Design

A Whimsical Brooklyn Home (With a Trapeze!)

Sophie Demenge's Brooklyn Home Tour

Sophie Demenge and Michael Ryan — the creators of Oeuf, the line of eco-friendly kids’ furniture and gifts — live in Brooklyn with their two teenagers. The home is filled with playful touches, including a real trapeze. “Our kids like to swing really high and scare people,” she laughs. Here’s a peek inside (and her advice on raising teens)…

On a helpful trapeze: I had the trapeze installed as soon as we moved in. Twenty years ago, when I lived in San Francisco, my mother had just died, and I needed to do something very different. So, I enrolled in a circus school! Trapeze forces you to let go, and that felt therapeutic to me. We thought our kids might use it for five minutes and never again, but it’s completely part of our daily lives.

Sophie Demenge's Brooklyn Home Tour

On renovating: When we moved in, we needed to renovate the kitchen. We had no kitchen for months. I was like Kramer, washing the dishes in the shower. We would ask contractors how long something would take and they would ask, ‘When do you want to move in?’ and we’d say, ‘No, we actually live here.’ Parents were scared to drop off their kids for play dates!

Sophie Demenge's Brooklyn Home Tour

On a family collection: In the 1950s, my grandmother wanted my mom (then a young child) to be aware of what was going on in the world, so she got her a subscription to Time Magazine. Every month for years, my mom would write a letter to whoever was on the cover. She would talk about her cat, her school, her braces, her crush… to JFK. The person would almost always send back a signed cover, usually with a letter. We have dozens of them and they’re amazing to read. These people really related to her! They would say things like, ‘Be patient, I know siblings can be annoying,’ or ‘You’re lucky to have a cat! I only had a goldfish.’ Our kids picked their favorite covers to hang on the wall.

Sophie Demenge's Brooklyn Home Tour

Hot sauce pillow: Oeuf. Family portrait on eggshells: Olivia Angelozzi.

On playful gifts: Michael and I have a similar sense of humor and generally like the same things, which is helpful! I try to surprise him with a family portrait every year, whether it’s large or small. The painted eggs in the kitchen are one example. My kids hate them; they’re so embarrassed. They try to hide them when their friends come over.

On dinnertime: We’re not big cooks, so meals can be tricky. We go through phases where we get excited about making a menu, but it lasts a week then falls apart! We recently went through a slow cooker phase, which included boeuf bourguignon and chicken tikka masala, which were really good. There was also a pea soup, which was bad.

HOME OFFICE

Sophie Demenge's Brooklyn Home Tour

Paint: Farrow & Ball, off-black. Desk: made by Sophie, while in school at Pratt. Mobile: made by Michael, similar. Lamp and rug: vintage.

On work/life balance: I’ve given up! It’s elusive; there is no such thing. I just try my best to stay in the moment. When I work, I work. I’m fully on. When I’m with the kids, I try to be really present.

On keeping loved ones close: The framed photos on the wall are of the important people in my life, people who have shaped me. My sister, friends, mentors, people living or not. I spend quite a bit of time at my desk, whenever I work at home, and they bring me great comfort.

MASTER BEDROOM

Sophie Demenge's Brooklyn Home Tour

Wallpaper: Farrow & Ball. Headboard: vintage. Shelving: old library ladder, vintage.

On reading together: Wallpaper on an accent wall makes a bedroom feel instantly cozy. I like reading in bed, and I started a book club two years ago. We still haven’t finished a single book. But it’s super fun! We’re all women from different backgrounds, different career paths. No kids or husbands allowed. They would be shocked if they knew what we talked about! I don’t think they could handle it.

MAE’S BEDROOM

Sophie Demenge's Brooklyn Home Tour

Wallpaper: Farrow & Ball, similar. Chair and bedside table: vintage. Decorative pillows: Oeuf. Heart garland: Oeuf.

On letting kids express themselves: Originally, the decor in the kids’ rooms was a lot more ‘us,’ but slowly, they’ve remove things and pieced together how they wanted it to be. Growing up, my mom was an antiques dealer, and when I became a teenager, my room went from beautifully designed to horrendous! I’m sure it was tough for her, but she encouraged me. That’s how teenagers learn to express themselves.

