It’s easy to become numb to how deeply personal it can be to share one’s home online. After publishing thousands of home tours on Design*Droits-Humains, I often have to take a moment to pause when a particular home tour touches me in a way that makes me feel like I’ve gotten to know someone, or their work, better by being invited into their home through photographs. I felt that way today while looking through these photographs of Claire Mazur and Chris Roan’s home in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. Claire is the co-founder of (along with Erica Cerulo) and she shares this bright and airy apartment with her husband Chris, who is the Director of Venture at , an advertising firm. I’ve known Claire for years now and respect her work and her work ethic immensely. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know her via , but there’s something about peeking inside someone’s home that lets you know them in a totally different way.
I was blown away by how much family history lives in the furniture, artwork and details of Claire and Chris’s home. They live in the sort of space that I constantly strive to create – a home where every object tells a story and has a special meaning to the people living inside.
From artwork made by Claire’s late grandmother Shirley to Chris’s father’s Purple Heart, every shelf and tabletop is filled with something of great meaning to the couple. In addition to their older family pieces, Chris and Claire have also incorporated beautiful contemporary pieces by their friends and artists and designers they’ve met through their respective companies. For me, a house always feels like a home when people fill it with personal pieces that come with stories and history, so this is truly a beautiful home to me. Thank you so much to Claire and Chris for sharing their space with us. xo, grace
Photographs by Maxwell Tielman and for
Images above: Claire and Chris walked by their current apartment building after a disappointing open house appointment in the area. They walked up to see this space on a whim and knew immediately that this was the apartment for them. Originally built in 1893 as the Hanon & Son shoe factory, the building has stunning views, tall windows and so much light that the they immediately knew it would be home. Two and a half years later they have created a space that feels like home to them in a building full of rich design history. In their living room (above) Claire explained that their home’s coffee table was, “one of those magical eBay finds for a hundred bucks. It just goes so perfectly with the rest of our furniture that it was a total no-brainer.” The pink and white throw pillow is by Unison Home, a small line Claire discovered through DailyCandy (RIP) when she was in college. It was one of the first lines that turned her on to the thrill of discovering and supporting emerging artists.
Image above: These watercolors were painted by Claire’s grandma Shirley. Claire explained, “She was a very inspirational woman full of so much energy and positivity and charm. She was also a really talented and prolific painter and her bright watercolors perfectly embody her personality. She died last year and her artwork has turned out to be a really amazing way to maintain her presence in our lives— we actually used them on our wedding invites and programs.”
Image above: Claire’s parents collected matchbooks when she was growing up and when she moved out of their home she started doing the same thing without even realizing it. “My dad, a man of many many talents, made the wooden bowl they sit in,” explained Claire.
Click through for the full home tour after the jump!
Image above: This particular painting by Claire’s grandma Shirley is of Huntington Gardens in San Marino, CA, a place she loved and one of the last places Claire and Shirley visited together before her passing.
Image above: Chris and Claire’s kitchen table and chairs from Design Within Reach are the “first pieces of really grown-up furniture” the couple acquired. They’ve been with Claire through three very different apartments, and in each one “they’ve really elevated the space.”
Image above: The vintage Danish wall systems in Claire and Chris’ bedroom and living room belonged to Claire’s grandparents who had them in their NYC apartment when she was growing up. It’s so special to her to have them now because that apartment was the location of some of Claire’s clearest and happiest childhood memories. After her grandparents passed away, Claire’s parents stored the wall systems in their attic, and 15 years later when Claire finally had enough space for them, her dad sanded and stained them and drove them up from Delaware and installed them himself.
Image above: This is where Chris sits and works on his computer in the bedroom when Claire is watching TV too loudly in the living room. It’s a Zanotta desk Claire’s Mom bought for her when she was in junior high school. She explained, “It’s hilariously inappropriate for a 13-year old. I ended up turning it into my beauty counter and filled all of the drawers with crappy drugstore makeup. My friends would come over and go nuts with it.” The flower print is by Claire’s close friend and sometimes collaborator, Jamie Beck of Ann Street Studio. “She sends prints as her holiday card every year which is an awesome thing to receive because she’s such a tremendous talent.”
