A “Martha Stewart Redesigns Pee Wee’s Playhouse” Style Home in New York

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

Name: Jocelyn Mackenzie, Musician with the band Pearl and the Beard, and Jim Altieri, Programmer/Musician
Location: Purdy’s, New York
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year; Rented

When Jocelyn and Jim decided to leave Brooklyn living behind, they looked northward for their next home. After many coats of paint, some careful furniture arranging, and what sounds like an impressively numerous amount of trips to the Christmas Tree Shop, this crafty and vibrant couple can come home to a space that is whimsical, welcoming, and well within their budget.

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

Having known Jocelyn and Jim for several years, and having always admired Jocelyn’s DIY prowess, I could not wait to see their new digs in the cozy hamlet of Purdy’s. With Jim commuting for work to a town nearby and Jocelyn juggling aspects of her career as part of the folk-pop trio Pearl and the Beard, often including countless days of the year on the road touring, I could see why they would want to nest in a place with serious peace and quiet.

Some spaces vibrate with the energy and love and attention put into making them feel like home, and this is definitely one of those spaces. Every item is collected and displayed with care, and the vividness of the colors made me feel happy despite the semi-grayness of the afternoon. I also could not believe Jocelyn’s secret sourcing spot: apparently Christmas Tree shops across America are great not only for seasonal wares, but adorable dishes, kitchen and bath accoutrements, and frames as well. The total environment is one steeped in creativity, deep relaxation, and quality time spent in good company, a perfectly harmonious kind of place to call home.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Martha Stewart redesigns Pee Wee’s Playhouse — functional and fun.

Inspiration: Color, band posters, friends’ artwork, Martha, and Pee Wee.

Favorite Element: The oculus and high vaulted ceiling in the living room, and the gorgeous front porch.

Biggest Challenge: Making hand-me-down furniture feel grown up and cohesive in a large space was challenging, so we went with an up-cycled look and used bold accessories to tie the large pieces together. We also wanted to make sure we were surrounded by color, but not in an overwhelming way. Thankfully the existing white wainscoting surrounding most of the apartment provides a perfect balance for our vivid color palette.

What Friends Say: “Your old bedroom in Brooklyn was smaller than your bathroom is now!” “Can I move in?” “This is my dream kitchen.”

Biggest Embarrassment: We have no shame. We are embarrassed by nothing! However, my dad did make fun of us that we chose to paint the bedroom the same color as the kitchen. My response was, and remains, that sea foam is my favorite color and those are the two rooms in which I spend the most time. Sorry, Dad.

Proudest DIY: Our little town of Purdy’s uses a charming, hand-painted font on all the signage on the shops downtown (and by “shops downtown” we mean the dentist’s office, the post office, and the travel agency within 20 yards of each other). When we put our table and chairs set out on the front porch, we joked about how our new outdoor “dining establishment” would become the new hot spot downtown, and when it did we would call it the “Beastro.” To make it official, I copied the Purdy’s font onto a piece of carved wood to create our own little handmade “Beastro” sign.

Biggest Indulgence: Our couch (and ottoman, and chair-and-a-half ) from Raymour and Flanigan. Just so comfy and perfect for housing overnight guests.

Best Advice: Whenever we go on vacation, we love to buy art from local artists in the town we’re visiting. The artwork doesn’t have to be expensive or high-end, in fact, most of our pieces are from charity exhibitions or student shows and cost under $50. Instead of bringing back a souvenir that you’ll hide away in a drawer, you’ll have a piece of artwork to add to your wall décor that remains a lively memory of a wonderful trip you shared.

Dream Sources: Anthropologie and Martha Stewart

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)



  • Hallway: Behr: 220-A-2 Friendship
  • Kitchen and Bedroom: Behr: 500C-3 Spa
  • Dining Room: Behr: S-G-160 California Poppy
  • Studio: Behr: 420A-3 Key Lime & black chalkboard paint
  • Living Room and Bathroom: Behr: 320A-2 Provence Creme
  • Living Room High Wall: Existing Brown (we couldn’t justify the expense of the scaffolding it would take to paint all the way up there, so we opted for a two-toned room!)


  • Sock Puppet Portraits and Custom Sock Puppet: Marty’s Sock Puppet Portraits
  • Print, Tooth Beast: Fencing and Archery
  • Print, The Pollinator’s Corridor: Aaron Birk
  • Poster, Ani DiFranco & Pearl and the Beard Tour: Kiri Moth
  • Poster frame: Christmas Tree Shop
  • Painting, teal horse: Sarah Libby, purchased on vacation in Portland, ME
  • Couch, chair-and-a-half, ottoman: Raymour and Flanigan
  • Green chairs: Hand-me-down
  • Globe: Found on the street
  • Globe lamp: Purchased on vacation in Portland, ME
  • Blue lamp: Target
  • Indoor / outdoor rug: Target
  • Short bookshelves, coffee table: WalMart
  • Ladder bookshelf: Target
  • Vanity: Hand-me-down
  • White enamel craft table: Craigslist
  • Bar: Ikea Förhöja
  • Pitcher: Target
  • Piano: Family heirloom
  • Wooden kazoos: Wedding gift from Woodstock Wooden Kazoo
  • Miniature kinetic sculpture: Theo Jansen’s Miniature Strandbeest Kit
  • Curtains: Christmas Tree Shop & Bed, Bath, & Beyond, hand altered by Jocelyn
  • Pillows: Handmade by Jocelyn
  • Rainbow stripe blanket: Crocheted by Jocelyn
  • Painting, colorful lines: Handmade by Jocelyn
  • Tissue paper flowers: Handmade by Jim




  • Painting, collage: Deborah Ann Gill
  • Kitchen Aid: Wedding gift
  • Hanging fruit basket: Yard sale
  • Plates: Christmas Tree Shop
  • Pitchers: Home Goods
  • Grain jars: Gift
  • Tissue paper flowers: Handmade by Jim


  • Circle quilt: Lilybird Stitches
  • Submarine print: Daria Tessler
  • Otter painting: Alec Longstreth
  • Faux Swarovski earrings: Kwilti
  • Pillow cases: Handmade gifts
  • Jim’s dresser: Gothic Cabinet Craft
  • Jocelyn’s dresser: Salvation Army
  • Bed frame: Ikea
  • Night table: Hand-me-down
  • Purple vase: Family heirloom
  • Flags: Purchased on honeymoon in Mexico
  • Blue candy dish: Home Goods
  • Felt landscape and Penguin beadwork: Handmade by Jocelyn
  • Tissue paper flowers: Handmade by Jim


  • Pearl and the Beard, Lucius, and You Won’t tour poster: Pressed Merch
  • Poster frame: Christmas Tree Shop
  • Desk: Ikea shelving + a wooden plank
  • Wire covering fabric: Purl Soho
  • Futon: Hand-me-down
  • Lamp: Christmas Tree Shop
  • Yarn caddy: Found on the street (the caddy was free but the cab home cost me $30!)
  • Chair: Yard sale
  • Coffee table: Target
  • Rugs: Purchased on honeymoon in Mexico


Thanks, Jocelyn and Jim!

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