Sophie Demenge's Brooklyn Home Tour

Mushroom lamp: Egmont. Cat pillow: Oeuf. Bobcat print: The Animal Print Shop.

On parenting teenagers: The kids are 14 and 16, and I think they’re navigating where they fit and where they don’t. They’re starting to discover their own interests, their own opinions, what they feel strongly about, what they want to be an advocate for. Even though they’ll say things very vehemently, they’re at the stage where it’s still said in a delicate voice. I think sometimes we can forget how deep and insightful kids are. They see everything, they hear everything. I just try to help them feel safe.

MARIUS’S BEDROOM

Sophie Demenge's Brooklyn Home Tour

Wallpaper: Farrow & Ball. Bed: Oeuf. Print: AF. Flag garlands: Oeuf. Cubebot: Areaware. Throw blanket: similar.

On bedtime rituals: Bedtime is check-in time. I go to their level, to understand what they’re interested in and why. The fears, the questioning. When the kids were younger, I used to rub their backs and I’d hold them until my arms would cramp. It’s still so nice to cuddle.

BATHROOM

Sophie Demenge's Brooklyn Home Tour

Rabbit lamp: Egmont. Hot dog pillow: Oeuf.

On bathroom decor: I’ve always had a thing about having a warm bathroom environment. Bathrooms are where it’s easy to feel vulnerable. So, I think it should be a place where you feel comfortable, where you can be alone. You should feel kind of held by the tiny space. It’s where you start the day, where you end the day, and for me, it’s one of the most important rooms in the house. If I see something, and it inspires me, why not put it in the bathroom?

Sophie Demenge's Brooklyn Home Tour

Wall painting: by Sophie, inspired by Marc Johns.

On giving kids wings: I want the kids to know that if something is going on, they can tell us about it. We don’t focus on grades, we care about them talking to the lonely kid in the cafeteria. That’s where I’m really uncompromising. To never make people feel small, to never make anyone feel bad.

Oeuf Sophie Demenge house tour

On looking ahead: I have no idea what the future holds. I could imagine the kids bringing their friends, their lovers, their own kids back to this house. I hope to have people coming and going and growing. I love this home.

Thank you so much, Sophie!

P.S. Many more home tours, including a Hudson Valley love story and a book lover’s paradise.

(Photos by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. Styling by Kate Jordan. Credits for the top photo: Table: made by Michael. Chairs and rug: flea market finds. Sofa: Room & Board, similar. Floor lamp: vintage Jean Louis Domecq. Womb chair: Eero Saarinen.)

  1. EB says...

    I love the irregular live edge wood piece on the living room wall! Was it purchased as is or made? Any tips or recommendations welcome as I commence my Google hunt :) Thanks!

  2. Svilena says...

    This is such an inspiring home and family! I’m an architect and mom of a 4year old boy and I actually discovered Cup of Jo in my first months of motherhood. Thanks for all Joanna, I’m so happy to follow along! While I loved Oeuf it was such a pleasant surprise to find out it’s a family run business. Their lifestyle and parenting philosophy are both insipiring and authentic, which is so rare nowadays.
    I have to ask where they sourced the ceiling lamp (the industrial one with the bowls) in the living/entrance room? It’s lovely, I can only hope I can have it shipped to Italy..

  3. Love the trapeze. What a great idea.
    And overall very nice design.

  4. Anna says...

    The bit about the kids rooms changing hit me so hard. My dad is a talented modern architect, and yet he still installed a horrendous iridescent plastic bead curtain for me in my doorway when I was 14. That’s when I knew he must really really love me, haha.

  5. Katie H. says...

    I know this is a crazy long shot, but if Sophie is reading this, what would the chances be of commissioning a mobile from Michael? The DWR is beautiful, but I absolutely love the simplicity’s of Michael’s!

    Beautiful, eclectic, inspiring space- thanks for the sharing!

  6. That desk is INCREDIBLE. So dreamy.

  7. Work/life balance is so important to me and I so appreciate Sophie’s comments…..that’s what I try to do as well: be present in the moment. Glad to know that others also aim for this balance.

