design, furniture and lifestyle in bklyn, ny

In Brooklyn, Making It Up as They Go via

by brooklynmodern ~ March 3rd, 2011


Kathleen Hackett and Stephen Antonson, the authors of the how-to book “Home From the Hardware Store,” are renovating their house in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, filling it with yard-sale finds and homemade pieces. In the book, Mr. Antonson, an artist, uses items from the hardware store to make home goods — candelabra from plumbing parts; a lamp out of drain grates; a coffee table from the kind of galvanized elbows used in ductwork. Click to visit article

Credit: Trevor Tondro for The New York Times

An interview with NY Magazine’s Wendy Goodman

by brooklynmodern ~ January 4th, 2011

Brooklyn Modern often re-posts from New York Magazine’s design section, which has featured the borough’s DIY design/furniture scene in detail. Many designers owe the magazine’s design issue or weekly design coverage, for their work finding a larger audience. We were lucky to get NY Mag’s design editor Wendy Goodman to answer a few questions for us.

Wendy’s newest book was released in October 2010, The World of Gloria Vanderbilt, and her design-world coverage can be found in her weekly New York Magazine features and in the Design Hunting newsletter on

NY Magazine's 2010 design issue: Evan and Oliver Haslegrave

NY Magazine's 2010 design issue: Evan and Oliver Haslegrave

brooklyn modern: You are the design editor for New York Magazine, one thing I notice about your coverage is that you feature a broad range of styles, can you describe how you define “New York Design.”  Or more specifically what do you see as the most influential thing now?

Wendy Goodman: I feature a broad range of styles because I am interested in the most personal points of view of how people live in the city, so any and all styles interest me as long as the execution is personal and somewhat ingenious. As New York magazine is a general interest news magazine geared specifically to New York, I look for what I feel is most creative and innovative in residential living here. Decorating and trend spotting is for shelter magazines, not that we don’t’ keep up and track that as well, it is just that the more personal a design story is, the more interesting it is-it’s never about how much money people have, but rather what their passions and initiatives are, and how they express that at home.

NY Magazine

NY Magazine: Brooklyn designers MADE

brooklyn modern: How did you first become interested in design? You have one book out on Tony Duquette, do you have plans for any others?

Wendy Goodman: My second book, The World of Gloria Vanderbilt, was published by Abrams October, 2010. I started my career as a fashion editor, although as a sort of renegade one, as I worked freelance for Harper’s Bazaar and the New York Times Sunday magazine at first. Then I went on to New York magazine and was the Fashion Editor there in the late ‘80’s.

It was during that time that I was taken to lunch by the fashion designer, Pauline Trigere at La Grenouille restaurant. I was mesmerized by the scale of the rooms in what had originally been a carriage house for the Plant mansion across the street (now the Cartier building) as well as the fantastic paintings on the walls. I discovered all sorts of wonderful stories that had happened over the years there through Charles Masson whose family owns the restaurant. I eventually did a story on the family, and the artist, Bernard Lamotte who lived and painted there, so that coupled with other events in my life inspired me to shift gears and devote myself to design on a broader scale in respect to how people live.

brooklyn modern: There is a very strong online community, especially in New York. How do you see the relationship between a print publication’s coverage and sites like Apartment Therapy, Brownstoner and Cool Hunting

Wendy Goodman: There are so many fantastic sites and they are all are so good! It does make it more of a challenge to get to projects first as ‘the scoop’ has always been an editorial imperative, and it still is, only now it is a double whammy: on top of print, you have to scoop the blogs and sites too!

NY Magazine's on Lyndsay Caleo and Fitzhugh Karol

NY Magazine: Brooklyn designers Lyndsay Caleo and Fitzhugh Karol

brooklyn modern: I notice both in your newsletter, “Design Hunting,” and in the magazine you have been focusing a lot on the current DIY/artisan scene in Brooklyn? When did you first notice this new wave of young designers and style in Brooklyn?  And as a follow up, how do you find these small, design-centered Brooklyn folks?

