A Ceramicist and Author’s Victorian House in Brooklyn Is Full of Art, Books, and Work-From-Home Goals

updated Mar 30, 2020

A Ceramicist and Author’s Victorian House in Brooklyn Is Full of Art, Books, and Work-From-Home Goals

updated Mar 30, 2020
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Name: Forrest Lewinger and Molly Prentiss
Location: Ditmas Park, Brooklyn 
Size: 4-bedroom Victorian house
Years lived in: 2

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Forrest Lewinger, the founder and creator of ceramic brand Workaday Handmade, and novelist and freelance writer Molly Prentiss had comfortably and happily lived in their fourth-floor, two-bedroom walk-up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for many years. Molly, a writer, mostly worked out of coffee shops, and Forrest, a ceramicist, rented studio space nearby. They had flirted with the idea of moving somewhere where they could both live and work (warehouses, storefronts, carriages houses), but it wasn’t until their friends offered them a live-work situation in an old Victorian house in Ditmas Park that they decided to make the move.

Credit: Chloe Berk

Ditmas Park feels like a suburban neighborhood that got plopped in the middle of a bustling city. In addition to house after beautiful Victorian house, people have front yards and backyards. Molly and Forrest’s friends had bought and renovated one of these 1890s homes to bring it into the 21st century (apparently it was loved, but barely holding on). Eventually, their friends decided to move permanently to upstate New York and offered Forrest and Molly the home at a great deal. They knew that moving to Ditmas Park would be a big change (they watched that “High Maintenance” episode to get in the mindset), but decided to take the plunge.

Credit: Chloe Berk

Molly uses the Scandinavian-feeling attic as her writing studio, while Forrest uses the basement for his ceramics studio and the outside “shed” in the backyard for finished work. As they moved from a small apartment, they are still working to fill up their new, large home, but feel it’s important to take their time. They would rather make sure they get items they like, instead of settling for the sake of the house feeling “finished.” Fluidity is a constant state in their home—Forrest will often bring up a new piece from his studio downstairs and set it on the dining room table and then Molly will find a place for it or create an arrangement around it. What is especially important to them is being surrounded by art, particularly art made by their friends and family. Paintings, drawings, and ceramic works can be found in almost every corner of the house. There is a warmth and calmness that radiates throughout their home, which can certainly be tied to both the art they love and the art they create.

Credit: Chloe Berk

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Whimsical, eclectic, feel-good.

Favorite Element: Art made by our friends and family.  

Credit: Chloe Berk

Biggest Challenge: Furnishing/cleaning an entire house.

What Friends Say: This feels like [insert name of small U.S. city here]!

Biggest Embarrassment: The curry stain on our dining room chair that our 5-year-old friend thought was poop. 

Credit: Chloe Berk

Proudest DIY: All our cups and saucers. (Made by Workaday Handmade.) 

Best Advice: Surround yourself with books and art and you will feel good. 

Resources

Credit: Chloe Berk

ENTRY

Credit: Chloe Berk

LIVING ROOM

  • Couch — Article via Craigslist 
  • Blue Persian Rug — Craigslist
  • Gold Lamp — Workaday Handmade 
  • Glass Coffee Table — Craigslist 
  • Black Chair — Brooklyn Salvage Yard 
  • Wooden Chair — Found on the sidewalk and repaired 
  • Stools / End tables — Workaday Handmade 
  • Wooden Shelves — Craigslist 
  • Lamp — Craigslist 
  • Round Lights — Ikea 
Credit: Chloe Berk

DINING ROOM

  • Dining Room Table — Craigslist 
  • Vases — Workaday Handmade 
  • Chairs — Marcel Bruer via a Brooklyn thrift store
Credit: Chloe Berk

KITCHEN

  • Breakfast Table — DIY with butcher block 
  • Cups, Bowls, Plates — Workaday Handmade 
  • High Chair — Vintage, purchased at Housing Works Thrift Store
Credit: Chloe Berk

MASTER BEDROOM

  • Japanese Wall Hanging — Purchased at vintage store in Santa Cruz, CA 
  • Bed — Craigslist 
  • Bedding — Muji 
  • Throw Pillow — Block Shop 
  • Dresser — Vintage 
  • Mirror — Ikea 
Credit: Chloe Berk

NURSERY

  • Crib — Troll Sun (Danish Company) via Craigslist
  • Chair — Brooklyn Flea Market 
  • Quilt — Handmade by sister, Kate Prentiss
  • Dresser — Ikea 
Credit: Chloe Berk

ATTIC/WRITING STUDIO

  • Desk — Ikea 
  • Chair — Marcel Bruer via Build it Green 
  • Bedding — Collected vintage and handmade items 
Credit: Chloe Berk
"These pieces are by the artist Carmen Winant. (A good friend of ours.)"

OTHER

Thanks, Forrest and Molly!