  8. While I love this home tour I have to give a shoutout to both Sophie & Michael for their excellent line Oeuf! We loved the Oeuf crib and when we initially purchased it the bassinet used to creak! So we wrote to Oeuf & micheal himself came down to our apartment to fix the bassinet! That to me spoke so much about their brand & customer service! Since the we have been big fans of their line!

  9. Cynthia says...

    Lovely home. The Time magazine covers and their story are wonderful. I see this wall as an homage to the importance of our connections as humans belonging to family and the world.
    Because of four cross country moves during my teens, I was also the lonely kid in the cafeteria. I had to force myself to make my way and eventually did, but whenever I think back on those years, finding a place in the cafeteria was the most difficult and still brings me to tears.

    • Best tour ever. 💟

  10. Tricia M says...

    That trapeze is amazing! What a wonderfully quirky and warm house this is. I think Sophie has it all sorted out and it shows. A house with a lot of personality and fun.

  11. Bex says...

    Loved this tour. Loved all of Sophie’s thoughts on raising teens. Loved the trapeze.
    Thank you Sophie for sharing.

  12. Rt says...

    Love the house. Warm. I guess I’m gonna be the outlier here but I actually hate when parents say grades don’t matter but looking out for the lonely kids does. First off, you can excel at school and care about your fellow human being, it doesn’t have to be exclusive. Second, let’s be honest about human behavior, some people are empaths, always in tune to everyone’s feelings, some people are sociopaths, don’t care about anyone, but most people are somewhere well in between. Most people are focused in themselves, immediate friends and family. That’s ok and normal as is expecting decent grades.

  13. Sasha L says...

    “I just try to help them feel safe”, this. Be the people they come back to. Still trying to keep this sentiment strong with my 22 & 20 you, out there, very independent and still needing so much love and safety sometimes.

    We had a hammock hanging in our living room for years when my kids were still at home. Two giant C hooks into studs one day when my husband came home from work and I said “could we hang a hammock in here?” You had to climb a step ladder to access it and then it was still slightly dangerous because it was really high, but that was the point. Once you were up there, you had your own space, no small feat in our tiny house.

    I adore this family’s home, so full of love and individuality. The white and wood is so calming and a lovely backdrop to all the color. I particularly love the creature on the backsplash behind the stove. Just delightful.

  14. Alison says...

    I guess I don’t understand what people mean by work/life balance.

    This sounds like balance to me: “I just try my best to stay in the moment. When I work, I work. I’m fully on. When I’m with the kids, I try to be really present.” Do this and avoid neglecting either one. Presto! Work/life balance!

    • Stephanie says...

      But the question is (for me, at least) isn’t about *where* your focus is when you’re at work/home. It’s about how much time you spend at work and/or home. For those with a 9-5, clock out and don’t think about it again job… that’s easy. For many of us, when 9-5 turns to early morning emails and leaving work at 7, 8, 8:30 and replies expected at night… That’s a different question!

    • Alison says...

      Stephanie: Good point. Thanks for adding that.

  15. Sandy says...

    I am in love with what I see of the master bedroom! The headboard! The wallpaper!

    Is the wallpaper on only one wall? What color is the rest of the room?

    What a wonderful home <3

  16. Stephanie says...

    Where is her beautiful dining table from?!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      her husband made it!

    • Anna says...

      I love that table so fun! Would love to know where he got the legs!

  17. Kirsten Evans says...

    I just love everything about this home. Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Judy says...

    This combination of meaning, whimsy, fun and love is INSPIRING! You have made an inviting and warm home full of love and thoughtfulness–not easy to do today. Best wishes for you and your wonderful family!

  19. Kristin says...

    This was so beautiful to read. Thank you for teaching your kids to care about those lonely kids in the cafeteria. I have 3 teens of my own and this is what I try and focus on too. Sending you love + peace!

  20. Allyson says...

    “We don’t focus on grades, we care about them talking to the lonely kid in the cafeteria.”

    I love this.

  21. lily says...

    suggestion: Christina Tosi apartment tour :

    • Erin says...

      YES. Please!

  22. Sophie says...

    Dying over the moldings and architectural details!!

  23. Louise says...

    Sophie sounds like a lovely person

  24. TJ says...

    Okay, of course the house is amazing but can I just comment about how much I admire and relate to the parenting style? Especially the focus on fostering ‘good people’ versus ‘perfect A sudents’. The world needs more good people who share snacks and talk to lonely people. ❤️

    • Tayo Adeseye says...

