Talking with Gabe Burkett and Eric Booker about Crown Heights, Plants, and Bacchanalian Feasts

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Architect Gabe Burkett and curator Eric Booker have filled their Crown Heights apartment with midcentury modern furniture, thrift shop finds, art by their friends, souvenirs from their travels, and lots of plants. After welcoming us into their cozy home, they took the time to fill out our Proust-inspired questionnaire.
How long have you lived at your current residence?
We’ve lived here for almost three years now.
What do you love most about your home?
It’s a place that the two of us, together, have put a lot of care into, but it’s not static. We are always changing things around, and we don’t take it too seriously.
If you could change one thing about your home, what would it be?
We’d love to have more windows, more light, (more plants!).
What’s the first thing other people notice when they visit?
People definitely notice our furniture first. We have a mix of high and low that has taken several years (and a lot of patience) to collect.
How would you define your design philosophy?
We tend to follow our instincts and surround ourselves with things that mean something or tell a story. There’s also a resourcefulness that guides our design choices—whether searching for quality pieces second-hand or collecting objects that are both artful and useful, we try to make the most of things.
What is your most treasured possession?
That’s a tough one, but probably our plants. They lend a certain warmth to the space that you can’t really get from anything else, and it’s so satisfying to watch them grow. We get pretty attached to some, especially the ones that we’ve had for many years. There’s a plant we inherited from close friends who moved away that we’re pretty anxious about keeping alive!
What is your favorite thing to do in your home?
Despite the tiny kitchen, we like to cook and eat at home. We make a point to sit at the table and have a proper dinner together almost every night during the week.
What makes a house a home?
For us, being able to share our place with friends and family has made it feel like home.
What do you love most about your neighborhood?
The proximity to Prospect Park is great—it has a ton to offer, we should probably take advantage of it even more often than we do!
If you could change one thing about your neighborhood, what would it be?
It would be great to have a nicer grocery store with fresher produce. The farmer’s market at Grand Army Plaza sustains us in the summer, but in winter the options nearby aren’t the greatest.
What’s your happiest memory in your home?
We had a party the summer we moved in; we were new to Brooklyn and newly living together, so it was the first time we had all of our friends together in one place. We assembled this bountiful feast to resemble a 17th-century still life with fruits and cheeses and wine. The night really took on a bacchanalian, celebratory vibe that was incredible.

For more on Gabe and Eric’s home, and to visit nine other beautiful Brooklyn homes, visit here

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