Living

Townhouse Tales: Lefferts Avenue, Prospect Heights

Steven Guarnaccia and Nora Krug, professors at Parsons School of Design, reveal how they have filled their historic townhouse with their own eclectic collections, including a dedicated wunderkammer room, which contains an alligator head and an old dental cabinet filled with things found on beaches all around the world.

Photography Joss McKinley

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We bought our home in spring 2010, the year after our wedding. It didn’t need any major renovations when we moved in, just cosmetic accents like painting the walls and sanding the wooden floors.

Recently we planted a wisteria with seeds from Nora’s mother’s garden in Germany. A handsome grey cat often lurks in the bushes, who is shy but very sweet

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Steven: Growing up, one of my favourite tomes was Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are. I was bed-ridden for two years due to illness, so rather than go out and play ball, I would draw. I imagined that I could draw things into existence and they would become real.

Nora: When I grew up in Karlsruhe I had a real forest on my doorstep – the Black Forest. We went for walks every weekend. I used to miss this terrain but now we have our own forest in the form of Prospect Park, which is four blocks away.

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It might be evident from our home that we are both illustrators, as it has white walls, wooden floors and open-plan design offering a backdrop for our collections. Nora brings a European sensibility, and Steven loves 20th-century American culture.

We met at The New York Times 11 years ago, and eventually tied the knot in Nora’s hometown in Germany, with a dinner in a 200-year-old restaurant. It was great. We had beer with every course.

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Natural history is a passion, and we have a wunderkammer room which includes an alligator head, engravings and an old dental cabinet filled with things found on beaches all around the world.

My favourite thing about onefinestay is that everyone is very friendly, responsive and reliable – if there ever was an issue, it was fixed immediately.

Learn more about onefinestay’s unique service for townhouse owners and read more about it in the New York Times.

Read the full story in Guestbook 4, onefinestay’s journal about making yourself at home in the world’s greatest cities.

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