      Your comment is exactly how I felt when I read this story and I couldn’t have put it in better words. After reading this story, I am inspired to do the same.

  25. Sara M says...

    I’m drooling over the wallpaper. So gorgeous! Anyone have any recommendations for similar aesthetics for wallpaper but slightly lower priced? Their rolls are $250-$300 each!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      urban outfitters has some lovely patterns, and they seem more affordable: http://bit.ly/2DA3OBX

    • Sophie Demenge says...

      Ebay is a great option. I found treasures that I used for photoshoots.
      You don’t need a lot for just one wall. I found a great installer on craigslist!

    • Robin says...

      Or try painting something with a stencil! We did a mural in my son’s room based on some wallpaper I was drooling over, using dollar store sponges cut into stamps. We painted the base (some slightly abstract green hills) and then stamped on tree trunks (made 2-3 different shapes for variety) and flowers. It’s kind of early Japanese spring-ish). Cut the stamps down a little for the ‘further’ away hills. It turned out great, and cost next to nothing. Maybe $20 for a few sample pots of paint and the sponges. And then my son drew spaceships and a pizza planet to stick to the wall :). You could definitely do something with more of a straightforward pattern too, but I found the whole process very satisfying.

  26. Lynn says...

    You made that desk. YOU MADE THAT DESK?!?!?!
    Also, hello kitty kitty!

  27. Eva says...

    Can you ask about the source of the dining chairs? Alternatively, what you’d call that style? I’m in the market :)

    • Sophie Demenge says...

      Hi Eva,
      We found those chairs at a yard sale upstate. Not sure what they are called. They must be from the 30s or 40s. I’ve seen them around. If you google “old wooden chairs” very similar ones pop up.
      Good luck :)

  28. Such a gorgeous space! I would love to have a trapeze one day! and to take some trapeze classes as well.

  29. Jessica says...

    Would love to learn more about where they got the 3D art in the front foyer. Thanks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes, it was done by a friend for them!

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Hi Jessica! It’s a portrait by Sophie’s friend, Olivia Angelozzi (the same artist who painted their faces on the eggs!).

    • Elizabeth R says...

      What is the name of the friend? Do they take commisions?

  30. Wow. What a gorgeous personality, and space!

    Where is the rug in Marius’s room from, please?

    Thanks
    Sarh

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it’s vintage xoxo

  31. Anna says...

    Sophie,

    Can you tell me where the bedside floor lights are from in your bedroom?? I love them!!

    Anna

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Hi Anna! They’re from Design Within Reach. Thank you!

  32. Julia says...

    I love this! But a word of caution about the trapeze: if you want to install any aerial apparatus in your home, get a professional to evaluate whether you can install the rigging safely. The rigging has to hold up to a lot of force, and it’s really dangerous when done incorrectly. Your local circus arts school can probably recommend someone who knows about this.

    • Elise Backinger says...

      We have a swing in our high ceiling entry. I love it, as does every kid who comes to visit. We have extra heavy duty attachments screwed into thick floor treads. I wish I could send a photo. I have always wanted an inside swing. At 74, I have one!

  33. jeannie says...

    What a lovely, inviting home! I was just wondering about what white you used on the walls and if the non-wallpapered walls in the master bedroom are that same white. Your description of your book club made me laugh! You have such respect for your children. Thank you for sharing your insights, especially this: “I want the kids to know that if something is going on, they can tell us about it. We don’t focus on grades, we care about them talking to the lonely kid in the cafeteria. That’s where I’m really uncompromising. To never make people feel small, to never make anyone feel bad.”

  34. Yael says...

    Very nice, thanks for sharing! Where are the large pillows in Mae’s bedroom from (the ones behind the Oeuf pillows)?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we’ll ask!

    • sophie says...

      I got them ages ago at a Calypso sample sale :) They are from Morocco.

