A Window In: Michelle Edgemont’s Clinton Hill Apartment

Michelle Edgemont lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, Adam, 4 year old son, Dean, and one unnamed baby on the way. She owns Michelle Edgemont Design where she works with stylish couples, families, and companies to create one-of-a-kind celebrations through colorful, modern decor and floral design. Her favorite things to do in her neighborhood of Clinton Hill are eat peanut butter cookies from The Good Batch, workout at Kingsboro Crossfit, take her son Dean to all of the playground sprinklers in the summer, and have family picnics at Prospect Park.

LY: What neighborhood do you live in? 

ME: We live in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. I’ve lived here for 12 years and my husband has lived here with me for 10 years.

LY: What is the story behind you moving in here? 

ME: I was in one of those awful roommate situations that one gets into when I was 23 years old. I was living in Elmhurst, which was what I could afford at the time being in college full time, but had to get out fast. I always wanted to live in magical Brooklyn and searched on Craigslist for anyone looking for a roommate. I didn’t know anything about the neighborhood of Clinton Hill when I moved here 12 years ago. I moved in with a sweet girl who needed a roommate and have been in the same building ever since. 

LY: You’ve lived in the same building for 12 years! How has your relationship with the neighborhood and community changed over the years? 

ME: Well, I know a lot more people now! I’m friends with the guys that run the 24hr corner bodega, the women in the nail shop, the people that started the gym I go to in a tiny space on Fulton Street, and the gentleman at the French bakery that knows exactly what color macaron my son wants. Moving here as a single woman in a new relationship (with my now husband) to now as a married couple of almost 10 years with a son, we’ve discovered that we don’t ever have to leave the neighborhood. 12 years ago we would go out in Manhattan all the time to the hippest restaurants, ordering too-expensive bottles of wine. Now we stay close to our apartment and order the same things over and over again at our favorite neighborhood spots. There is a really nice comfort to that.

LY: Your roommates are now a husband and a son, has your interaction with your living space changed since you’ve gotten married and had a child? 

ME: Oh, are you referring to the Paw Patrol toys everywhere? Less of the actual space is my own. We are lucky to live in a three bedroom. Before my son was born, I had a whole bedroom to myself that I used as an office to start my event design and floral design company. I produced over thirty weddings out of that office. That room is now filled with a geometric mural over a toddler bed covered in stuffed animals. My office has since moved out of the apartment to a studio in the neighborhood, which means that the apartment feels more like a home instead of a work/life space. Our third bedroom is split between my husband and I: he’s a musician and I’m a life-long crafter. It’s half guitar gear and half creative materials covering a big work table. Since my roommates are now my family and I’m 12 years older, the entire space is simultaneously more grown-up and more kid-friendly. My priorities lie in toy storage over shoe storage. 

LY: What is your most cherished piece in here?

ME: 1. The outdated striped upholstered chair in the living room. My parents bought me a matching set of these chairs at a yard sale for $15 when I first moved to the city and had no money. I’m still kind of bummed out that I sold its twin.
2. The family tree mirror that hangs on the wall. I made this family tree mirror as a decoration piece for our wedding. All of our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents are etched onto the mirror glass.
3. The baby quilt I made my son: I used all different vintage tablecloths at our wedding. When I was pregnant with my son, I quilted the fabrics that all of our loved ones ate dinner around into a baby blanket for him.

LY: Where do you like to go house-ware shopping? 

ME: I wish I could give you some names of the hippest, independent Brooklyn houseware boutiques that I buy one-of-a-kind handmade items at, but alas, I honestly don’t do that much house shopping. I really don’t like having a lot of things sitting around, so when I do make the intentional decision to bring something into the apartment it’s often a sentimental item I grabbed from one of our mother’s houses or a framed photograph of our family. However, I do have a few artisans and local shops that I love to browse: Relationships (a super cute coffee and art shop on Fulton street in Clinton Hill that sells all of their vintage furniture), FrancaNYC (cute, minimal, well-made ceramics), and Sprout Home (plants). For basics, my go-to’s are West Elm and Ikea.

