A Global Art Exhibition at Home in Brooklyn

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Peering out across the street from Nasozi Kakembo and seven-year-old son Rafayonda Kalungi’s top-floor apartment just so happens to offer a view of the high school attended by entertainer Lena Horne. Though it’s not yet of much significance to her young child, Nasozi cherishes the daily reminder of her Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn neighborhood’s historical significance. With a background in architecture, art history, and urban planning, Nasozi is the creative director of her own home textile company xnasozi. “My work is influenced in equal parts by my Ugandan heritage and my American upbringing and education,” she shares. Nasozi has called the borough home for a decade, and this apartment hers for seven-and-a-half of those years. Having traveled widely throughout the world, she relishes learning about the many cultures around her, proud to live in “Brooklyn, home to one of the highest concentrations of ethnic diversity in the world.” However luckily within that vast local population, Nasozi quickly discovered a cousin just blocks away, and with that revelation came many new friends. “It felt so good living in a community that was so culturally vibrant and proud,” she adds. “This has always been home in New York and I know most of my neighbors, young and old.”

Having lived in her place for a relatively long time (by city standards), Nasozi has had ample opportunity to tease out how best the space works for her. The current living room had been, until more recently, functioning well enough as her bedroom. Many of the home’s nooks and crannies need to serve new purposes for a growing kid, and most areas do double duty. Upon closer inspection, almost all of the decorative elements in the home are functional in practical ways, too. “It’s also really important to me to have images and reminders of our family and heritage around the home, mainly for the benefit of my son,” Nasozi says.”Living in one of the most global cities in the world doesn’t inherently dictate a global and empathetic worldview, but that is what I am trying to foster in him every step of the way… My home is basically a rotating art exhibition.” Over time, Nasozi has collected many heirloom and otherwise special pieces from family, amassed a collection of photographs of her travels, and thoughtfully displayed these treasures around the home. “That is one thing I love the most about living in a small space. It forces you to live simpler and more deliberately.” —Annie

Photography by Nasozi Kakembo

  1. oltyrrell says:

    Such a sweet family feel to your space! Great to be surrounded by all that beauty and art and coziness !

    1. Nasozi says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to check out our home :) Really appreciate your kind feedback!

  2. Keia says:

    This is beautiful! I always saw myself living in Brooklyn, in a home with such great original details and I LOVE the way that you have carefully and purposefully made use of the space. It looks warm and inviting, like an extremely pleasant and fun place to come into from the outside.

    1. Nasozi says:

      hi Keia! We really tried to make it feel like a “Brooklyn” home by honoring the legacy of the neighborhood. I’m glad you enjoyed our home :) It’s so pleasant to come home to that sometimes it’s hard to leave haha.

  3. Lindsay says:

    absolutely love it! so cozy

    1. Nasozi says:

      Thank you, Lindsay! It’s especially cozy on these snowy Brooklyn days like today! Glad you enjoyed the tour. Thank you for taking your time to check it out.

  4. George Quinn says:

    You can tell when a house has become a true home :) It looks cozy indeed. Is the staircase blocked, or it’s just because the way the picture was taken?

    1. Nasozi says:

      Thank you, George! It certainly is our cozy humble home. There are two small steps behind me that lead to the L-shaped landing of the stairs. So that’s where you enter ;-)

  5. Alex Chua says:

    This space feels real, inviting, and warm. A pleasure to see.

    1. Nasozi says:

      Thanks so much, Alex! Glad you enjoyed it.

  6. PhillyLass says:

    Love this place. And I adore the woven chair in the bedroom. Any info on where it’s from or where I can find something similar?

    1. Nasozi says:

      Thank you for taking a look at the tour! The chair is a Hans Wegner style rope chair (prob a reproduction). Originals and reproductions can be found on Craigslist, eBay or a vintage furniture dealer. I just did a quick Google search and plenty came up. This was a lucky curbside find for me. Good luck!

  7. Jessica says:

    YEAH! This place looks very charming and comfortable for sure! Love it :)

  8. Nasozi says:

    Thanks so much, Jessica :) Thank you for “taking a tour” of our home!

  9. Jackie Kakembo says:

    I love visiting my daughter and grandson’s home in Brooklyn.

    She has a remarkable knack for putting objects in a perfect spot to create just the right feel, which is all their own.

    I’m hoping she will give me some tips the next time she visits us in Maryland.

    1. Jackie Kakembo says:

      I love visiting my daughter and grandson’s home in Brooklyn.
      Nasozi has a remarkable knack for placing objects in the perfect spot to create just the right feel, which is all their own.
      I’m hoping she will give me some tips the next time she visits us in Maryland with Kalungi.

      1. Nasozi says:

        hahaha. thanks, Mum! a lot of the stuff is from you, anyway! I’m just recycling your style ;-)

        1. mom says:

          “what goes around, comes around”

  10. carlita says:

    I love the plants, and the art is special. My favorite, though, is the Mother’s Day note.

  11. lili says:

    Love, Love ,Love your space.
    I could feel the warmth.
    I too loved the Mother’s Day note.
    I also liked your shower curtain. Did you make it yourself?

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