My name is: Athena Calderone.
I’m known for being: More than one thing!
I'm talking about: My Brooklyn home.
You can find it in: Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
Before I inhabited this space, I was: A serial mover!
What inspired me to choose it was: When I first saw the home—which was separated into four outdated units—I knew I had to have it! I’ve renovated eight of my personal homes, and this massive townhouse renovation was an incredible challenge, but it quickly became a culmination of my life’s work and experience up until that moment.
What happens there is: Work, play, laughter, expression, community and, of course, cooking!
What makes it special is: This is our forever home. It’s my design epic. The journey here to home however—from renovation to decoration to the education it gave me—is what makes it so special to me. It gripped my life for three years; it’s a culmination of looking, seeking, and yearning for that which my eye craves. It’s my masterpiece, second only to being my family’s sanctuary, of course!
One thing you can’t miss is: How wide it is! It is so rare to find a 25-foot-wide home in Brooklyn.
My favorite secret detail is: My marble kitchen shelf! The initial spark of inspiration came from the heavily veined marble I spied in Joseph Dirand’s Parisian kitchen that forms a free-floating shelf. This image prompted a deep dive into how I could emulate the bracket-free look in my own home and, after much research, I learned that the floating stone shelf would need to be addressed very early in the renovation stage. The finished look is yet another beautiful example of my “practical and pretty” design ethos.
For me, what it means to hold space is: Being physically and emotionally present for myself, for my family and for my dear friends.
Our spaces are so important, especially in this time, because: These past few years really showed us what is important—our health, our loved ones, our precious time on this Earth! Our home became so much more than a place to rest our heads, it’s a space for us to reclaim our rest, set our intentions and tap into our intuition—that all starts with the space around you.
The energy of a space can help you live your process because: It reminds us of the internal power we all possess to change our perspective and invent ourselves anew. That’s why I’m so drawn to ritual. These daily ceremonies change the energy within and around us; they can open up hidden portals that help us to expand, exhale and renew from the inside out. It’s also an opportunity to revel in some repetition. Those anticipatory moments bring us immense joy because we look forward to them each day—we relish and savor that precious time we set aside just for us.