In the house

Inside a Creative Couple’s Magical Brooklyn Townhouse

“My husband Michael always says finding this apartment is his greatest accomplishment, aside from our kids and our business, of course,” explains Lisa Fine. The fashion stylist is talking about her partner-in-crime Michael Fine, a photographer who’s also the co-founder of Quiet Town, the couple’s line of bright shower curtains, rugs, and canvas totes, and his feat of Brooklyn real-estate heroism. “This was just listed as a two-bedroom apartment—there was no mention of the marble fireplace, high ceilings, all the things that make it amazing, but he says he just had a feeling about the listing,” Lisa adds. That was almost a decade ago, when Lisa was pregnant with the pair’s first of two kids. They’ve since filled the place with cozy textiles, homemade artwork, and, of course, a few brilliantly hued bathroom accessories.

“We have these Ikea storage bins to keep all the kids’ toys in, but, honestly, I dream of the day we’ll have an uncluttered life. I got in so much trouble the other night. I thought my kid had retired the tin-foil costume of the day, so I recycled it. And he was like, ‘I spent four hours making that in school.’ I have never felt so bad in my life. But that’s my inclination for everything right now—I’ve just been visualizing it all disappearing in a poof.”

“Michael just went on a giant cleaning spree and found enough stuff under our beds to furnish a whole separate apartment. I’m serious—there was a giant vintage wooden rake and a leaf from our dining-room table that we really could have used when having all our friends over for dinner!”

“I went to Morocco to style a shoot about three years ago, and I just went crazy buying rugs. I bought all these boucherouite rugs with the idea that I would cut them down into bath mats, but it was so expensive. I don’t even have most of them out, but the white one downstairs is a beni ourain I brought home because we’d always wanted one.”

“We both love color, but Michael is obsessed with it and also with textiles. It works because the palette that we lay it all on is pretty neutral—our sofa is this nondescript brown, the floors are cream, and the walls are these pale colors that just kind of float away. Whenever we can, we’ll reupholster a piece of furniture or a cushion in a colorful vintage fabric.”

“We’re those people who love vintage hunting and have chairs stacked on top of one another in the corner. I have these old Hans Wegner chairs that were falling apart. They’ve been in the house for three years, and I just took them to get repaired. We recently bought a house out in Mattituck, on the North Fork, so I’ve been getting back into the habit of vintage shopping. I just went to a Rago auction by myself for the first time, and it is terrifying because you have no one to hold you back from putting up the paddle to bid. And we’re going to Brimfield in July.”

“Michael is a photographer, and for a while, he was doing his own printing. The black-and-whites are all his, and when we had more time, we were really good about getting them framed. Our downstairs wall is a lot of things that are from friends and family. They would gift them to us framed, which is always really nice. We also have a lot of art that we’ve been stashing behind our sofa, and we just swapped them into the frames of other things that we were tired of. So some of the matting is off—or it doesn’t quite fit in the frame—but it works.”

“We’re redoing the kitchen soon, but what I will say about this one is that there’s so much storage. When my grandmother moved to a smaller house in Miami, she sent me all of her china. I hosted my first Passover recently, and when I started pulling it all out for dinner, my husband and brother were like, ‘Where have you been keeping all of that?’ It just kept coming. And, there’s great light in our kitchen. We have an office a few blocks away in Gowanus, but we do almost all our work at the counter and watch the neighborhood stray cats run around the yard.”

“For Quiet Town, we’ve been doing these interviews where we ask everyone what else they do in their bathrooms. They’re such small spaces, but people will do yoga and hide out and watch movies in there. I mostly just grow lots of plants because it makes such a big difference. Any bathroom with a window is automatically so much nicer.”

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