Rental Revamp: A Brooklyn Ceramicist Infuses a Timeworn Apartment With Her Signature Style

Rental Revamp: A Brooklyn Ceramicist Infuses a Timeworn Apartment With Her Signature Style

Recreation Center founder Josephine Heilpern transforms her run-down Crown Heights apartment into a cheerful space with an emphasis on functionality and pops of primary color.
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Looking around ceramicist Josephine Heilpern’s kitchen, with its crisp-white cabinetry, checkerboard floor, and cheery, primary-colored accents, it’s hard to imagine the filthy state in which she first saw it. The founder of Recreation Center, a Brooklyn ceramics studio, recalls a stomach-turning scene of dead bugs, mouse droppings, and decades of caked-on grease in the existing cooking area—not to mention the 40 years’ worth of belongings from the previous tenant that still filled the apartment. But the south-facing unit in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood had windows in every room, parquet floors, and a dining area that could function as a second bedroom. Plus, it was rent-stabilized.

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