Studio, Brooklyn Heights

Gadgets, toys and artwork fill this couple's home.

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  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    Dave Zackin and his wife, Abi Zackin-Cohen, have spent years obsessively collecting everything from plastic dollar-store masks to children's bedroom furniture. "I sent RISD pictures of my high-school bedroom and I'm convinced that's part of the reason they accepted me," Zackin says with a laugh. Zackin, a graphic designer and writer, and Zackin-Cohen, a third-year medical student, decorated their tiny 350-square-foot studio with gadgets, toys and artwork they've collected from stoop sales, garage sales and even their parents' attics. Something with a story covers every inch of the apartment---even the bathroom and kitchen.

    Above the couch is a black light that transforms the area into what the couple call the Blacklight Lounge. "It's my favorite part of the apartment, a little retro make-out room," says Zackin-Cohen.

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    A friend built the lofted bed as an engagement present, and the ladder's paint glows in the dark. "It's a good thing we're short and can fit under the loft," says Zackin. "A lot of our guests have to duck."

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    Zackin rescued these candy machines from being tossed into the trash. "One we just put all our change into," he says. "It's kind of fun because if you stick a coin in the machine, you never know how much money you'll get back."

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

     Zackin bought these turtles 13 years ago in Chinatown and named them Big Guy and Little Guy. The couple later found out they're actually female. 

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    Zackin built this coffee table out of an old pinball game called Hot Line.  "We're not big drinkers, so at bars, we do find ourselves drawn to any pinball machines," he says. He also made some shelving out of an old pinball-machine board.

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    Zackin-Cohen scored this map of the human digestive system from a guy selling wares out of the back of his truck.

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    Despite their life-size Snow White painting, the pair aren't hard-core Disney fans. "I actually haven't seen the movie since I was a kid. A junk store in Providence had this painting, and when I was at RISD, I would walk to this junk store and look at it whenever I needed some cheering up," says Zackin. "Some friends bought it for me. They asked the employee at the store about the artist and he said, 'All I know about this painting is that this guy did a lot of drugs...a lot."

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    Pictures of Zackin's mom, left, and aunt. "These were made at the 1964 World's Fair. I always thought they were kind of funny, so I grabbed them from my parents' attic," he says. "At the fair, my mom also somehow got to touch Paul Newman's hair."

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    "The little table with the pretzel on it is one of my favorites," says Zackin-Cohen. "Most of our furniture is child's size, which makes it easier to live in a smaller space."

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    Zackin created the illustration on the left for a friend writing an illustrated science book. The plaster of Bert came from a thrift store near Death Valley, California.

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    The couple found these letterpress drawers at yard sales. "Each one of these slots held a letter used in typography," explains Zackin. "We got the printing blocks at Housing Works Thrift Shop (housingworks.org), our favorite store. The toy cars are from my mom, a retired nursery-school teacher. The folding razor kit is from Pearl River Mart (pearlriver.com) and the crazy teeth are from a Key Food vending machine. Most of the other items are from stoop sales."

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    Zackin found the mugs sign at a tourist store near Empire State Building that was going out of business.

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    The bathroom is decked out with a framed Michael Keaton Batman poster.

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    "People stay over all the time," explains Zackin-Cohen, who says most of her friends are artists. When the couple visitors, they must take home a grab-bag gift; a random item the couple wants to give away. "We can't keep everything," says Zackin-Cohen. "And we have a rule with our grab bag---absolutely no backsies!"

  • SPIN THIS STYLE

    Kikkerland Easy Fold plastic step stool, $15, similar colors available at amazon.com

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    SPIN THIS STYLE

    Marvel superhero shot glasses, $4 each, at Broadway Panhandler, 65 E 8th St between Broadway and Mercer St (212-966-3434)

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    SPIN THIS STYLE

    Lisa Perry pop! blue pillow, $75, at Lisa Perry, 976 Madison Ave between 76th and 77th Sts (212-334-1956)

  • SPIN THIS STYLE

    Cameo Creation vintage frame, $62, similar styles available at Loopy Mango, 78 Grand St between Greene and Wooster Sts (212-343-7425, loopymango.com)

  • SPIN THIS STYLE

    Maija Isola & Kristina Isola shower curtain, $55, at Kiitos Marimekko, 1262 Third Ave between 72nd and 73rd Sts (212-628-8400, kiitosmarimekko.com)

Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

Dave Zackin and his wife, Abi Zackin-Cohen, have spent years obsessively collecting everything from plastic dollar-store masks to children's bedroom furniture. "I sent RISD pictures of my high-school bedroom and I'm convinced that's part of the reason they accepted me," Zackin says with a laugh. Zackin, a graphic designer and writer, and Zackin-Cohen, a third-year medical student, decorated their tiny 350-square-foot studio with gadgets, toys and artwork they've collected from stoop sales, garage sales and even their parents' attics. Something with a story covers every inch of the apartment---even the bathroom and kitchen.

Above the couch is a black light that transforms the area into what the couple call the Blacklight Lounge. "It's my favorite part of the apartment, a little retro make-out room," says Zackin-Cohen.

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