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Interiors

Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space

by Annie Werbler

Her handcrafted aesthetic doesn’t lend itself easily to a modern condominium, but jewelry designer — and founder of Rebel & Quill — Caroline Kim layers on the nostalgia through timeworn decoration. When she and set builder husband Jason Rodrigues moved into this airy, one-bedroom Williamsburg, Brooklyn home six years ago, infant daughter Milo wasn’t yet part of the family. Caroline was, at that time, focused on her jewelry line, making pieces from wax carvings using metalsmithing techniques. Today, Caroline’s vision has expanded to include functional brass housewares forged in much the same manner, with the goal of creating practical home decor and positive energy for the people who receive them.

Though Milo brings much joy to the place, it’s hard enough finding space for two people’s belongings in the apartment’s limited closet space, let alone her baby gear. Caroline and Jason got creative with organized wardrobe closets stuffed to the brim, where they keep most of their shoes, heavy coats, household supplies, and extra blankets. And because the large windows mean brilliant sunlight but also cold winters, the couple wanted to make the home not just child-friendly, but also cozy. Caroline’s collections of ceramics, home decor, and furniture contribute to the cushy vibe, but drawing a distinction between decorated and cluttered has proven difficult in a small condo. We prefer to look at it on the bright side — Caroline gets to have all the people and things she loves within arm’s reach. —Annie

Photography by Camilo Fuentealba

Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
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In the main living area, Caroline Kim and Jason Rodrigues use a small dining table and two chairs from Luddite in Greenpoint to save space. The couple hangs plants by the large windows with the best lighting in the home.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
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The warm tones in the Urban Outfitters upholstered chair, mid-century vintage tallboy from Adaptations Greenpoint, and Etsy rug play off one another.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
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Chunky textures in a 60s macrame wallhanging and vintage ceramic pendant lamp.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
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Most of the furniture in the joint living-dining space is vintage or antique, save for the coffee table and couch from West Elm.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
5/23
Caroline Kim plays with baby girl Milo, who loves her red Schoenhut piano.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
6/23
High ceilings and open windows on the building's top floor allow Caroline to conveniently store her bike in vertical space. The wall art is from the early 70s and was bought at the Fort Greene Flea.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
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Handmade textiles soften the apartment's sleek finishes.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
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A vintage stepladder from Brimfield Antique Fair is always on hand for access to the kitchen's taller storage.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
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A wall rack hangs copper pots and pans due to limited cabinet space. Jenny Pennywood tea towels and a Nalata Nalata linen mitt join the array.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
10/23
Serious kitchen gear includes a Chemex coffee maker, Bellocq teas and brass tea strainer, and cups with wooden lids from Hasami in Japan.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
11/23
Because Caroline comes from California, she loves sourcing things from makers in her homestate. The boob pillow cases come from Gravel & Gold in San Francisco. On the shelf above the bed, Caroline keeps some of her ceramics collection stocked with plants.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
12/23
The bed and shelves above with a weaving by Brooklyn artist Maryanne Moodie.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
13/23
Detail of the Maryanne Moodie wallhanging, which Caroline originally carried in her Rebel & Quill webshop but ended up keeping for herself. The brass key rack holder will be offered as part of an upcoming home decor line.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
14/23
The round metal shelf in the bedroom displays more pieces from Caroline's collection of ceramics above her vanity dresser.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
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Boob ceramic by Object & Totem, figurines from Heidi Anderson Studio, are displayed beside a Heather Levine Ceramics wallhanging.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
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Some more favorite ceramics and beauty items perched on an antique lace runner include a moon object from Bailey Doesn't Bark.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
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Caroline traded a ring from one of her collections with Jess Feury for one of her weavings, and it stands as "the best exchange from one artist to another."
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
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Milo has a designated little corner by the closet for her mini crib, colorful vintage Moroccan rug, and fun woolen animal heads from Michele Varian.
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Modern materials are given a personal touch with decorative storage additions to the bathroom.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
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Detail of the bathroom vanity sink with mirrored trays from Etsy and a Catbird soap dish.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
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Old crates from the Brooklyn Flea function as extra shelving in the bathroom. The dried flowers are from Caroline and Jason's wedding day.
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
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"What I love most about my home is that it isn't perfect - like me!" - Caroline Kim
Forging Their Own History in a Contemporary Space, on Design*Sponge
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The layout of Caroline and Jason's one-bedroom Williamsburg condo home.

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