Fashion Designer & Boutique Owner Christine Alcalay’s “Mid-Century Zen” Home in Brooklyn

updated Feb 19, 2019

Fashion Designer & Boutique Owner Christine Alcalay’s “Mid-Century Zen” Home in Brooklyn

updated Feb 19, 2019
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Name: Christine Alcalay, her teenager daughter and two-year-old son
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Size: 4,600 Square Feet
Years lived in: 8 years, owned

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After emigrating from Vietnam with her family when she was just three years old, Christine Alcalay grew up in New York City. Her mother, who was a self-taught tailor and worked in factories in the Garment District, introduced her daughter to the art of sewing. This young experience, combined with natural-born creativity, has shaped Christine’s successful career as a fashion designer and boutique owner. “Becoming a designer was not a choice that I made. It is simply who I am,” reads a line from her website’s bio.

Design is about piecing together different influences, so it’s not surprising that Christine’s Brooklyn abode is an eclectic mix of cozy furniture classics, global accessories and the occasional toy or two.

After attending Parsons and working at high-end retail stores after graduation, Christine opened KIWI, a boutique in NYC that first focused on the “made-to-measure” clothing she’s known for. In 2011, she introduced a “ready-to-wear” line. She’s described her style as timeless, and in an Elle Decor article, she said her collections are always about “the balance of femininity and power coexisting.”

That philosophy is reflected in her Brooklyn home. Flirty florals mix with delicate Asian influences, which balance out sturdy wooden furniture and powerful architecture. Bright red gingham curtains in the kitchen contrast yet complement industrial and rustic elements. Though the rooms in her home all exude an understated, formal elegance, this is also the home of a family, and comfort reigns supreme.

(Image credit: William Strawser)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic cozy classics meets mid-century modern zen.

Inspiration: Travel, experience and family culture.

Favorite Element: Period details such as woodwork and arches.

Biggest Challenge: Keeping everything neat and clean.

What Friends Say: This is the biggest house they’ve ever been to.

Biggest Embarrassment: The basement — let’s just say, it’s a work in progress.

Proudest DIY: The kitchen and two bathrooms.

Biggest Indulgence: The kitchen renovation.

Best Advice: Don’t renovate your home until you’ve lived in it for a while.

Dream Sources: I’m currently obsessed with any kind of garden and backyard landscaping books, magazines and Pinterest pins. The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is my dream source for the backyard.


Benjamin Moore: nimbus
Benjamin Moore: Cotswold
Benjamin Moore: grey cashmere
White trims: atrium white

Sofa — Jennifer convertible
Room and board leather chair
Room and board wooden chair
West Elm throw pillows
Stor coffee table
Pottery barn rug
ABC carpet bookcase
Room and board frames
West elm media console

Antique farm table from find, brooklyn
Large antique buffet, ABC carpet

Kohler farm sink
Jen air stove
Electrolux double oven
Wooden countertop — Lumber Liquidator
Table: Crate and Barrel
Chair: West Elm

Crate and Barrel platform bed rug
West Elm side tables
West Elm table lamps

Thanks, Christine!

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