At Home with Avi Kravitz and Courtney Ebner of Norman & Jules

Avi Kravitz and Courtney Ebner are living a life that most Brooklyn residents only dream of. The couple own Norman & Jules — a chic, artisanal toy store in Park Slope — and they live a few blocks away, which is the kind of commute that all Brooklynites dream of. Even though the apartment once served as a bachelor pad of sorts for Kravitz and his brother, it has now been transformed into the perfect place to raise a family.

What do you do?
We own Norman & Jules.

How long have you lived in Brooklyn?
Courtney: Since 1997
Avi: I’ve lived in Brooklyn since 2000. I’ve lived in Park Slope since 2001, while I was still a student at Pratt.

Why did you move to Brooklyn?
C: Post college, I wanted to move to New York City but wanted to still have space, and I couldn’t afford to live in Manhattan. My sister lived in Williamsburg, so I knew all that Brooklyn had to offer. So I moved to Park Slope with two high school friends and have made roots here.
A: For school.

What’s your favorite thing about the apartment?
C: The light, and the space. It’s hard because I didn’t choose this apartment [laughs].
A: But there’s things you like about it.
C: You can kind of escape in this apartment. You can go into the bedroom and shut the doors and get away from whatever else is going on.
A: This place started out as my brother’s and my bachelor pad. This room we’re sitting in now [the dining room] used to be his room. So my favorite thing is that we now have this enormous living room that has allowed Courtney and me to work together. And when we get the evening western light — it really glows in there.
C: I think also, collectively, part of our favorite thing is, in the evening, when we have our friends over and we make a beautiful meal, we have enough space for everyone. The apartment really comes alive.

What’s your least favorite thing?
C: My least favorite thing is that the bathroom is basically in the kitchen. And I don’t like that our bedroom is on 7th ave.
A: Any part of the rented apartment that I’m not allowed to touch. Or make to my own liking.

What are the three things you’d save first in a fire?
C: I would make sure that Avi, Charley [their daughter], Addi [their dog], and I got the hell out of here. I would leave everything else behind.
A: It would really give us another opportunity to start collecting again. I might grab something of my father’s. We have insurance, so our lives are more important.

What’s your favorite room in the space? And favorite time of day?
C: My favorite time of day is about 5pm in the summer. And my favorite room is Charley’s . It’s really peaceful and very precious in there.

If you suddenly received a windfall of cash, what changes would you make to your space?
C: First I would re-do our bedroom. And then I would buy out our top floor neighbor and put in a spiral staircase. And I would maybe put a deck on. Because that’s the one thing that’s missing from this apartment, is some outside space.
A: I would get 1000 sq. feet of reclaimed wood and redo my floors. I would build Courtney a gourmet chef’s kitchen. I would actually use any leftover wood to build us a king-sized bed. And I think I’d be set…and somehow a deck.
C: Even if we had to climb through the window.
A: If we came into a windfall of money, I would run back to ABC Carpet.

If you could move your house/block/neighborhood to another city, which one would it be, and why?
A: We like it here.
C: I don’t know that there is another city that I’d want to live in right now. I really like Brooklyn. If I could move Brooklyn to a warmer climate, then I would do that.
A: I’m with Courtney — I love Park Slope. But if we could move this place to somewhere warmer, I would do it.


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