interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: elephant props

by anne

i’m totally in love with the homes of michele michael (freelance editor and prop stylist behind ) and (furniture designer and children’s book author and illustrator). today’s sneak peek gives a great look into their two homes: a brooklyn apartment and maine getaway (more about the two places at the end of the post). despite being two very different places, i love how they both have a similar feel. michele describes her “style” as function is very important, not liking any extra stuff in a room, and responding to strong shapes, patterns and color (color makes her happiest). i’m definitely inspired and hope you are too! click for additional images. [thanks michele and patrick!]

[Maine dining room above: Our lampshade is an inexpensive Pearl River rice paper shade.  The Eames shell chairs are from Modernica.  The eight foot long table was made by Patrick. It has unfinished pine planks with a painted base.  It’s insprired by the  Shaker tables we had seen on a  trip to the in Sabbathday Lake, Maine.  The amazing polka dot and deer painting is by a young artist, Jared DeFrancesco, who we commissioned to make something specifically for the space.   He can be reached at [email protected]  ]

[Maine living room] The sofa is from DWR.  The throw pillows are from .  Patrick built the coffeetable and made the wooden casters that it sits on.  It’s very convenient having a rolling coffeetable! The rug is Moroccan.  The print above the teak Danish credenza and the print between the windows are by our friend the artist .  We found the credenza at the Good Will in Portland, Maine for $30.   The blue striped bowl is by a French potter and is from in Wiscasset, Maine..



[Brooklyn living room] I recently traveled to Morocco where I bought the carpet for this room.  The Florence Knoll sofa is covered in a fabric to match two cats we once had.  We thought it was most practical way to hide cat fur!  Now two of our animals match it, and, well, the other two don’t!  The throw pillows are from .  The Moroccan white leather pouf is from .  The table was acquired in a barter my husband did with the furniture designer Rick Rubin of .  The lovely color photograph of two peacocks on top of the cabinets is by my friend, the photographer .  The black and white photographs are by the photographer Gilles Peress. Patrick designed the cabinets which run across the entire length of our living room giving us lots of needed storage.  A wonderful local woodworking shop constructed them for us.  The little Victorian parlor chair is covered in a mohair velvet and was a birthday present from my husband many years ago

[Brooklyn living room] That’s our cute kitten, Carl, on the bed.  This is a tiny room.  Attaching the padded headboard (from West Elm) to the wall saves space.  I customized it with Marimekko fabric. Patrick built the two simple box night stands that are also attached to the wall.  The bedding is from . Our very talented niece, painted Agnes the cat. The print on the other wall is by H.C. Westerman. I purchased the vintage orange lamp on ebay.


The vintage white porcelain elephant was our mascot at until I decided he should live in Maine.  I bought the tiny vintage white porcelain bear because I just couldn’t help myself.

CLICK HERE for the rest of the sneak peek after the jump!


We couldn’t believe our good luck at the Good Will! The Moroccan silver tray is from John Derian. The blue striped bowl is by a French potter and is from in Wiscasset, Maine..


We sit out here in the morning, drink our coffee, and watch the birds come to the feeder.  I painted the Adirondack chairs bright poppy red.  I like how they pop out in the all green environment of our woods.

more on the two places:

Our apartment in Brooklyn is along the waterfront close to Red Hook.  We live there with our dog Jackie, our cat Bea, and two new kittens, Carl and Cricket, who we  found as strays on a recent trip to North Carolina.  We are a little crazy about animals, hence the name for our business!  Our apartment is built on top of an old brick warehouse that is seven stories high, so we get beautiful light all day long.  Our furnishings and art have been collected over a long period of time.  We love to buy (or barter) artwork and furniture from friends and talented people who we have crossed paths with.  It gives greater meaning to our home.

Our Maine home is our great escape from the city.  We are surrounded by farms.  The farm down the road from us has miniature donkeys and sheep, which we, of course, love!  The house was designed by  to look like an old Mill House.  The house is three stories high, tall and narrow, and feels like a tree house.  The interior is very modern and open, with many floor-to-ceiling windows.

p.s. michele is also the author of the 1996  design book called published by Clarkson Potter.

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