LY: Where did the dresser in the living room come from?

ME: My mom and I found that dresser at the Rennninger’s Flea market in Pennsylvania about 15 years ago. It’s traveled with me to all of my NYC apartments. 

LY: Tell us about your son’s morning routine photos, how did you come up with that idea? 

ME: This is the best, most genius, parenting idea I’ve ever had. SERIOUSLY, IT’S LIFE CHANGING. My sister runs a pre-school out of her home in New Jersey. I noticed that she put up little photos of the kids in the bathroom going through their potty routines – use the potty, wipe, wash hands, etc. My son recently started pre-k in August and I was dreading trying to get him out of the house by 8:10 every morning. Kids thrive on routines, especially Dean. He’s also obsessed with photos of himself. Voila! From the very first day of school, he practically has fun in the morning checking off each photo. If he can get through all the photos by 7:30ish, he can watch a quick show or play toys. I’m telling you, he gets a show every. single. day. 

LY: When it comes to apartment styling, where do you stand? 

ME:This definitely falls into the category of “the cobbler’s son doesn’t have shoes”. I work in the design field all day, that when it comes to making styling decisions for the apartment, my brain is fried. I love the mish-mash of hand-me-downs, random framed photos, yard sale finds, and those Brooklyn street treasures that we all love. As long as I can get all the toys away in one place by the end of the day, I call that a win. I’m drawn to styling our home with sentimental items over mass market finds from Target. Believe me, I love me some Target home department things, but every time I buy it, it often ends up in the giveaway pile by the next year. Our apartment is too small to fill it with tangible items that don’t have any personal meaning. 

LY: Three words to describe the way your place feels? 

ME: Loving, comfortable, transitional

LY: How do you see yourself growing in this space? 

ME: I’m literally growing in this space right now as we are having another baby boy in May! We are minimalists when it comes to baby gear, thank goodness. We are planning on lofting Dean’s bed over the crib. His room is about 10′ x 10′, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for his twin bed and a mini crib both on the floor. We are going to take it stage by stage. Anyone with kids knows that they grow out of gear and toys and clothes so quickly that we will be constantly adjusting the apartment to fit our needs as the new baby grows. I was lucky 12 years ago to find this stabilized pre-war building with its old kitchen, old bathroom, and little quirks. Clinton Hill has changed incredibly in that time frame. So much so that we are priced out of other three-bedrooms in the neighborhood that might be bigger than ours. We are going to make this old apartment work as best as we can as the kids grow. Who knows, maybe we will still be here when they move out! 

(Photography by Heather Moore for LaTonya Yvette. You can follow Michelle here)

4 thoughts on “A Window In: Michelle Edgemont’s Clinton Hill Apartment

  • Reply Shayla February 15, 2019 at 7:59 am

    Growing with a neighborhood is pretty awesome. Definitely borrowing that morning routine project. Such a neat idea and I’m open to anything that will help

    • Reply latonya February 17, 2019 at 1:50 pm

      Hi Shayla!

      Too happy you found it helpful.
      Goodluck! I hope it works for you.

      xo
      L

  • Reply Joan February 17, 2019 at 9:58 am

    I appreciate the window in series but I think its also harmful to not address the gentrification that has happened in Brooklyn, where as a white woman and family can afford a three bedroom apartment. In your window in series I think I have only seen you interview one black woman in Brooklyn.

    • Reply latonya February 17, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Joan,

      Thank you for your comment. Michelle can not afford to live in a three bedroom apartment (she actually says it in the interview) and has a rent-stabilized apartment (lucky!). Ive actually interviewed two black women. And one solely dedicated to discussing gentrification. It’s a pretty in-depth interview and I highly suggest reading. It was amazing and so helpful and eye opening for many white people who read and black people too.

      As someone who has been directly affected by gentrification, I’ll continue to highlight homes like this and continue to do the work to keep the colorful discussions alive. Thank you, LaTonya

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