A Peek Inside Catbird Founder’s Brooklyn Brownstone Home
Rony Vardi’s life is surrounded with little things, such as her Williamsburg shop that started small and Catbird with all those sparkly gems, yet she’s filled with big ideas. Her animal-hybrid-named label founded in 2004 grew to be a huge success, now with an e-commerce site and a celebrity fan base. The jewelry line’s concept is very non-fussy. Vardi tells how she super hates fussy in every aspect, including her home.
Enter the Carroll Gardens house, a 1905 Brooklyn brownstone self-decorated and self-designed by Vardi in an undertaking that took two years to accomplish. The spacious four-bedroom, three-bath abode features the kitchen, living and dining room areas as one big, open space. The light and airy place is complemented by white walls, ceilings, and cabinetry with natural light passing through lovely glass doors and windows. Step outside the French doors, and you’ll be greeted by a large Astroturfed yard where her two children love to play barefoot and carefree.
Vardi’s interiors cradle antique furniture, well-worn vintage rugs, unique creations mostly flea market art, and plenty of hanging plants which blend perfectly together in a casual, breathable environment. A few rooms have been built with reclaimed wood while some have white flooring, with simple materials like brick, marble and brass mostly used throughout the house. It’s comfortable, warm and easy just like how she wants it to be. The entire stairway is lined with a tremendous bookshelf, all in white and in a style similar to the kids’ double deck bed frame alongside a book case.
Typically, it takes around 20 years for a house to look homely and lived-in, and she didn’t want to wait. She adores when things look old over time, and not the ‘fake old’ type, and so the place is filled with valuable family-owned pieces. The kitchen sink was derived from her mom’s garage while the zebra chair situated by the stairs once belonged in the original Catbird shop. In the living room, which Vardi refers to as the family’s rec room, sits the Eames lounger owned by her husband during his younger years.
Vardi often advises her clients to not be overly precious with their jewelry and safekeep only for special events, rather live with the beautiful things everyday. This is seen in her bath area, where every corner is pretty much alive. Un-lacquered brass fixtures grace the personal sanctuaries, which quickly started to elicit a rustic look and feel. Overall, the house thrives with its tiny yet substantially visual elements. The Catbird founder compares the charming yet far from perfect home to her business, a process and work in progress.