Wendy Goodman: Brooklyn has been such a hot bed of great design studios and designers for a while now. I began covering the Brooklyn Designs show from the beginning and then became a juror, which I love as meeting and discovering new designers is the best. I am out on the street, and in the subway scouting and scouting…ear to the ground, and everywhere else, is how I find my stories and moving fast when I get a lead. There isn’t anyplace I won’t go.

brooklyn modern: There are several strong influences on the Brooklyn scene, the work of mid-century designers, new technologies in sustainability and the re-use of materials, a return to handcrafted furniture, and a new ‘cult of the artisan.’  Where do you think these ideas originate, and how did Brooklyn become the DIY/artisan ground zero?

Wendy Goodman: I think Brooklyn became the artisan ground zero as the real estate allowed artists and designers to have access to great studio space in the way that SoHo and the Lower East Side did back in the ‘60’s. But all that will change as real estate prices make it prohibitive for financially challenged young emerging talent to have places to experiment and work. The scene will move to the next emerging neighborhood.”

brooklyn modern: You have covered most of the best of Brooklyn Designers, what are your favorites?

Wendy Goodman: There are so many!  I love Uhuru and MADE, Grow House Grow, Eric Manigian, Flavor Paper, Eskayel…  to name but a few of the plethora of great talent out there.

One of Goodman's favorite paintings by Sebastien Stoskopff

One of Goodman's favorite paintings by Sebastien Stoskopff

NYTimes Reviews Lonny Web Mag

by brooklynmodern ~ June 24th, 2010


Above interior featured on Lonny, an online magazine created by
Michele Adams and Patrick Cline of Domino.

NEW YORK — Die-hard do-it-yourself interior designers spend hours flipping through glossy magazines, carefully tearing out pages showing a pillow or paint color they like and filing them away for future inspiration. What do they do if their favorite print magazine folds?

Michelle Adams, 27, a former market assistant at Domino, and Patrick Cline, 34, a photographer and photo retoucher, were talking about that in May 2009 after Condé Nast closed Domino, its sprightly home magazine. Over dinner at Chili’s, they mourned the loss of the magazine and other design magazines, like Blueprint and House & Garden, and joked that they should start their own.
Read Full Article
and visit Lonny

Learn at

by brooklynmodern ~ November 2nd, 2009

Several of my clients have asked for tables made with wood (walnut) and steel. I’ve been contracting out the welding jobst, but in the meantime I’m teaching myself how to weld. This site has taught me a lot and is a fun read:

“The stack of dimes look”, as show in this video, is one of my goals:

Kudos to Reclaimed Home: Boiling Hardware to Perfection

by brooklynmodern ~ October 9th, 2009


I have to thank Reclaimed Home for helping me restore the vintage light switch in my new apartment. It was caked with multiple layers of paint. I boiled it for about twenty minutes in water and baking soda. Paint slid right off and I didn’t have to use carcinogenic stripper with a gas mask. Here are the directions from Reclaimed Home: Boiling Hardware.

Green Roofing Workshops in Brooklyn

by brooklynmodern ~ June 18th, 2009


If you’re interested in helping Bklyn’s environment and using your roof for something tasty like veggies, check out the green roofing workshop by Green It Yourself and Eco Brooklyn. They offer intensive and semi-intensive classes from $300 to $600.  For basic info, look into their free class on August 8th. Additionally, if you’re interested in green roofing as a profession, check out to learn about the industry and becoming accredited.

Brooklyn's Scrapile Inspires DIY Carboard Bench from Instructables

by brooklynmodern ~ June 18th, 2009

Instructables is a great site for D.I.Y. types. One of their recent posts teaches you how to make a bench from cardboard, which has actually become a material of choice for many designers lately. The builder of this bench mentioned that he was inspired by the work of Brooklyn’s very own Scrapile.  Aside from being an easy project, this tutorial also has a sustainable benefit if it’s done with reclaimed cardboard.  The author also testifies to the bench’s strength, saying that it can support three adults. But just keep it keep away from water. Visit the tutorial here and download a pdf with instructions.


SCRAPILE ’s benches made with repurposed scraps of wood from New York’s woodworking industry. Visit their site here.

Finding Modern Furniture Plans

by brooklynmodern ~ May 30th, 2009
Available at Tools for Working Wood

This site’s stats show that a lot of visitors are searching for plans to build modern furniture. In response, I’ve added a new widget on the right hand side that lists places where you can buy them. If you’re in Brooklyn, Tools for Working Wood, a store I just visited to buy wood bleach, has some interesting books on how to build modern furniture. They also have a very comprehensive selection of high end tools.