Image above: Aside from Claire’s collection of 20×200 prints, all of the artwork Claire and Chris have displayed on their walls and shelves was done by friends and family members. Claire says she, “can’t believe how lucky we are to be surrounded by so many talented creative people.”
Image above: Jen Bekman’s 20×200 was the inspiration for starting Of a Kind and this series of Chad Hagen prints they sell are one of Claire’s favorite things she’s ever purchased from the site. They’re called “nonsensical infographics” and Claire loves that they are beautiful but also have a wry sense of humor.
Image above: The denim throw pillows on the kitchen bar stools are by Dusen Dusen for Of a Kind. They were the very first home edition Claire and Erica ever sold on the site and Claire was totally dumbfounded when they didn’t sell out in a day. She explained, “Then we saw Grace (Bonney) a few weeks later and she let us in on a dirty little secret of the design world which is that it’s actually really hard to get people to buy throw pillows. Who knew?! Grace did.”
Image above: When Claire and Chris first moved in together there was a lot of haggling over whose art got to go up on the walls. This piece, however, was a shoo-in for the kitchen. Lite Bites was a bodega around the corner from one of Chris’s first Brooklyn apartments and he was so taken with/amused by the motto spelled out on the neon sign (“We Compete. We Listen. We Achieve.”) that he commissioned one of his friends to paint a picture of it. The whole story is so representative of Chris’s sense of humor and personality, it makes Claire smile every time she looks at it.
Image above: In the past couple of years, Of a Kind started carrying home goods and it’s been a lot of fun for Claire to work on and curate. She said, “You can get a little more interesting and experimental with home stuff than you can with fashion because people don’t have to worry about what’s appropriate for the office.” These tiny little bowls are from Isabel Halley and the wooden placemat is by Wolfum, both of which are sold on Of a Kind. The granite fruit bowl and vintage Copco Denmark pot are both hand-me-downs from Chris and Claire’s family.
Image above: Chris and Claire’s bedroom rug is the “Spotted Beast Rug” by Thing Industries for Of a Kind. Thing Industries is run by one of Chris’s co-workers, Bridie Picot, which is how Claire discovered the line. “It’s one of the most exciting home lines out there right now—very, very clever and funny and functional,” she said.
Image above: Erica and Chris’s bedspread is an old Nate Berkus for HSN piece. “It’s falling apart but I just love the pattern and colors so much”, explained Claire. Claire’s business partner Erica and her husband Thomas gave Claire and Chris the Hopewell quilt as a wedding gift and it’s one of their most prized possessions. “They do such beautiful work and I feel so lucky to own a piece of it.”
Image above: Claire had admired this cage lamp by Design House Stockholm & Form Us With Love for a long, long time, and one day Erica (Of a Kind’s co-founder) gave it to the couple as an engagement gift. Claire says, “It’s so perfect because it takes up so little room on a table and it can rest on any of its surfaces. It also has a dimmer which is a really wonderful feature for a bedside lamp.”
Image above: Claire keeps all of her everyday jewelry in dishes by her bed. The bowl is a highly treasured piece from Hakusan Porcelain in Tokyo. Chris and Claire picked out 8 of them to bring home when they were there on their honeymoon earlier this year. The ring holder was a gift from Chris (spotted at the Etsy Holiday Pop-Up a few years ago), designed by Tuesday Bassen.
Image above: Claire found this amazing tooled leather purse at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. She carries it on occasion, but loves to display it, too.
Image above: This cabinet is lovingly referred to as “the rock cabinet,” because it used to live in the entryway of Claire’s family’s home, where it held her father’s rock collection. Now the drawers hold Chris’s socks and underwear collection and the cabinet above displays purses, jewelry and treasured items like Chris’s fathers’ Purple Heart.