House call: Pop rocks
It's always a bright day in this Bushwick home of handbags.
Tue Jul 29 2008
Sciandra, right, with Hannon
If there's one thing Aaron Sciandra and Garry Hannon's Bushwick apartment is not, it's dim. With nearly every color imaginable throughout the decor, it's got an unflagging toy-store appeal. "We're not minimalists," says handbag designer Sciandra, 30. "Call us maximalists."
He and Hannon, 39, have lived in the railroad-style one-bedroom apartment for two years, and they eagerly re-upped for a second two-year term. After moving into the fourth-floor pad, they immediately removed its boring "wall-to-wall stained carpeting," decorating with pieces culled from flea markets and local shops. Handmade purses from their Brooklyn Bags line (brooklynbags.com), which Sciandra calls "beautiful, affordable, bright and cheery," hang from bookshelves and doorknobs. He creates them out of a Carroll Gardens studio, while Hannon, also a bartender, does "public relations and anything but sewing."
With more colors than a box of Trix cereal, the apartment has touches of vintage charm, including a powder-blue rotary phone ("a godsend during the blackout," says Sciandra) and a framed '70s-era Bette Midler poster. A cameo-style wall cutout represents Sciandra's sculpture background; he studied at Pratt before becoming a freelance window display designer for Barneys and other department stores as well as a handbag maker. "Now, the purses are my sculpture," he says.
Their personalities continue to explode in the kitchen with carefully separated knickknacks and figurines. "We have a milk glass collection, a trivet collection, a Georges Briard collection," says Sciandra. Continuing past the Blanko glass, he points to the wall. "And this is the Jell-O mold department." Nearby, vintage Playboy photos decorate the bathroom, while in the next room a Herms plate is the crown jewel of still another collection.
"We're easy to shop for," laughs Sciandra while eyeing their space. He notes that for all the electrifying decor, Stella McCartney is one of their style icons. "Ironic," he says, "because she's completely devoid of color." Sciandra and Hannon merely laugh over the possibility of their many collections turning to clutter, but admit to having "bags of throw pillows, millions of throw pillows, in storage." Still, they're not changing to a stark, austere look anytime soon: "We'd rather have too many pretty things than too few."
Click for closer look at Sciandra and Hannon's apartment