Space of the Week: A House That Pops

When British-born multimedia artist and designer Susan Allbert and her family found their 1860-era Red Hook brownstone in 2005, it had been seriously messed with”chopped into little rooms to accommodate two apartments, and the fireplace in the living room had been bricked up and plastered over. But with a little sleuthing, their architects at Rexrodechirigos found the flue and created a very simple brick-surround fireplace. The niche above is painted in Farrow and Ball “down pipe” paint, which makes a great backdrop for artwork and camouflages the flat-screen TV. Photo: Wendy Goodman

“This daybed was the first piece of proper furniture we ever bought,” Allbert says. “But I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the store.” The wonderful fabric is Big Stripe from Paul Smith, and Allbert made the black and white pillows as part of “a collection of three limited-edition needlepoint cushions, which when scanned with your smart phone take you to artwork hidden inside.” They are called Tidemarks #1, #2 and #3 (#3 not shown). Photo: Wendy Goodman

The chalkboard-paint-adorned kitchen island is also magnetized for easy art-hanging, as artists run in the family. Photo: Wendy Goodman

One of Allbert’s pieces”from a series of one-of-a-kind prints called “Nothing Is Disposable”“is framed in the kitchen. Photo: Wendy Goodman

The dining room/kitchen table is set with another one of Susan’s prints. “It started as part of an installation piece, but I have since adapted it and put it into production.” The hanging lamp is from Flos. Photo: Wendy Goodman

The kids’ bedrooms are downstairs with a separate entrance door under the stoop, painted Tulip Red in Dutchlac paint. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Susan’s son, Felix, and daughter, Agatha, painted these self-portraits in pre-K. Note the “I like me!” caption. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Felix is an artist, that’s for sure. Here in his room he’s constructed a model of a Tyrannosaurus rex. He and his mom created the wallpaper together; the print is of a “reptile man.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

In Allbert’s workroom, located on the top floor of the house, sits one of the chairs she upholstered in velvet cyanotype fabric. “Cyanotype is a photographic process that results in a cyan-blue print. The fabric is treated and then exposed using UV light or the sun. In this case, I found objects to expose onto the fabric”which were collected in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy at sites around the city and Long Island.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

The back of the Tidemarks chair is as carefully detailed as the front. “The piece is about climate change and the relationship we have with our belongings,” she explains. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Space of the Week: A House That Pops