Turn Trash to Treasure With A Bklyn Designer

by brooklynmodern ~ May 29th, 2009


Fan cover repurposed into a Noguchi-style lamp.

In the article below from TimeOut , Rodney Trice of T.O.M.T. explains how to repurpose a fan cover into a Noguchi lamp. This project is très Brooklyn in that a lot of local designers are working in this vein.  However, Trice is actualy teaching the how to salvage objects at Brooklyn workshop. His website has a list of classes and features a variety his work. Contact him at

The item: Old, broken fan cover
St. Johns Place and Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

The process: “As with all of my projects, a good degreasing was necessary,” says T.O.M.T. designer Rodney Trice (who was just named one of Time’s Green Design 100). “Next was to make sure it dried out well, and then I moved on to the removal of unnecessary parts. There was a handle that needed to be sawed off and the center ring with the logo was also removed.

“I was inspired by the very famous and beautiful Noguchi paper lanterns, so I decided to create a hanging lamp with a fabric cover stretched over the fan cage. This particular cage separated into two pieces, making the job of fitting the fabric a lot easier. I chose a stretch wool because it offered the kind of flexibility I needed without looking cheap. The fabric was measured, cut and then sewn to fit the shape—and then was pulled tight with a simple drawstring inside so as to give it a nice, taut appearance.

“I wired the lamp with three candelabra bulb sockets and screwed in small soft fluorescent bulbs with a candelabra attachment.

“The two halves of the lamp were put back together, and voilà! My tribute to Noguchi!

“Now that I made this, I’m on the lookout for more of these fan cages, because I am going to do more and hang them in groups of three in different shapes.”

The materials: Stretch wool ($14 per yard) at Mood Fabric (225 W 37th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves, 212-730-5003), and lamp parts: gold fabric wire ($5), brass chandelier canopy ($10), candelabra sockets ($3), threaded tube ($1) and bulbs ($5) all at

noguchiThe venerable Isamo Noguchi

The inspiration: Trice riffed on legendary sculptor Isamu Noguchi’s Akari Light Sculptures, and New Yorkers can see the Japanese-American artist’s work all year long at the Noguchi Museum in Queens, where thirteen indoor galleries showcase his organic, undulating works in granite, marble, bronze and wood. Adjoining gardens offer a natural setting for some of Noguchi’s granite and basalt sculptures. But nothing impresses so much as the room dedicated to Noguchi’s illuminated Akari sculptures—in situ, the lamps take on the appearance of spectral moths. And, if you hurry, you can catch “What Is Sculpture? Akari from the 1986 Venice Biennale,” a special exhibit dedicated to the light sculptures (on view until May 31). Want one of your own? The museum shop sells Akari table lanterns for as little as $75. The Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Rd at Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, Queens (718-204-7088)

Upcycling Wood Paneling for TV

by brooklynmodern ~ May 21st, 2009

A few days ago, the producers of The Learning Channel’s  Moving Up contacted me. They were gutting a N.J. house for a new couple and wanted to upcycle wood paneling from the house into a coffee table.  With little time execute, I teamed up with Roger Benton of Benton Custom. Together, at Brooklyn’s 3rd Ward, we denailed the paneling, ripped it into 2″ strips, and glued it into an 8-ft butcher block. The legs were cut and doweled into the top. A belt sander removed the splinters and two coats of poly sealed it up. It went quickly. This is a good D.I.Y. project for any builder (small amount of tooling, cheap supplies). Plus it’s green. Incidentally, there are lots of designers exploring plywood. Check some out: ScrapileJulia Krantz, Desfurniture.

Here’s the 1970’s wood paneling. Remember Calvin Klein shoots back in 2000.


Assembled and finished. Perhaps 4hrs of labor.


finished bench

Brooklyn Designers

4 korners 4 korners ecosystems uhru manigian big prototype euclid city joinery aswoon brucemarsh atlas bravespace scottbraun palo samko standard41 night woodny todd mccolister wonk total metal resource matt gagnon DFMF the design can robert martin designs wud readymadeprojects Robert Austin Gonzalez benton custom Eric Ervin  



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