As with clothes, the way you decorate a room expresses your personality. In its most ideal form, it signals to guests how you interpret yourself. In this round of Real Cool People, Real Cool Apartments, we check out the Brooklyn home of Rebecca Zeijdel-Paz, the designer behind Beck Jewels. Our intentions behind the creeping: to learn what she’s all about.
Neighborhood, # of rooms:
Our apartment is angled between Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn. It’s two bedrooms of a converted factory.
How long have you lived here?
Almost three years.
What do you like about the neighborhood?
This is an old Italian neighborhood, so we have treasures like Fortunato Brothers (they create fantastic little marzipan figures), coffee shops like Lella Alimentari (filled with their children’s drawings on the walls and Italian toys), vintage stores like Stella Dallas and a little art supply shop that has everything. I love the creative energy, the “anything goes” humor that makes Brooklyn so special. The neighborhood has significantly influenced the playful nature of our home.
Who do you live with (animals included)?
My husband/business partner/best friend, Danny.
What did you think about when decorating?
We’re both from Curaçao, a little island in the Caribbean, so to us the winter months in New York are quite brutal. That’s why we began adding decorating elements from back home to provide some warmth and coziness. The hammock, the color palette and the textures are all very reminiscent of our island. Together, these little elements create a piece of Curaçao in Brooklyn.
What do you do for work?
I design and create the jewelry for my brand, Beck Jewels.
If we were a fly on the wall of your home for a weekend, what would we typically see?
Windows open, music on — if we’re not working on Beck, we’re creating something. I’m either painting or working on photographs and Danny is on the rooftop sanding something or working on a piece.
What do you think your home says about you? And how do you want visitors to feel when they walk into it?
Our home is really a collective space. Danny builds the furniture, I play with the canvases and together we’ve accumulated little souvenirs from our travels that lay scattered: hotel ashtrays, pictures, trinkets, books that inspire us, favorite candles and as many shells as I can bring from my beautiful Curaçao beaches. We want our visitors to feel at home, relaxed, in good vibes.
Where is your favorite place in your home and why?
The living room, because it gets great sunlight. I love taking a midday break and laying on the hammock while playing a record.
What are your favorite home “scores”?
Danny built the 12-foot dining room table with Hemlock wood from Canada. I love it so much, we’ve had such wonderful dinners on it with family and friends.
What’s something about your home you want to change and why?
Things are constantly changing. Some things have already changed since these photographs were taken. I love moving pieces around from one room to another, it brings a new light and a new vibe in. Changing the books you keep on your coffee table, painting over an old canvas or simply moving it around… all these things can bring new energy to a space.
Where do you look for decorating inspiration?
Actually, [we take] inspiration from hotels or places we stay (this is one of my favorite parts of traveling). In addition to that, I’m very active on Pinterest/Instagram when my insomnia kicks in. My current favorite haunt is Luke Edward Hall’s account.
What’s the best piece of decorating wisdom you’ve ever heard?
When we first moved to Brooklyn we had so much empty space to fill, so there was a big urge to go out and find everything at once. We were advised to take our time and this has proven to be a valuable approach. Eventually the space will tell you what it needs; it starts shifting organically into something unique if you give it space and time to grow.
Photos by Heidi’s Bridge.