This Brooklyn Brownstone Was Inspired by the Caribbean

When ceramic and textile artist Malene Barnett bought her property in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood eleven decades back, she admits it was, “a overall wreck.” After virtually a long time of do the job — and a amazing application of Caribbean-inspired hues — her property is now a lively haven in the city. Come on in…

This Brooklyn Brownstone Was Inspired by the Caribbean

Paint on stairs: Sweet Orange.

On a challenge: When I 1st noticed this property in 2008, it was a mess. There was a hole in the roof, and water was leaking all the down to the ground ground. It was uninhabitable at the time. But I understood it had fantastic bones and that it was fundamentally all fixable.

Malene Barnett's Colorful House Tour in Brooklyn

On an island vibe in the center of Brooklyn: I desired the property to make me truly feel like I was in the Caribbean — with shiny colours and ocean blues — since it is wherever wherever my family’s from and the spot I normally want to be. I desired to have my possess oasis that felt like a distinct working experience than the one particular you have when you stage out into the metropolis streets.

Malene Barnett's Colorful House Tour in BrooklynPaint: Comfortable Green. Hood: Elica, very similar. Kettle: Concentrate on.

On cookbooks (or not): I really do not sense like a kitchen area has to be focused to cookbooks by itself. I like trying to keep all varieties of publications that have influenced me in right here — like novels, memoirs, design guides and art books. When I’m waiting around for meals to cook, I can flip by anything.

Malene Barnett's Colorful House Tour in Brooklyn

On food stuff: My favourite recipe blogs are Minimalist Baker and Cookie and Kate. I’m a vegetarian, and I go for a whole lot of West Indian or West African food, with a contact of Asian cuisine. When persons arrive around, I’ll do plantains with rice and peas and a lentil salad.

Eating Location
Malene Barnett's Colorful House Tour in Brooklyn

Dining table: West Elm. Chairs: West Elm.

On a property with circulation: The area is open up, so there’s a pleasant move concerning rooms. When I entertain, I’ll cook though good friends wander among the kitchen, the eating spot and the residing space. The space allows keep the discussion going.

Malene Barnett's Colorful House Tour in Brooklyn

On a wall of reminiscences: I appreciate exhibiting a combine of parts I have collected throughout my travels. The glass paintings are the appropriate are from Senegal. On the left, there is an etching portrait I did again in university. I picked up the tree of everyday living in India.

Residing Room
Malene Barnett's Colorful House Tour in Brooklyn

Paint: Peacock Blue and Ocean Spray. Curtains: Ikea. Yellow sofa: Consignment. Brown couch: Place & Board.

On all-colour everywhere: Turquoise is my most loved color, which is why you’ll see it all over the dwelling. I imagine you can hardly ever use too significantly shade. That is just the way I grew up, in a residence with no white partitions we usually had coloration about us. I like portray the ceiling, as well. If you’re into shade, I believe you just have to go for it and not feel about it far too substantially! You can get steerage from a skilled who can help you visualize the space, but it is only paint. If you truly really do not like it, you can alter it.

Malene Barnett's Colorful House Tour in Brooklyn

Mirror: HomeGoods, very similar. Buffet table: antique.

On a piece of home: There are heaps of previous items all-around right here. The buffet desk is specifically distinctive to me, for the reason that it was a single of my mother’s 1st items of home furniture. At the vacations, we all realized to go to that cupboard and get out my grandmother’s china. That piece signifies a lot to me.

Malene Barnett's Colorful House Tour in Brooklyn

Paint on walls: Blue Orchid. Paint on doors: Magenta. Bed body: West Elm. Yellow pillows: equivalent.

On bedroom ambitions: I hoped to create a serene, calming ecosystem, so I could relax and rest for (ideally) eight several hours of slumber. And the pale purple colour worked! I sleep Really properly in here.

Malene Barnett's Colorful House Tour in Brooklyn

Portray: Malene Barnett. Credenza: consignment.

On keeping genuine to oneself: I have normally dreamed of obtaining an upholstered headboard. It’s amusing, I received a grey 1 very first. But as before long as it arrived, I took one particular glimpse at it and said, ‘Oh no, I am NOT a grey human being!’ So, I returned it and went for the other option: vivid yellow.

Malene Barnett's Colorful House Tour in Brooklyn

Laundry basket: Ikea, similar. Stool: HomeGoods, very similar. Towels: Goal.

On becoming a bath human being: I intended this space to experience like a spa, with fairly tile and a minimal chandelier. For a very long time I did not use the tub, but at last it hit me: I require to take edge of this tub! Now I use it all the time.

Malene Barnett's Colorful House Tour in Brooklyn

Mirrors: Lulu and Ga. Sconce: Lulu and Ga, comparable. Bust: Malene Barnett.

On aspirational sinks: I was solitary when I made this home. But I hoped to have a husband or wife, so I set that out into the universe by installing double sinks and double showers. I do have a boyfriend now. And pay attention, finally we’ll have double bathrooms and tubs — I believe that an grownup should have their personal toilet room!

Malene Barnett's Colorful House Tour in Brooklyn

Thank you so substantially, Malene!

P.S. A lot more home excursions, which includes a Minneapolis residence with the cutest dog and a spaceship developing.

(Photos by Kate Sears for Cup of Jo.)

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By Michelle Pompei

British expat, living aroung the world.