A Professional Chef’s Brooklyn Home Is Airy and Minimal

updated Apr 29, 2019

A Professional Chef’s Brooklyn Home Is Airy and Minimal

updated Apr 29, 2019
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Name: George Mendes and Siamese cats, Roscoe and Daisy
Location: Downtown Brooklyn, New York, New York
Size: 950 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years

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George Mendes knows good food. He’s the chef behind Aldea, the Michelin-starred New York restaurant whose offerings reflect the cuisine of his parents’ native Portugal. He’s also the inhabitant of a beautiful Brooklyn apartment that seems an embodiment of the mantra “less is more.” Take a beautiful, soaring old space with a bit of architecture, and add in a few choice pieces (and a few cats). What do you get? A testament to the power of minimalism, but also a really nice place to call home.

There’s a lot of restraint at work here, which one can’t help but admire. George’s living room is a big larger than the typical New York space, but by resisting the temptation to stuff it full of furniture, he keeps the focus on the apartment’s lofty ceilings and generous proportions. Photos from Mendes’ cookbook, My Portugal, appear throughout, as do his two Siamese cats, Roscoe and Daisy. I’ve heard it said that a cat is like a moving piece of sculpture—and what better thing to make a house a home?

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Modern, clean earthy colors

Inspiration: Nature.

Favorite Element: The windows and tall ceiling.

Biggest Challenge: My black countertop—any splatter of water leaves a dark mark, eyesore!

What Friends Say: That they love the history of the building, a former shoe factory in the 1930/’40s.

Biggest Embarrassment: The amount of times I have locked myself out after hours.

Proudest DIY: My coffee station/collection of pour-over coffee equipment!

Biggest Indulgence: My bedroom furniture.

Best Advice: Less is more… avoid too many decorative elements.

Dream Sources: Restoration Hardware furniture!


Couch — Design Within Reach
Wooden table — Environment Furniture
Rug — The Citizenry
Lamp — West Elm

Coffee equipment — HARIO and BARATZA

Bed and — Blu Dot
Night tables — Blu Dot
Bed sheets and pillowcases — The Citizenry

Thanks, George!

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