Kitchen Tour: Robert and Elizabeth’s Soulful Sterling Place
Earlier this week I toured the Park Slope, Brooklyn kitchen of Elizabeth Crowell and Robert Wilson, the owners of the Sterling Place fine home décor and specialty gift stores. Robert and Elizabeth live in a beautiful four-story 1897 brownstone that they bought four years ago and live in with their two small children and two cats.
The current kitchen is in the back of the first floor (the former “men’s smoking room”) and features a large, sunny bay window overlooking the back yard. The kitchen is a generous size and is fully utilized by Robert and Elizabeth, who cook and eat in regularly. Robert grew up having dinner with his parents by candlelight every night – a tradition that was at times burdensome to a teen, but one that he now sees great value in and shares with his own children.
Robert and Elizabeth were looking for a brownstone that still had much of its original detail and character intact, and found just what they were looking for in their turn-of-the-century home. They were also lucky in that a former owner stripped much of the interior woodwork of years of paint and lovingly restored many interior details.
Other items purchased by Elizabeth and Robert and used every day include a vintage kitchen canister set, a number of large, old glass containers that add to storage, an antique corkscrew that Robert swears works much better than modern ones (sold in the store), a kitchen scale that holds their fruit, and a pendant lamp that lights the kitchen table (from the old 26th Street flea market).
Often times, an item purchased to sell in the store doesn’t quite make it out of their house or has brief stint in the store before they reconsider and reclaim it. Among these are an old barber’s table that was in the store for ten days and now serves as the bar, and an old postal table that is used as a changing table (complete with an antique still on the top). Their favorite antique market is the short-lived annual outdoor market in Brimfield, MA; they drive a 26-foot truck there to haul back their finds.
Otherwise, the kitchen simply delights them. The kitchen’s antiques and attached stories fill this kitchen with soul.