Wendy Goodman of the New York Magazine series Interior Lives visited with set designers Julian LaVerdiere and Erica Hohf at Empire Engine 19, their renovated firehouse home on the border of the Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill neighborhoods of Brooklyn, New York.
The creative couple leased out the first floor of the firehouse to Stumptown Coffee, and painted the rest of the residence black. The home also features a distinctly Victorian aura, a Japanese soaking tub and a generous terrace that houses an archery range.
In this episode of Interior Lives, our design editor Wendy Goodman takes us inside the couple’s beautiful, set-like home, where we met their pet snake and learned the importance of getting materials from the source, and why black plays such an important role in their approach to design.
LaVerdiere explained to Goodman that the home had belonged to his mother and they decided to paint the interior black after her death.
Victorians were famous for their etiquette around mourning. They would drape mirrors and black fabric, so we decided, well what would be more appropriate than to paint the entire house black? If the house is black and the shelves are black then the only thing that you look at is that which is meant to be looked at.