Owner: Amy Williams, a production designer, who recently created the set for the third season of Netflix's Master of None. Williams shares the home with her husband, five-year-old son, and dog, Trixie.
Location: Park Slope, Brooklyn, in New York City, New York.
Size: Approximately 1,200 square feet, with two bedrooms and one bathroom. Williams and her family live on the parlor (or ground) floor, so their space has 11-foot ceilings and they have access to a backyard.
Williams describes her aesthetic as eclectic sentimental, and the original detailing of the home—a brownstone built in 1895—is one of the very first things that caught her eye on their initial visit.
“The tile pattern on the floor [of the entryway] was so unique, and the original detail was as charming as could be,” she says. They maintained the original floors throughout their home, including the original oak plank floorboards, which have a well-worn, warm varnish.
Picking the Place
“After living in the Lower East Side of Manhattan for 15 years, my partner and I wanted to live in a place with more trees and a classic brownstone with historical details,” Williams says. As she and her husband searched for the perfect house, they found themselves on the perfect street. “Several old-school Brooklyn families hung out on their stoops, drinking and laughing. It’s felt so happy and authentic,” she says.
Outdoor space can be tricky to find in New York City, but the family is lucky to have what Williams describes as a lovely little deck and brick patio with loads of plants. Best of all, they have hosted a nest with red cardinal chicks.
The family of three shares one bathroom, and Williams admits it’s the one thing she’d change if she could: “I wish we had a second bathroom. With 2 adults and one five-year-old, privacy would be a dream.” On the other hand, their washroom has great water pressure and a heated floor, two features that make up for the lack of space.
Williams and her husband kept the original appliances, which “are all JennAir and perform well,” she says. “I especially love the dishwasher,” she adds—a definite commodity when it comes to New York living.
Williams describes the view from her tiny bedroom window as the best in the apartment. “The buildings behind us reflect the sunlight, and all the windows illuminate with different color temperatures and personalities,” she says. “In the summer, there is a canopy of bright green ivy that is overgrown and obscures the view in the best possible way.”
Along with this view, the rest of the apartment’s windows offer lots of natural light. “The extensive original bay windows get the most incredible southern exposure sunlight,” Williams says.
Extra Special Details Throughout
The 16-foot hallway leading to her son’s bedroom has been turned into an extra-special gallery wall, Williams says—and it’s a major contributor to her overall eclectic sentimental aesthetic.
“I’ve designated this area as my partner’s art and awards wall,” she says. “He works in the music business, [so it’s] filled with hip hop framed platinum records and black and white jazz photography.”
There are touches of Williams’s career throughout the apartment, too. “The Emmy on the mantle is the big shiny work prize,” Williams notes. As a set decorator and production designer, she says, “I like to keep a piece from every show, film, and season I production design.”
Of all the things she’s kept, her favorite is a bright teal bread cabinet from India used on the set for Master of None’s ‘Parents’ episode. “It’s mainly for so many sentimental reasons,” Williams says. “I was pregnant with my son that season, and now it holds all of his art supplies and artwork.”
Along with set pieces, Williams also collects art. “We have a giant painting in our living room by Davin Watne called ‘the Alien,’” she says. “It’s intense and shows a mountain lion towering over a car crash at night. It’s tragic and majestic.”
The personal touches and professional prizes scattered around the apartment give the space a cozily cluttered, lived-in feel, but Williams says she values its other residents the most.
“Plants, books, and music make the space feel dreamy, but Ian, our son Roman, and our mutt Trixie make it home,” she says.