  35. Nina says...

    I love her values. And her decorating. Can I have every old mirror, please? Why are they so hard to find??? I need to focus on that more “not making people feel small” with my son. The other day he had a friend who would not stop tickling him when they were walking in the hall. And I asked how he dealt with it. He said he just stopped talking to him. I asked him how he would feel if someone did that? And he said bad. I said I know it’s hard but when you want to remain friends with someone you have to sometimes have hard conversations…tell him what is bugging you. If he doesn’t stop, you know he’s not worth working for but don’t just give up…because you don’t want anyone to give up on you without at least telling you why, right? True, he said.

  36. Anne-Hélène says...

    So funny to see that we have identical bathroom wall and floor tiles in our Montreal appartment! Here, we find them in bathrooms all around the city (well, at least in the (many) neighborhoods that developed around the 1930s).

  37. Littany says...

    Oh, dear Sophie, I too found solace, lost and re-discovered myself on the trapeze in San Francisco (though it sounds like we never crossed paths). Mine was in the midst of an inevitable divorce and I needed those moments of space and time in the air to get me through those days as well. I’ve been considering getting a trapeze for our sitting room and have always been put off by the cost, but reading your story makes me realize how therapeutic and important that part of my life is… I may have to finally take the leap and get the rigging set up!

  38. Temme says...

    That wall of Time magazines struck a deep emotional cord for me. My dad had a subscription to Time when he was a little boy in the 1940s. He posted the covers up on his wall as he fell in love with the United States. He emigrated here, went to school, started a business, even tried to enlist in the Korean War to fight alongside Americans (though he couldn’t because he was 17) and became an American. To this day, the Fourth of July is his favorite holiday. That magazine must’ve had one hell of an editorial staff back in the day!

    • Heather says...

      ❤️❤️❤️

    • Kate says...

      This made me emotional :) I love your dad’s (and your!) story so much. Thank you for sharing it!

  39. Lorena says...

    Love, love, love their home. I love all the whimsical, personal items. The Time magazine covers are wonderful.
    I also adore her approach to parenting. She totally had me when she said grades do not matter as much as talking with the lonely kid in the cafeteria. I would love to hear more of her parenting words of wisdom.

    • Steph says...

      Echo that, please more from Sophie on parenting, and life!

  40. Raquel says...

    This is one of my favorite houses. Ever. It’s beautiful and lived-in and makes me feel at ease.

  41. This might be my favorite home tour (and person to be featured on CoJ) yet. I can relate to everything she says and to their cozy, unfussy and beautiful home.

  42. Kate says...

    I need to know more about those knitted (crocheted?) faces in Marius’s room! I make painted wooden faces and would LOVE to add some knitted ones to my to-do list.

    • sophie says...

      Hi Kate! Yes crocheted in Bolivia. They are Oeuf samples :) We might include them in our next collection! Thank you for noticing them.

  43. Molly says...

    Beautiful home!! Who created the family portrait by the stairs?

  44. Maire says...

    I’m in love with this home and the Time magazine covers. I have a less personal but similarly quirky decor in my home of Presidential collectors plates that have a painting of the President and First Lady on them. I found three together at Goodwill on a 50% day, and then collected the rest at yard sales and Ebay. I think they were only made from the late 50s to the 70s though because I haven’t seen ones with anyone before Dwight and Mamie or after Gerald and Betty.

  45. Helen says...

    Curious about the bathroom rugs. Are they just vintage area rugs? Or specifically for wet spaces? In real life, are they actually used in the bathroom? Do they hold up? Thanks.

    • Maggie says...

      Yes, I want to know this, too! Our bathroom needs to be renovated, but while we save up for that, I’m looking for a way to add some warmth to the all-white + mirrors coldness. How do they keep the little rugs clean?

    • Paige says...

      Try Ruggable! We got one for our bathroom, they look like vintage rugs but are actually microfiber, machine washable, and can get wet!

    • Julia says...

      You can train your family and visitors to put a thick towel on top of the rugs before they get out of the shower or bath. That’s what my aunt did, and while I wouldn’t try it with an expensive rug you’d worry about, hers has been there for awhile and still looks fine! She just keeps the towel on a nice hook next to the shower.

    • Sophie Demenge says...

      The rugs are vintage area rugs. Yes they get a little wet but then they dry :) Also now that I think about it we tend to dry our legs as we come out of the tub…

  46. Helen Mason says...

    I love the Time cover story. What a wonderful memento. I wonder if the over stars of today would take the time to write back?

