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Embrace the Bright: A Textile Shop Owner at Home in Brooklyn


Embrace the Bright: A Textile Shop Owner at Home in Brooklyn

April 14, 2016

Here at Remodelista, when we come across a design store we admire, we often ask if we can follow the owner home. That’s because unlike the proverbial shoeless shoemaker, shopkeepers often live with their own inventory better than anyone else.

Case in point: John Derian, the couple behind Mjölk, and Isabelle Dubois-Dumee and Hubert Bettan of Les Petites Emplettes. This week’s discovery? Jenni Li of online Peruvian textiles emporium Intiearth. Born in Lima, Peru, and raised in Atlanta, Jenni is a mother of three; she was a fashion stylist for years before opening Intiearth just months ago, urged by friends and colleagues who kept wanting the things she returned with from visits to family in Peru. We knocked on Jenni’s door in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill and were not disappointed.

Photography by Dana Gallagher, styling by Helen Crowther.


Above: “We bought our place in 2010 and did a small renovation mostly comprised of taking out walls and removing dropped ceilings,” says Jenni of the 1901 townhouse. “We refreshed existing details, painted everything white, and called it a day.”

The living area is now open to the dining room and kitchen. The giant dreamcatcher over the mantel is a souvenir from a beach vacation in Tumbes, Peru. The white linen sofa came from ABC Home and is draped with an Intiearth frazada and pillows, including some made of Andes white alpaca.


Above: Intiearth Woven Pillows, $60 each, on a Barcelona chair. The company got its name from Inti, the Incan Sun God. Note that in addition to the white walls and floors, the furniture is cloaked in pale shades to create a neutral backdrop for Jenni’s bright textiles.


Above: “The kitchen is the one room that got overhauled completely,” says Jenni. The cabinets are from Ikea finished with honed Carrara marble counters. “We also installed a big sliding glass door to connect the living spaces with the garden and bring in much-needed light.” The island was built from “an antique marble plate that had been in the family for years—it was used as a background for photo shoots; we turned it into an outdoor table and later added castors and made it an island.”


Above: Jenni folds frazadas in the laundry area on the other side of the kitchen. (In the market for a stackable washer/dryer? Take a look at our recent 10 Easy Pieces roundup.) The washer and dryer are surrounded by Ikea cabinets wallpapered with the kids’ artwork hung with washi tape in colors borrowed from the weavings.


Above: Intiearth’s frazadas are all vintage, one-of-a-kind pieces woven on back strap looms and colored with dyes made from plants and insects; most are priced at $320.


Above: African wooden mortars and Intiearth frazadas stand out against the white-painted stair and floor.


Above: The master bedroom’s vintage settee is an eBay purchase that Jenni reupholstered in natural linen to show off her pillows and rug.


Above: Jenni’s sons, ages 6 and 10, share a room patterned with John Robshaw Indian block-printed duvet covers and square pillows, and Intiearth’s Indigo Ikat Throws.


Above: In the bathroom, an Indigo Ikat Throw is used as a curtain, a vintage runner serves as a bathmat, and a Peruvian Striped Basket holds towels.


Above: A painting on canvas by Jenni’s college-age daughter hangs in the combination guest room/work space, where the bed is piled with Alpaca pillows. The standing lamp is Artemide’s classic Mega Tolomeo.

Join us for more visits with shopkeepers at home:

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