Rue 1.0

Dream Home: Athena Calderone’s Duplex in Dumbo

Full of stylish artwork and accessories, this space is a modern canvas transformed.

Copy: Victoria de la Camara, Photography: Christopher Sturman for Harper's Bazaar

When so much in interior design resides in opposite extremes- either safe and traditional, or cold and modern- it’s very exciting for us to come across a space that pushes the bar, bringing something new to the field. We were completely blown away by this duplex featured in Harper’s Bazaar, because of its mix of edgy artwork, calming hues and an overall modern sensibility. Home to Athena Calderone, her music producer husband and 10 year old son, this two story apartment has so many elements that we dream about having in our own home- sky high ceilings, an open kitchen, and most importantly, a lot of personal style.

It was hard for us to choose which project we wanted to feature of Rawlins Calderone Designs. Every single space they’ve worked on has us going into a pinning frenzy. But this duplex in particular stood out to us because of the way Rawlins and Calderone made an extremely modern new construction apartment look welcoming and stylish. So often with these types of spaces, it’s hard to bring in personality, wit and warmth. However, by painting the walls a calming hue of grayish blue, layering on original artwork and resorting to pieces of furniture made of warm walnut, the design duo transformed an extremely modern space into an edgy yet tasteful home.

Many elements in the duplex are custom made or eBay finds, such as the elegant safari chairs in her living room. It might be above your intended budget to go for these one of kind pieces, but if you are looking for something of this style at a more reasonable price point, Organic Modernism will be your ultimate resource. They carry some incredible modern reproductions as well as some of their own original designs made of walnut, iron and brass.

Athena’s home is filled with interesting artwork, accessories and textiles. The key to recreating something as fresh as her space is to treat every piece as art. Every single item should have a designed aesthetic to it, even down to small votives and items to place on stacked books. The appeal of her home, and good design in general, is that the space unfolds slowly, with new items that you didn’t notice the first time round.

And lastly, take your time! Don’t just go to the first interior design store that you like and buy all your furniture at one place. The Calderone’s duplex is filled with pieces that feel unique, personal and intentional. It’s fine to get a few things at well known stores, in fact West Elm is a great resource if you want to recreate this look, but it’s important to spend some time to find pieces that have a completely unique quality that feels personal to you.

If you are inspired as we are by Athena’s home, head over to her blog Eye Swoon. We’re already trying her guacamole recipe and taking in her design advice!

Shop Rue: 1. Box // 2. Pendant // 3. Pillow // 4. Candlesticks // 5. Rug // 6. Stool


*Read more Dream Home stories over here!

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  • The BOSS Mag

    Love this home tour! Any tips on the paint colors?

  • Victoria de la Camara

    So glad you like it! Here are two options: Blue Gasp by Benjamin Moore and Cook’s Blue by Farrow & Ball's-blue/colours//fcp-product/100237

  • Brooklyn Bamba

    Love love love! 1. Love the bench in front of the stairs, 2. bedside tables are great, 3. love the fur chairs in the living room and I personally love kitchens without hardware. Adding so much warmth to new construction in her own special way! Thanks for sharing!

  • Olivia Mak

    I love the look of open, airy rooms. Its so modern and elegant. Are the steps in the staircase replaced with a clear material like lexan sheets? I’ve never thought of that but it makes the room look much more open.