I’ve been obsessed with teeny, tiny jewelry lately — pieces you can wear all the time and never take off. At the top of my wish list is Iwona Ludyga’s tiny skully bracelet. While I save my pennies for a splurge purchase, I thought the second best thing to new bling would be a peek behind the curtain to see where all that covetable jewelry is made. Six years ago, Iwona and Mike Mazor gut renovated an old Brooklyn apartment to create a home with a floor plan that would work for themselves and their growing family — their now six-year-old daughter, Willow, and cats, Rocco and Elvis. They used space from the backyard to add a living room, moved the bedroom to the back where it faces the garden, made space for Iwona’s studio (and added faux arches for the window) and created Willow’s room. Having a private backyard is a luxury in New York, and the family makes the most of it, no matter what the weather. In the winter, they sled down to the lower level of the garden and make snow angels. In the summer, when they’re not outside, the sliding doors are always open to let the breeze through. Thank you, Iwona and Mike! And a big thanks to Anne-Claire Rohé for the lovely photos. — Amy Azzarito
Image above: This is one of my paintings from the series “painting in a day.” Painting is my old passion, which awakens from time to time. With a busy schedule and a lack of proper space, I usually just go for it and paint something in one day in the garden. It dries on the wall. This one is my latest creation. We needed something big to fill the open space that would match the color palette. It was a lot of fun to do! We used Benjamin Moore “Designer White” paint throughout the house.
Image above: This little corner, which is the second work station in the studio, is decorated with a painting we found rolled up in a garbage can while walking home one night. I wish we knew who painted it.
See more of Iwona and Mike’s home after the jump . . .
Image above: Our living room with a Togo sofa. Felted pillows were made by a local designer. We found them at Artists and Fleas in Williamsburg.
Image above: Here is Elvis in his favorite spot — a great place to relax and watch the snow fall.
Image above: I guess we could call this a memory wall. Little trinkets, precious finds, rocks and personal treasures. The horse in the center was a gift from my brother in Poland. In the evening when all the candles are lit, the room fills up with a beautiful warm light.
Image above: My work area. This desk has been with me longer than I can remember. We used to use it as our dining table. The Cherner chair and stained glass window were bought on eBay. I found the big red letter “I” at the Brooklyn Flea. The burning heart above the “I” came from a trip to Mexico and eventually became my logo.
Image above: My latest jewelry lines are derived from Native American and African cultures. Since I work from home, I like to surround myself with inspirational pieces. I have started collecting skulls and vintage arrows, which also get used in my displays for shows and photo shoots.
Image above: This is the main work table where jewelry gets made. It is usually a crowded and very busy spot. Accents of my daughter’s art are everywhere.
Image above: I’m a huge fan of Tamar Mogendorff, who made this red coral piece. I truly appreciate the incredible artistry, romanticism and fantasy in her work.
Image above: Our dining area: The white painting by Waylon Tait was bought recently during the open studio tour in Gowanus. We walked into Waylon’s studio and immediately fell in love with this piece. It’s comb and brush strokes on a Mylar backing. When the pendant light is on, it casts beautiful red hues on the painting. The table is from West Elm, and the chairs are Calligaris.
Image above: One of our two watercolors by Anne-Claire Rohé. We are beach people and collect rocks, coral and crabs or whatever Willow’s hands can hold.
Image above: View of our dining and kitchen area.
Image above: The hallway that leads to my studio. The two smaller paintings are from an “amateur” art fair in Poland. The large one is from NY artist Noah Landfield. The mirror was purchased on a whim while walking in Park Slope, and the table was commissioned from a flea market vendor who uses reclaimed wood. The skull was my latest find from the Brooklyn Flea.
Image above: Our simple and tranquil bedroom. The puzzle lamp was purchased in Santa Cruz, CA. Behind the curtains, French doors lead to the garden.
Image above: A few pieces from my new collection. The colors are inspired by the island of Mykonos, an old memory from a trip to Greece. I used beautiful shades of sequins that create interesting silky textures. Beads and stones are mixed with gold accents and silk tassels to invoke a Mediterranean spirit.
Image above: All the doors in our apartment are eight feet tall and stained mahogany. The Bon Bon pony bag is from my friend Melissa, who’s a designer and owner of Meli Melo. Chair from Ikea.
Image above: View of the garden in the winter.