Townhouse tales: Prospect Place, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

After a chance meeting in a Parisian jazz bar in 1988, Mariza Scotch and Dièry Prudent fell in love. Here they are 27 years (and one daughter) later, in a striking four-storey Brooklyn brownstone that captures their inspiring journey together.

Photography Stefan Ruiz

Mariza: We were enthralled with the scale and the authenticity of the building. But it was the size of the garden that sold us. It was the biggest garden we had ever seen in New York.

Dièry: Putting in floor-to-ceiling windows onto the garden, and renovating the kitchen, was a challenge, taking a year instead of six months. Mariza was in labour in the hospital and I was receiving calls on my cell phone from the contractor.

OneFineDay-4899Mariza: There’s not a single surface of the property that we haven’t addressed.

Mariza: I’m a handbag designer and I used the same creative process when designing this house. Both a handbag and a house have to be functional, hopefully last for a long time, age well, and add joy to everyday life. I think they’re very connected.

Dièry: I live with someone who not only designs handbags but life as we know it.

OneFineDay-4777Mariza: It’s a very special neighbourhood. In some ways, it resembles where we lived in Paris, with the mix of people and the artists who are attracted to the area.

Dièry: I grew up in this neighbourhood, not far from here, so I was a bit more familiar with Brooklyn than Mariza was. The area has come a long way since then and now it’s landmarked.

Mariza: This house has seen many people from all over the world. I think that’s where the energy of the house comes from. For Dièry’s 40th birthday party, American trumpeter Roy Hargrove performed here.

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