Name: Amhalise Morgan and her children, Harmony Cree and Rebel Spirit
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Size: 2,000 square feet
Years lived in: 11 years; Owned
The home of Amhalise and her two teen-aged children is the definition of a labor of love. She bought the home after traveling and living overseas for many years and essentially had a clean slate to work with upon purchasing her 19th-century Brooklyn brownstone. She was spared the hasty renovations that many of today's developer-sold brownstones suffer, and the house retained a handful of original details that inspired her home's customization. The character that has come to exude a decade later sets the renovation and decor bars very high.
I've known Amhalise for many years and have always loved her name. But it wasn't until our afternoon working together on the House Tour that I asked her what her name meant, to which she grinned and replied, "I was born in the '70s." Her humble response also explained everything about her home; her use of eclectic elements from around the world, the open concept layout, and the playful juxtaposition of vintage and new all create the welcoming and universal spirit of her home.
Some of the best pieces in her home were literally found by Amhalise on the streets of NYC. When not fortuitously running into cognac leather couches, she works with her contractor to design custom accents—like her son Rebel's wall unit or her daughter Harmony Cree's loft bed—and make them a reality. These more frugal approaches allowed her two full bathroom renovations, which she completed in 2013—with a soaker tub to boot!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Global eclectic, or as Justina Blakeney calls it, "New Bohemians."
Inspiration: Travels to Israel, Tunisia, living in London, and scoping out blogs.
Favorite Element: My kids :)
Biggest Challenge: Having to pace myself as far as renovation is concerned.
What Friends Say: They feel like they are on vacation at my house.
Proudest DIY: Reupholstered Marcel Breuer dining room chairs.
Biggest Indulgence: My bedroom closet doors from Build It Green in Gowanus, Brooklyn.
Best Advice: EBay! Find your style in books and blogs and find it on eBay.
- Bench: antique shop on Court Street
- Suzani bench toran: eBay
- Rug: eBay
- Wall/door curtain: eBay
- Couch: found on the street, professionally cleaned, etc.
- Chairs: vintage deck chairs given to me by a friend who was moving
- Sheepskins: IKEA
- Coffee table: from my ex-husband
- Set of black cabinets: Crate & Barrel
- African print floor cushions: fabric from eBay except the blue, which was given to me by ex-husband's father
- Floors: wood floors painted white
- Schoolhouse chairs: antique shop on Court Street
- Table and bench: now-defunct 23rd Street Flea Market
- Reupholstered Marcel Breuer chairs: antique shop on Court Street, Hmong fabric from eBay, DIY by Amhalise
- Rug: eBay
- Indigo butterfly chair: custom, but can be found at xNasozi
- Island: made by my friend Jessie C. Nelson of Knuckle on Bone
- 7-Up crates: Brooklyn Flea, Etsy
- Baskets: gifts, available at xNasozi
- Closet doors: Build It Green
- Chest of drawers: Greenhouse & Co on Atlantic—it's a vintage dentist cabinet with a marble base.
- Chandelier: eBay
- Wood bust of a woman: eBay
- Closet doors: believe or not, Pier 1! They are "wall panels" we made into closet doors.
- Ladder: curbside find
- Vertical locker next to stack of books: now-defunct 23rd Street Flea Market
- Woven and leather stools: eBay
- Motorcycle: curbside find
- Wall unit: custom-made by my amazing contractor who did almost everything in the house
- Bed: from a random little shop on Broadway below the elevated subway in the BedStuy/Williamsburg area
- Toilet seat: eBay
- Vanity: My contractor installed wood that he stained to match the tiles, the bronze mirror frame is actually made of door sweeps that we ripped the rubber off of, and the mirror is from a glass and mirror place in Brooklyn. The ledge is from Build It Green, the sink is from Build It Green, and the sink base was made by my contractor.
- Wall tiles: Mosaic House on 22nd St
- Towel rack: an antique shop that sadly closed that was on Bedford Ave
- Light fixture: eBay
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