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sneak peek: kristen stocks of deluxa

by Amy Azzarito

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kristen stocks owns a vintage store in brooklyn, is in a and has two pet bunnies – how cool is that? boyfriend and bandmate andy created the promotional agency loveless music group before starting his own label, . kristen’s store has become one of my favorite vintage spots – when i don’t have a chance to visit in person, i always keep on top of her finds via her and (i wanted those !) not only is her home fun and cheery, but it’s also an inspiring testament to chasing your dreams! {thanks, kristen and lorie reilly for the photographs!}

[When we decided to start a vintage store, , and a record label, , at roughly the same time (which was roughly when the economic trouble started), it quickly became clear that downsizing our personal space was necessary for our businesses to remain viable.  Instead of moving to a smaller apartment or to a fringe neighborhood, we bravely decided to shed our two bedroom Park Slope apartment to opt for something about half the size of our former living room—we moved into Deluxa’s back office. Living in what is now transformed into our studio apartment in Deluxa taught us to a) keep only what we adore and b) keep only what is functional. Oh, and of course c) keep everything bunny-friendly.  It was a painful divestment, but also liberating to be left with only that which was most precious: being together, being with our bunnies, having our few prized possessions and continuing our new future as self-employed entrepreneurs.]

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My favorite thing in our bathroom is my collection of rock displays I hung with ribbon and hot glue.  One set belonged to my father as a child, and the others I’ve picked up who knows where.
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Another DIY is the wood grain shelf liner on our fridge.  Our space is so small and our fridge is so large, that when we got it covered it practically disappeared into our space and felt much less obtrusive. Much cuter too!  The magnetic letters I bought at the grocery store for a dollar and spray painted black to be a little more modernist. We spray paint all kinds of things both for our space and for the store—lamp bases to picture frames to coat racks.  The top of our hutch has my single Catherine Holm bargain find and some other great vintage cook wear.  I carry a lot of cookware in my store and find that in general the market for vintage cookware is a bit neglected, but I’m happy to promote enamel and copper wear pieces, not to mention Pyrex, Fire King, and even appliances like hand mixers and blenders that are much sturdier and stylish than their modern counterparts. The print here above my vintage yellow pans, “Chicken in a Hot Air Balloon” is by Jay Schmetz . He does lots of whimsical paintings of animals doing silly things.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Kristen’s sneak peek (including all the images on one page) after the jump!

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Andy made the bunny hutch for Bernina (white) and Belikin (black) and added the vintage boat letters to spell out “Bunnies”.  This is their all around hang out area where they eat, relax, snuggle together, and do their litter box thing (yes, they are litter box trained).  Andy displays a bit of prized record collection here.  One day, we hope to have a vinyl pressing of our own band, to add to the wall collection when our full length is done.

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Living with two house rabbits has its limitations as well: no chewy exposed cords, no tasty wood legs, no comfy narrow crevasses to wiggle into and not wiggle out of.  In all, not that difficult, because having a house rabbit is well worth the rewards—the can be the quirkiest, spunkiest, and most adorable creatures, as full of personality and charms, bringing lots of joy to our life.  Check out the for more info, and as always, adopt.

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I made our pillows from tee shirts and tea towels.  The fish tank furnished with brontosauruses from the Museum of Natural History gift shop and is also lined in wood grain paper backed with graph paper.  The pair of king and queen paintings are my favorite pieces of art that I have.  I found them at a now defunct Salvation Army on 8th St. in Manhattan for $20.  The compositions, the colors, the style, the whimsy and attitude—I’m completely enamored and would never part with them.

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Our metal drawers came from an electrician’s workshop, and perfectly fits all our odds and ends from knitting supplies to hammers to back stock CDs to sticky notes.  The coffee table/trunk and the sofa/bed serve to tuck away extra storage, there are also a number of vintage suitcases that are squirreled away, much more pleasing storage option than plastic bins.

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For our shelving, we only keep out our most important books for inspiration/reference and a few family and vacation photos (in vintage frames of course).  On top of our shelves, I’d held onto a gorgeous piece of wrapping paper for years and years, not knowing what to do with it until one day I found a pair of frames and made instant art. It makes me so happy to see this pattern every day.

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Overall, I don’t think we’d trade having a live/work space anytime soon for a “real” apartment now that we’ve gotten down our certain exuberant minimalism.  I still get to collect vintage furniture, housewares, art, and decoratives; Andy still gets to obsess over music all day, both of us free of the traditional 9-5, with our businesses as our creative outlets, merging our “work” and “home” lives into one great living, breathing lifestyle.”

