We talk music, food, and moose heads with New York Mag's very cool and collected Carolyn Murnick.
If NYMag is the Internet arbiter of the perfect high/low brow cool balance then everyone that works there must be super amazing, funny and smart. We have one example to support our theory in Homepolish client Carolyn Murnick. The publication’s Digital Senior Editor reached out to us to reorganize her stunning Brooklyn brownstone and even though initially we were just super excited to arrange her beautiful furniture collection we’re also very glad we got to know her. You can see her home here but read on below for her favorite restaurants and tips for smooth listening.
Hey Carolyn! So, what part of your newly redesigned home is your favorite?
One of the most impressive and valuable things Adam did for my space was the floor plan – his configuration for the living room (love seat diagonally across the corner and matching club chairs with two small side tables) was genius. I could never have come up with it on my own, and it works so well to create a flow for the room that invites conversation and is not too cluttered.
Who are the children in those hanging portraits in your living room? We love them, whomever they are.
That’s me and my brother. He’s seven years older than me but but my grandmother had those portraits done by the same artist when my brother and I were each about three. She had them both hanging above her couch in Massachusetts throughout my childhood up until she died last year at the age of 97. There are a few other accent pieces I inherited from her, like the mirror in the dining room, the Gurgling Cod pitcher I use as a vase, and a lot of her old cookbooks. Still trying to tackle some of her Armenian specialties like kadaif and khurabia!
Thanks Grandma! What about the painting in your dining room – is there a story behind it?
That painting has been in my family since before I was born. It was done by a former co-worker of my mom’s back in the ’70s at Johnson & Johnson (she is a bio-chemist) and it hung in the TV room for decades until my parents got sick of it and stashed it in a closet somewhere. When I moved to Williamsburg, I took it out of storage and had it on the wall there – I had a pretty big loft space so it surprisingly did not call too much attention to itself. It’s been fun to see what a different statement it makes in my new space – I chose the dining room color to work as an accent to the undertones in the painting and I think it really changes the whole feel.
What’s your favorite place in your new neighborhood?
I’ve only been in Clinton Hill/Bed-Stuy for about a year after eight years in Williamsburg, so I still have a lot of exploring to do! Of newer places, I love everything on the menu at Speedy Romeo, an amazing pizza restaurant in a former auto-parts shop (try the Dangerfield). For drinks, Dynaco was particularly cozy this past winter due to their great whiskey selection and wood-burning stove, and now Doris on Fulton is shaping up to be one of my summer go-tos for the cocktails and big backyard. Fantastic, longtime neighborhood spots are everywhere as well, like the tiny, underground record shop Israel’s, below a Jamaican take-out place, and a B&B in a historic townhouse that hosts jazz open mic nights every weekend.
You have a very impressive record collection. What have you had on repeat lately?
“Return to Paradise” by my friend’s brother’s band Monster Rally is a hard-to-categorize electronic album that sets the perfect mood for cocktail hour, and a vintage Nina Simone live album that I found at Brooklyn Flea always feels exactly right for Sunday morning coffee and the paper.
If you could have Homepolish design any new space for you, what would it be? Don’t hold back!
I recently stayed at the Lake Placid Lodge upstate and am now currently obsessed with Adirondack-style decor – I was thisclose to bringing home a wall-mounted moose head from this amazing store in town called Dartbrook Goods. My current dream is to have a cabin on a lake somewhere for writing that’s all rustic, camp-inspired, and antler-bedecked. If that doesn’t pan out, considering working with Homepolish to turn my upstairs library space into something similar – I’m plotting out where the moose head will go now…