Brooke Lovell never lived in Ridgewood, Queens even though her family has had roots in the area for over 100 years. But in 2005 Brooke became part of the legacy when she and her mother bought a 3 apartment row house together. Brooke took over the garden level apartment and transformed what was a workshop into a Coal Miner’s bungalow. And talk about an undertaking! When Brooke moved in the room had two built-in horse stables that were literally filled with coal from an old furnace. Now one stable is a dressing room and the other her bedroom.
This isn’t a "what once was old now is new" job. Brooke incorporated a lot of the treasures she found during the renovation. A discarded oil drum is now her trashcan. An antique shopping cart keeps pots and pans at hand. Her storage space is made up of old dry goods barrels, vintage tool chests, cigar boxes and jars with labels like “grape jelly 1966.” Even wooden crates which most people toss to the curb became Brooke’s bathroom shelves. A true re-user, this home is a charming example of embracing what’s there and making it your own.
If you like the look of Brooke’s collectibles, be sure to visit her Williamsburg antique store called Obscure Object, located on North 3rd Street at Wythe Avenue.
Images: Andrew Casey