Interiorssneak peeks

A Textile-Inspired Design in Williamsburg

by Amy Azzarito

DesignSponge SneakPeek
When textile designer Amira Marion and husband Pierre Carpentier moved back to New York after living in Paris for a couple of years, they rented a room in the apartment of an interior decorator from Airbnb while they apartment hunted in Brooklyn. They fell in love with the building’s high ceilings, whitewashed exposed brick and great light, so they got in touch with the building manager and learned that the owner had one apartment available in another building he owned. Luckily for the couple, the layout was exactly the same. They had lived in Williamsburg before and really loved the neighborhood so it was a perfect fit. Amira says that she’s done her fair share of apartment hunting in New York and knew when to pounce. This one has a dishwasher, a roof with a great view, laundry in the building and they’re half a block from the subway! Once the lease was signed, it was time to begin decorating. As a textile designer for her company, Archive New York, Amira was excited to splash her own textiles all over the apartment, which meant that she had to make careful choices on the furniture’s color palette to ensure that she could change the throws, pillows or artwork whenever she wanted. And because she works from home many days a week, she wanted to make sure that things were relatively uncluttered. Two years later, it’s a bright, colorful space perfect for the ever-changing array of textiles that Amira brings home from work or travels. –Amy

Photography by Gabriel Frye-Behar

Image above: “The 1960s wall hanging from San Mateo Ixtatán, Guatemala is one of my favorite textiles I own,” says Amira. “It’s completely hand embroidered and has such a beautiful color palette. The fruit bowls are French antiques from the 1800s. I spent a lot of time souring the fleas and eBay while I lived in Paris, searching for anything from the collection ‘Flora’ by Creil-Montereau. They have the most perfect blue/white floral motif.”



See more of this Brooklyn apartment after the jump!

Image above: “Living room, dining room, office, art studio. This room is where I spend most of my time!”

Image above:  “I upholstered this chair myself for the photo shoot of my collection. The mint polka dot fabric is a reproduction of an antique textile from Tactic, Guatemala. I’m currently working with that village to remake this textile, woven in the traditional way along with a few other traditional designs for my next collection. The metal side table was my grandmother’s growing up. The pillows are from my collection and handwoven in in Guatemala. They match everything!”

Image above: “Our living room feels fresh and airy in the summer and super cozy in the winter. We have so many blankets and pillows it makes a great place to camp out and watch movies. The painting on the left my mom painted for an art class when she was 16. She thinks it’s absurd that I have it on my wall, but I love it!”

Image above:  “I love our dining room table. It’s big enough to draft patterns and cut fabric or have up to 10 people over for dinner. It also has a cool surfboard-like shape.”


Image above: “Our coffee table houses some of my most prized pottery. The blue dishes (used as coasters) my grandmother brought back from Mexico in the 1940s.”

Image above: “This is another chair I upholstered for a photo shoot using textiles from my collection. It was a huge project for just one photo, but in the end I’m very happy to have some unique pieces for my apartment.”

Image above:  “We searched for over a year for a perfect kitchen hutch. We finally found this beautiful 1920s French piece at an antique store in New Jersey.”

Image above: “Our bedroom is tiny without any windows so we don’t hang out in here except for sleeping. However, I will say with the lack of sunlight we sleep really well. Our bedspread is a Moroccan wedding blanket from my friend Katharine’s collection Kahina Giving Beauty. The poster is of one of my favorite movies, The Long Goodbye.”

Image above: “I have so many antique Guatemalan fabrics. Here is a little sampling! Ideally I want to recreate all of them either in printed form or even better – with the village where they originated using their traditional weaving techniques.”

Source List
Couch, kitchen table and (light grey) chairs: CB2
Mirror over the couch: Junk in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Coffee table: Etsy store Scott Cassin
Rug: RugsUSA
Black side table with attached lamp: Brooklyn flea
Pot rack: Crate & Barrel
Spice rack: This is a picture frame ledge from West Elm.
Bed: Malm bed from IKEA
Nightstand table: West Elm
Pillows: Archive NY

Everything else: Vintage/antique flea market/eBay/estate sale/antique store finds!

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  • Beautiful! Keep these textile posts coming! One can never have enough artisan-made textiles in the home, especially from Mexico & Guatemala…A mi me encantan!

  • I love everything about this space! I’m currently looking for a chair similar to the ones she reupholstered for my photography studio. Can anyone enlightened me as to what keywords to use when surfing the net? I really like that they look Regal but not too bulky (i.e.: you can see some wood on the armrests). Any tips appreciated!

  • I love this tour and the textiles. The bedroom photo ended up dampening the joy a little though. It’s described as windowless and dark – yet the photo is full of bright, natural looking light. It’s a reminder how staged the photo is, and how, as the site has become more sleek over the years, the Sneak Peek photos we see here in all likelihood don’t accurately represent the spaces if you actually inhabited them (see also: the sporadic complaints about too many vignettes and not enough spacial relationship photos. or props moving around calculatedly between different photos). Sneak Peek inherently implies by the word choice that we’re getting spontaneous peeks into people’s real lives and spaces. This is impossible, of course, as every single one of us has the completely human compulsion to get picture worthy before photos and therefore cannot deny that privilege to others. But while I appreciate that staging makes for beautiful, inspirational photos that are imminently pinnable, it’s nice not to have the veil torn away by incongruences.

  • this is wonderful. What is the fabric on the chair in pix six. It says it’s from your collection. I looked on the website but didn’t see it….do you sell your fabric?

  • Beautiful! I always wonder how you wash those Moroccan blanketswith all the sequins attached though!?

  • @Lindsey — I had the opposite reaction to the bedroom photo. Having lived in an apartment with a windowless bedroom, there’s something about the quality of light in those spaces that’s pretty unmistakeable. I knew before reading the caption what was going on. And of course, if your bedroom doesn’t have windows, you’d want bright overhead lighting for times you need to clean, organize, etc. I commend their honesty here in sharing the part of their home that they’re less-than-thrilled with.

  • So in love with the reupholstered chairs! I never would have imagined the mint green with polka dots would be a Guatemalan fabric. The huipil wall-hanging over the dining room table is just breath-taking. ¡Beautiful work!