Shelley and Janluk share their home in Flatbush, Brooklyn, a neighborhood home to a diverse Caribbean culture. The colors, sights and textures of the West Indies cultivate tropical kinship in the heart of Brooklyn.
Shelley is the founder of caribBEING, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building community through the lens of Caribbean film, art and culture. Janluk is a fellow filmmaker whose impromptu style has lead him to direct over 40 music videos.
The inner space they've created reflects their heritage and is beautifully contained in iconic turn of the century New York architecture. The rich wood textures contrast with the vibrant patterns, surfaces and patinas. Eclectic ornamentation has one finding new details, and needing of second looks to appreciate their novelty. I found myself at ease and relaxed in their spacious home. The layout flows seamlessly and purposely. Wandering and photographing their space transported me to another place, or time. In a form of visual osmosis, it connected me with my own memories of home in the Caribbean. On the train ride home, all I could think is how wonderful and diverse this city truly is. It cradles people of all cultures, celebrates their individually, and yet inspires us to be part of a modern collective experience.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Global Eclectic with Caribbean and European influences
Inspiration: The Caribbean — its colours + culture + flavors + textures
Favorite Element: Living in a real brownstone; having indoor and outdoor space to escape NYC’s electricity.
Biggest Challenge: Designing a space that feels cohesive, sophisticated but relaxed.
What Friends Say: The house is magical, peaceful and calming.
Biggest Embarrassment: Toss up between unfinished floors and the front stoop (we’re working on that next)
Proudest DIY: Rear Garden (the patio + raised beds were designed by me, installed by Janluk)
Biggest Indulgence: Replastering the entire house. Luckily I had my Uncle who is a plaster master.
Best Advice: Live in the house for at least 1 year before making big changes, or learn to live with the house’s imperfections (ours has slanted floors).
Dream Sources: Magnificent Seven in Port of Spain, Trinidad + ABC Carpet & Home
Thrift/antique shops, Design Within Reach, Conran Shop, Anthropologie, West Elm, Crate & Barrel, JC Penney, Ikea, Museum Stores, Design books, blogs and magazines, Caribbean & European markets
PAINT & COLORS
- Benjamin Moore: Woodmont Cream
- Benjamin Moore: Irish Mist
- Bedside Tables: gift
Thanks, Shelley and Janluk!
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