    • Actually my daughter Mae tried but never got a response… They don’t do the incredible painted covers anymore. That also made the covers very special.

  47. Bethany says...

    You seem real! If I had to do kids again, (empty nester now) I’d have a climbing wall in my house, kinda like a trapeze. Maybe I’ll put one in anyway, since I love to climb. I like your style.

  48. Johanna says...

    Beautiful home! We have gymnastic rings in our condo that our three kids use everyday but the fun really starts when we have guests over and people start comparing trix :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      So cool!!!

  49. Chrissie says...

    Wow! What an amazing home!

    The office in particular I keep going back to. That desk is so cool and I love the paint color. The thing I kee zooming in on, though, is that cool archway and the detail on the molding. Love an old home!!!

    Also love her perspective as a mom of teenagers! I’d love to hear me!

  50. Nigerian Girl says...

    Those Time covers…10/10. Your grandmother is a phenomenal woman. Totally stealing her idea.

  51. Julie says...

    I love this house! So warm, and fun too. I envy their large bathroom!

  52. Mel says...

    A trapeze!? Wow!

    Have to say…the quirky egg portraits and 3D portrait I can make out from the foyer are INCREDIBLE!
    Sure … embarrassing now for her adolescents but I’m willing to put money it’ll be something they’ll treasure in their later years!

    What a fun and upbeat interview and space. Thank you.

  53. A Martin says...

    What a beautiful and whimsical home. I am inspired!

  54. Claire Miller says...

    Oh my God!

    “Bathrooms are places where it’s easy to feel vulnerable. So, I think it should be a space where you feel comfortable, where you can be alone. You should feel kind of held.”

    I have never heard anyone say this, and it perfectly puts into words what I’ve never been able to articulate before. I’ve always felt a little terrified by bathrooms. They’re often an element in scary movies. The Shining and Poltergeist come to mind. I saw those movies when I was too young to have seen them, and I couldn’t be alone in a bathroom with the door closed until I was in my twenties. And I still sometimes tear open the shower curtain just to make sure there’s no one in the tub.

    So yeah…a warm and inviting bathroom that’s a lovely safe space? Sign me up!

    • Kelly says...

      Same, Claire! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one with an irrational fear of a closed shower curtain in an unfriendly bathroom!

  55. Anna says...

    What a beautiful and warm environment for teenagers to grow up in… and I ADORE the trapeze!!! :-) So fun!

  56. Kate says...

    I so relate to the bookclub comment – we talk about EVERYTHING at mine!! One time my sister in law asked if she could join the one I’m in and I was like, uhhhh, no. What’s said in book club stays in book club!

  57. I’m so intrigued by city homes, somehow I always picture them sleek and modern, so very different than our old farmhouse on the east coast of Canada but this one is very similar to our home’s style. Also whenever I see a picture of a bookcase in someone’s home I always zoom in on the titles to see if we have any books in common…….and I almost always find at least one…and for some reason it always pleases me.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes, homes are so different here — you have high rises and brownstones and carriage houses and townhouses and low-rise apartment buildings, etc. it’s fun to see all the various types around the city :)

    • Anna says...

      Hehe! Me too!

    • nadine says...

      haha i do the same with books pictures!

    • Tricia M says...

      Me too , Denise. It’s very revealing!

  58. Elizabeth R. says...

    Wow. Great home. Couple of questions:
    1) Where are the chairs and coffee table in the living room from?
    2) Is that a vintage carousel piece in Mae’s room?
    3) Is the man and his shadow art in the trapeze picture vintage?
    4) And, the portrait in the first picture seems almost 3D. Is it? Who painted that beauty?
    Thanks!

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Hi Elizabeth,

      The living room coffee table was custom made during a trip to Sri Lanka. The living room sofa is from Room & Board, and the chair and ottoman are by Eero Saarinen. The horse in Mae’s room is actually a vintage rocking horse. The 3D portrait of the family near the stairs is another piece by Sophie’s friend Olivia Angelozzi, the same artist who painted the portraits on the eggs.

      Thanks so much!

  59. Maria says...

    The apartment is fantastic but I really loved everything she mentioned about raising her kids. She seems like an incredible mom.

  60. c says...

