera bag. Hmm…). Thank you for sharing this space.

  • Such smart ways to minimize some of those typical Brooklyn rental features (we have THE SAME cabinets, counters, and bathroom tile!) while maximizing style.

  • Oh, I knew I would love your place. The design and the soul are pure inspiration. Mom sends her congratulations. Me too. Gorgeous.

  • How did you hang your pots on your wall? I’m renting and trying to do the same thing right now… your pots turned up in my search. Did you just use nails or screws or something else? I don’t want to make my landlord angry but really want to hang them up individually!

  • I love the insects and natural science elements in your space. Your folks made those specimen frames above the bed? I adore them. I have an extensive collection and even paint them on large and colorful canvases. Nice to see a bug lover with a beautiful space.