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Comments

  • Aw, bunnies! I just adopted a mini lop a few months ago who’s half litterbox-trained (i’m working on the other half). So much fun getting to know his bunny quirks!
    *ahem* back to Kristen’s space. The dino in the aquarium is AWESOME and I so want/need the metal drawers.

  • I got a kick out of the rock collections. Had those as a child and never thought of keeping them to use as artwork as an adult!

  • love the way you displayed the rock collections! i have a few that i’ve been wanting to hang somehow, and i might steal your idea.

  • A so simple vintage home, so different.
    Many unfashioned charm.
    I like it.Is real happy people living an real life in the middle of the cute bunnies.

  • Congrats on keeping your businesses afloat during hard times, making tough decisions and figuring out how to make it all work and be happy! I wish the best for you both and love your little happy space!

  • love the vintage cookware + bunnies… i have a rabbit-inspired collection from my childhood i’ve been trying to figure out how to display, but think your way of spreading the collection throughout the space is a great idea!

  • Props to you for featuring the bunnies so prominently–as in the picture of you in the kitchen with one of your little guys, having them around creates constantly adorable scenes. (Your place seems to have some of Amy Sedaris’ design sensibility to it, probably not uncoincidentally.)

    For anyone who hasn’t considered bunnies, they are a wonderful, earth-friendly and city-living friendly pet option. Besides being shockingly smart, crafty and endearing, they will happily eat almost all veggie scraps, practically litter-box train themselves, and are most awake and alert in the morning and the evening–perfect for most schedules.

  • In the bathroom (I think that’s what it is) shot, where did you find that striped piece of art? Is it a weaving?

  • So inspiring! A more minimalist existence is something I would love to have, (as I look at the piles of stuff around me) but have never had the guts to attempt. Well done!

  • I too have a pair of house buns, both adopted from the humane society. Mine primarily live in the guest room, so a bonus of staying at my place is you may wake up in the middle of the night with a curious bunny in your bed. I’m always curious to see how others incorporate their bunnies into their decor–thanks D*S!

  • @lauren, the dark green is a benjamin moore in “wasabi” which i was really happy with because it is intense, but not overwhelming, and the light green i forget the name, but it is a high gloss from Valspar because we were painting on tile (which someone had already painted)–hope that helps!

  • Hooray for bunny-friendly home design! I have two house rabbits and they certainly have style requirements. They demand many rugs to hop from (wood floors are hot lava!) and the bottom of our bookshelf to perch in as well as many hay baskets! I’m so glad to see the house rabbit society shoutout.

    I just showed this article to my husband and he was overcome because he wants to start a label and he thought you two were a parallel (but way better) version of us.

  • The posters are by danish artist and ceramicist Bjørn Wiinblad (1918-2006). He’s work is exhibited at MoMa, N.Y, & V&A, London and Kunstindustrimuseet, Cph. In Denmark he is especially known for his illustrations, and ceramic figurines & plates.
    P.S The ceilings are stunning!-as are the bunnies…

  • I’ve got two bunnies two! Do yours tear up the beige living room rug? I had to get rid of my shag because they were tearing it apart. Any suggestions?

    Love your place!!! :)

  • Hi love your place!
    Could you give me the name of the manufacturer / info from the nameplate of the metal drawer cabinet? I’d like to hunt one down.
    Thanks!!!

  • hey jolene, they don’t really go for the shag rug…not sure why–they do give the occasional nibble to stray fibers on the sisal though…

    martha–the manufacturer is Steelmaster and it also reads “Art Steel Co. Inc. New York, USA”–they drawers are great because they can also fit 8.5″ x 11″ paper. good luck!

  • I am glad design sponge has offered a look at downsizing! I too sell vintage finds and live with them almost exclusively. Having the business allows me to redocorate on a whim, usually late at night. :)

  • Hey!!! LOVE the color in the kitchen… do you know what it is? I’m painting my apartment this weekend and would love to match that color!!!!

  • Kristen, you’re brilliant and an inspiration. We see all of our customers tightening their belts so we gave you and your store a shout out on our blog Lighten Up! I’ll stop by when I’m in Brooklyn!

  • i love how you let the bunnies roam around the house! they must be much happier that way. i think this is my favourite sneak peek so far! it’s so colourful and perfect!

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