New Yorker Amy Azzarito of Design*Sponge guest blogs

I love pretty much any opportunity to talk about design so when ACHICA Living asked me to share a list of some of the things I love, I jumped at the chance. The best bit about being senior editor and writing for Design*Sponge is the opportunity to see beautiful handmade objects. I live in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York where there seems to be a constant flurry of design activity so many of the things on my list are made or designed right here in Brooklyn…

First up, I love to eat at restaurant 5 Leaves, which is just down the street from me (pictured at the top and below). It has a wonderfully relaxed feel and the food is delicious. My favs are the black kale salad and sweet & spicy Brussels sprouts – Brussels sprouts have become like French fries in New York – they’re on every menu and are so yummy! And raw kale salad has also become a winter staple for me! (But on the more decadent side – they also have a delicious sticky date pudding!)

(Photos by Will Femia)…

I do all my Design*Sponge work from home so having a cozy nest is important. I just recently redid my bedroom and a few of the things that I found for that space made my list. Although handmade objects can be a bit more expensive, there’s nothing like meeting the person who made the object that you’re going to sleep on or wear – it’s such an intimate thing…

My bedroom features Organic Cotton Frayed-Edge Sheet Set from West Elm. Photograph by Samantha Contis.

It’s been a cold and snowy here in New York so I’ve been snuggling up with this cozy blanket from Brahm’s Mount. The blankets are made on antique shuttle looms up in Maine…

I adore Ceiling Stars too. They’re not handmade! But when I was little, I remember falling asleep at my grandmother’s house while gazing at tiny glowing stars on her ceiling. I wanted to recreate that feeling in my own bedroom so I put a mass of stars on the ceiling – I spent and entire evening arranging the stars to form constellations…

I also love these zodiac pillows designed and made in Brooklyn by Nightwood. Each pillow is tie-dyed and embroidered with a zodiac sign.

On to fashion…I love a wedge shoe! In the summer, my favorite shoes are Toms wedges – I seriously live in those things. But for winter, I need to keep my toes covered! These shoes were designed here in New York and are super comfortable – they feel a little like you’re wearing a slipper.

I usually dress pretty simply – more often than not, in black! So I love to dress things up with fun jewelry. You can probably sense my growing star obsession  – so these Prova earrings - designed in Brooklyn – fit right in.

I just got this gorgeous Matta scarf for Christmas, from my Design*Sponge Editor Grace Bonney. I’ve barely taken it off! It’s Indian-inspired, but (yup! you guessed it!) designed in Brooklyn.

And last but not least, I love visiting the Cooper-Hewitt museum on 91st Street in New York – I’m a little biased because I got my master’s degree from Cooper-Hewitt and all my classes were up at the museum. But, it has great exhibitions, such as Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay and Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels. It also features a pretty fantastic gift shop, which I can spend quite a while in!  And in the summer, you can sit and hang out in their beautiful garden…

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Michael Curtis

View all posts by Michael Curtis