Talking with Kelsey Keith and Eli Rosenberg about Bed-Stuy, Incense, and Gender-Neutral Design

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Kelsey Keith, the editor-in-chief of Curbed, and journalist Eli Rosenberg have curated a warm, welcoming Bed-Stuy apartment that takes cues from Scandinavian modernism and is full of items with stories attached. After inviting us in and showing us around, they took the time to fill out our Proust-inspired questionnaire.
How long have you lived at your current residence?
Kelsey: Six months.
Eli: Two-and-a-half years.
What do you love most about your home?
Kelsey: In ten years of living in New York, I’ve never had a stoop. Between that and our dining table, we have unbeatable places to eat.
Eli: Sunlight, the most valuable commodity in NYC.
If you could change one thing about your home, what would it be?
Kelsey: I’d swap out the ceiling fans, but aside from being the least attractive thing in our apartment, they work just fine.
Eli: In a perfect world I’d have a kitchen that can comfortably fit more than two people. Then again, this is New York.
What’s the first thing other people notice when they visit?
Kelsey: The smell of incense—we have a couple of different blends we like from California and New Mexico.
How would you define your design philosophy?
Kelsey: Gender neutral. Describing interiors as “masculine” or “feminine” annoys me to no end. In our apartment we’ve got bits of pink, and navy blue, but it all mixes with a fairly neutral palette of black, white, wood, and tan. Plus plants.
What is your most treasured possession?
Kelsey: A package that Eli sent me in the mail in 2009, my great-great-grandmother’s ring from the 1890s, and dishes made by two ceramists in Charleston.
What is your favorite thing to do in your home?
Kelsey: This is Brooklyn in 2016, so, my favorite thing to do at home is weave on my lap loom. Or prance around in a face mask.
What’s your favorite spot in the house?
Kelsey: Waking up in the morning in our bedroom, taking an afternoon nap in our bedroom, or reading at night in our bedroom.
What makes a house a home?
Kelsey: 30 pounds of linen in the closet.
What do you love most about your neighborhood?
Kelsey: I love the houses. Every block is different.
If you could change one thing about your neighborhood, what would it be?
Kelsey: A pneumatic tube would send our laundry straight to the laundromat from our building.
What’s your happiest memory in your home?
Kelsey: Having 15 of our friends over to eat homemade tacos and Dorilocos, during the biggest snowstorm in New York City since the 19th century.
For more on Kelsey Keith and Eli Rosenberg’s home, and to visit nine other beautiful Brooklyn homes, visit here

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