    Beautiful! Such a strange question, but having a similar bathroom setup, where is the toilet paper holder and dispenser???!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha i figured it was on the right side of the toilet, but i’ll ask! :)

    • Sophie Demenge says...

      ha! I never thought about that. We don’t have a dispenser. We might have been running low on toilet paper that day! The roll is typically on the window seal.

    • Megan says...

      Could it be in the “stuffed hotdog” on the wooden chair? Absolutely love this home!

  61. Jax says...

    I wanted an action shot of someone climbing up on the trapeze seat.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      We actually have a gif of that! Will post when I’m back at my computer :)

    • Jax says...

      Fantastic, thanks, Joanna! Looking forward to seeing it!

      I don’t know, if this question was already answered in another comment, but would love to know where the living room sofa was sourced too. It looks like a more contemporary version of the English roll arm sofa, which I love.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes! It was from Room & Board but is sold out now unfortunately.

  62. Cynthia says...

    This reminds me of homes in the Fan District in Richmond, Virginia, with the front hall and stairs, and the bay window. The small fireplaces are actually coal-burning fireplaces. Charming.

    • Meredith says...

      Living in the Fan in Richmond is my all-time dream! I spent plenty of summer evenings wandering through the Fan District after a visit to the VMFA looking for my perfect house :) Once my husband retires from the military I hope we can return to one of the beautiful historic homes there!

    • Denise A. says...

      LOL – so funny to read this. That’s exactly where I live! I’m a block from the VMFA! The houses here are awesome – although mine could use a little more of my time and focus.

  63. what a great story behind this house. The light is amazing, and I absolutely love the use of dark walls and wallpaper accents. LOVE the trapeze and the time magazine covers, that’s so amazing. Thank you for sharing!

  64. What a beautiful home and lovely interview. It’s so funny, but when I used to read all the Brooklyn home tours from the midwest, this never crossed my mind, but now that I live in Brooklyn, I always want to know: What neighborhood?! :) Obviously, I respect the privacy of those willing and open enough to share their homes and am not asking for cross streets, just curious if people would be willing to share general vicinity within BK.

    Brooklyn is way bigger than I imagined it from Wisconsin :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Park slope!

    • Shantaya says...

      I always get the impression that when the Brooklyn neighborhood isn’t mentioned, especially when the people being profiled are white/wealthy and the post mentions a renovation, that it’s something like Crown Heights where local, people of color who have lived in old brownstones their entire lives are priced/bought out so rich folk can move in and renovate it to look like this.

      Everyone loves airy and bright “classic” New York homes like ones photographed for this story, but no one wants to admit that their responsibility of gentrification and pushing families like my own out of neighborhoods we’ve been in for generations. So forgive me if I’m bitter.

      I know that Joanna replied that this apartment was in Park Slope, but this is happening all over Brooklyn and it’s so disheartening. You’re a transplant too so you don’t understand what we have to go through.

      For once it’d be nice to see this website do a home tour about “real people.”

    • Lucy says...

      Shantaya, thank you for your comment. It is such an important perspective that far too often gets overlooked as our social media society is constantly on the quest to see pictures of the next great house. I live on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC — so not in Brooklyn — but it won’t surprise you to hear that this is happening in DC as well. I am white and so are many of my neighbors. Some of us came in 15-20 years ago and bought homes that were abandoned and in severe disrepair, so we could tell ourselves that these homes weren’t being lived in and we were doing a service to the neighborhood in inhabiting them and fixing them up. But I have come to realize over time that this is one of many constructs that white folks have created to shield themselves to the harsher truths of gentrification.

      Aside from honoring your comment, which is a critical part of the dialogue, I want to raise the question for Cup Of Jo readers: what can we as a community/government (and I mean all of us, but particularly those coming from a position of privilege) be doing differently to support families who have been in homes for many years who can’t keep up with increasing property values, so that we maintain the fabric of our neighborhoods. It’s undoubtedly a combination of things, including more flexible tax structures and more affordable housing, but there is so much more to it than that. I’d appreciate thoughts from readers who have given thought to this issue or are aware of organizations that tackle it.

    • Kathleen says...

