Interiorssneak peeks

A Beachy Retreat in the Heart of Brooklyn

by Erin Curry

New York can be an unforgiving urban environment, so it’s important to have your own personal sanctuary that revives you and inspires you. Space is precious, so a home that soothes your worn-out soul and harnesses creative juices becomes paramount to surviving the busy city. When I first saw the pictures of Madison, Rob and Tess’ space, I took a deep breath in and exhaled out all my hurried thoughts. These were immediately replaced with the sound of waves in the distance, the green glow of thriving leafy plants, and calming watercolor patterns.

Both Madison and Tess work with textiles and met while finishing their undergrad program at Parsons. Their love for beautiful, tactile objects is prevalent throughout their Park Slope apartment. The carefully curated collection is highlighted by the warm sunlight leaking into every room — something the plants are quite content with. Rob, Madison’s boyfriend, is the resident green thumb and makes sure these guys are happy and healthy. “We tried to create a very lively feeling in our home. We played a lot with color and pattern and never stopped buying plants,” Madison says. “I think we were all a bit tired of living in dimly lit, cave-like apartments in Manhattan, so we tried to make this place as sunny as possible.” The cooling hues that dominate the home’s palette, combined with Rob’s surfboards and Tess and Madison’s earthy textile creations, make you feel as though you can smell the wet sand and salt water.

One very inspiring aspect of their home is how the three roommates choose to live in respect to the earth and its environment. “Collectively, I think the environment is at the forefront of our concern,” they share. “We have made it a point to reduce and reuse resources. We cook entirely vegan, we have made sure to set up a compost and recycling, we switched to green energy sources, we venture to the farmer’s market as much as possible and try to use all natural cleaning products. In a way, it makes our living more meaningful!” I hope you experience the same feeling of calm wash over you when touring their lovely home. —Erin

Photography by Erin Curry

Home tour with Madison Sterling for Design*Sponge
Madison and Rob's bedroom has a newly minted wall of wallpaper, featuring one of Madison's own designs from Eskayel's new Dalili collection. She splits her days between two amazing design houses: Eskayel and the weaving studio at Studio Four NYC. "I am definitely not someone who is afraid to go bold. I love balancing more graphic elements with other subdued pieces. Sometimes I am really overwhelmed by all of the amazing textiles I see at work. I want it all, which can make it difficult to settle on an aesthetic." She picked a pattern and colorway that was more on the subdued side, so it played well with all the other patterns and graphic elements in the space. One of her handmade woven wall hangings is suspended over the bed in a minimal DIY frame.
Home tour with Madison Sterling on Design*Sponge
Their bedroom sofa is upholstered in one of Madison's designs as well: "As part of my thesis, I collaborated with The Workroom Channel to reupholster an old couch with my own fabric, and it was awesome to see my work take on a third dimension." The surfboard hung high on the wall is one of many in Rob's collection. He is an avid surfer and when he's not working overnights as a nurse in the cardiac ICU, you can catch him on the beach early in the morning watching the waves.
Home tour with Madison Sterling on Design*Sponge
Another one of Rob's surfboards hangs above their thrifted vintage dresser with an equally vintage, perfectly worn coat of seafoam paint. Rob is responsible for all the thriving plants in the apartment. He has a particular fondness for the citrus tree growing in their bedroom; he has been tending to it since he was 12 years old.
Home tour with Madison Sterling on Design*Sponge
Madison likes to stay busy creating outside of her day job. "It's cool to be able to create something right at home and it's exciting to see what each other are working on." The minimal open storage shelf keeps her supplies perfectly contained, but also on display. A beautiful work space is a constant source of inspiration.
Home tour with Teslin Doud on Design*Sponge
Tess' bedroom is a collection of her weaving supplies, mementos from her home in Santa Cruz, CA, and dreamy watercolor patterns. Her passion lies in renewable and eco-friendly fashion. She recently won the Eileen Fisher Social Innovator Award and is working on a yearlong project to create a system to up-cycle garments from Eileen Fisher's clothing donation program called Green Eileen. The pillows on the bed are from Eskayel.
Home tour with Tess Doud on Design*Sponge
The home studio space in Tess' bedroom is a cool and bright corner for creating woven pieces for her garments. Her work in conscious design includes using food scraps as natural dyes and an emphasis on zero waste garment construction.
Home tour with Tess Doud on Design*Sponge
A simple DIY solution from Tess made this nook into a well-organized closet. You can find lots of good handmade and eco-friendly duds on this rack.
Home tour with Tess Doud on Design*Sponge
The original details of the roommates' Park Slope apartment add that extra bit of magic to their home.
Home tour with Madison Sterling and Tess Doud on Design*Sponge
In the living room, a warping board is secured to the wall as a simply beautiful design element which also serves a function. This apparatus is used to measure and organize yarn before threading it into the loom. With two weavers in one house, skeins of yarn are scattered about the house in pleasing color combinations.
Home tour with Madison Sterling and Tess Doud on Design*Sponge
The living room functions as both a place to unwind as well as a creative space, with weaving and sewing supplies carefully displayed and organized. A combination of textures and soft hues makes this a prime space for recharging after a long day navigating the city.
Home tour with Madison Sterling and Tess Doud on Design*Sponge
The shower curtain in the bathroom is full of doodled specimens which speaks to the roommates' love of the earth and ocean. The plants and colorful art keep this stereotypically tiny New York bathroom bright and cheery.
Home tour with Madison Sterling and Tess Doud on Design*Sponge
In the kitchen, more plants and sunlight take center stage to create a clean, crisp, and colorful space to make meals together and recap their days.
The roommates have worked hard to create a space that is clean and beautiful while on a budget.
Home tour with Madison Sterling and Tess Doud on Design*Sponge
They have turned to DIY and space saving solutions to maximize workspace and charm. The crisp green tile on the backsplash plays nicely with the collection of plants that has made its way into the kitchen.
Home tour with Madison Sterling and Tess Doud on Design*Sponge
Another DIY storage solution in the kitchen keeps smoothie ingredients organized and ready for use. "Our apartment is extremely DIY which [we] think is pretty neat. When people ask where something is from, it's pretty gratifying to say we made or designed it ourselves."
Home tour with Madison Sterling and Tess Doud on Design*Sponge
"We love our sunlight" - Madison, Tess, & Rob

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