      Thank you, Shantaya! I’m a longtime resident of a rapidly-gentrifying (non NYC) neighbourhood and felt the same way when a neighbour’s home was featured here a while ago. I love a good interior but it made me so bitter and disheartened to see all the vibrancy and diversity (economic, racial, age, singles/families etc.) that this place has cultivated for 100 years be ignored in favour of a nice wealthy, white, heteronormative nuclear family. I won’t be able to afford to stay here much longer and it breaks my heart every time the fabric of my close knit community unravels a little more, and then some more. Let’s see inside a rent controlled apartment and talk about Airbnb and affordable housing and race and class some more please.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      These are such thoughtful comments, thank you so much. I remember LaTonya Yvette telling me once about gentrification, and how she had a hard time getting approved for apts in the neighborhood where she grew up, and her emotions around that. I’d love to have her (and other people, writers, experts, neighbors, etc) shaee their thoughts on this issue.

      Here’s LaTonya’s house tour, if you’d like to see:
      https://cupofjo.com/2018/09/latonya-yvette-house-tour/

      Thank you again for this conversation.

  65. Kristin says...

    Those Times covers and the story behind them… ! Love your grandmother and 100% want to do that for future children! What a lovely home.

  66. Sonja says...

    This is my very favorite house tour – ever. I love the mix of beauty and quirk. The home is so clearly loved and lived in. Also, Oeuf can do no wrong so I shouldn’t have been surprised.

  67. Jade Lees says...

    Those Time Magazines are incredible! What a wonderful way to learn about the world. When I was growing up my elderly neighbours (pseudo-grandparents) had a room full of National Geographic Magazines. I do wish that their family hadn’t given them all away on their passing. They act like an incredible time capsule.
    It does make me wonder if the people on today’s covers would write back?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh thank you!! I’ll add right now xoxo

  68. Christine says...

    The egg family portraits are AMAZING!
    I love that the cats got an egg as well. :)
    Beautiful home, and what a lovely approach to parenting.

  69. shannon says...

    Clawfoot tub question for Sophie and anyone reading: how is it having the handheld shower? Do you find it frustrating for showers? Mostly use the tub for baths? Is there a shower curtain tucked out of sight for this photoshoot, or no curtain? If you have a curtain, any tips on helping it not overwhelm the room visually?

    We’re beginning a bathroom restoration with a clawfoot tub, and I’d love to hear opinions!

    • My husband and I live in an old apartment with a single tiny bathroom that holds a clawfoot tub. When we moved in, there was a clear vinyl shower curtain already in place. It probably wouldn’t have been my first choice, but it’s not visually overwhelming and certainly keeps the room feeling open.

    • Emily says...

      I thought it would be fine to get the adjustable holes type of faucet with sprayer hose resting inside the tub. No. The sprayer hose just gets in my way in the water during baths. Yick. And, make sure you get the correctly spaced faucet for the holes in your tub, not the adjustable kind. Adjustable looks unfinished. The sprayer does make cleaning easier. My previous house had a clawfoot with shower attachment and shower curtain, it was like a shroud and the curtain would touch you when you were standing in there. I mostly took baths, but my partner didn’t. So when we did this place, we put in a separate shower for him.

    • Lauren says...

      I have to answer this question: just use a bowl instead! Works way quicker than a handheld (actually drenches your hair instead of spraying it); fill it from the tap for the last few rinses of course. We just use a stainless steel bowl but I’d love a fancy antique copper one :P

    • Sophie says...

      Hi Shannon,
      Yes mostly use the tub for looooong baths. There was a rod when we moved in but removed it because we really didn’t use the shower part that much and the curtains would get in the way of the cats walking along the edge :)
      But it looked cool. I had replaced the vinyl by natural linen that was waxed on the water side. https://i1.wp.com/www.lizmarieblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/5d33de15dc5be219e898b97ddde84a3b.jpg
      Have fun with the restoration!

  70. Maryann says...

    So glad you included the trapeze action shot! That is amazing. What a lovely home. Love the mix of new and old. And gosh those Time magazine covers – what a story.

  71. J’adore! Je me demandais si Sophie était française?!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oui!

  72. b says...

    1. The trapeze is brilliant.
    2. I love the Time Magazine covers. I read Time fairly regularly, perhaps I’ll start saving the covers when I’m done to frame – great, inexpensive art.