Property peep show: A storefront studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Take a tour inside Maya Marzolf's ground-floor studio, which once served as an antiques shop

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  • Rayon Richards

    The ground floor of this 19th-century Greenpoint building once held a store, but it had long been converted into a residence when Maya Marzolf bought the building in 2008. She restored the original windows and opened an antiques shop. “We took the whole place apart and tried to put it back together in a way that seemed historically accurate,” she said. Marzolf later tired of operating the store and converted the space back into a studio, but kept the picture windows and plenty of antiques.

  • Rayon Richards

    Marzolf’s style is part farmhouse, part industrial, with a sprinkle of the exotic. “Pretty much everything was put together with my own two hands,” Marzolf said of the space, which is a mosaic of beautifully refurbished wood, salvaged doors, fixtures, and hardware. She spent two years renovating the building, filling her space with reclaimed wood and repurposed materials. “Nothing in here is original, so it was a big project,” she said.  

  • Rayon Richards

    Surprisingly, this staircase is not a Brooklyn original– it was built in Holland in the 17th century, when New Amsterdam was nothing more than a trading post. It is a prime example of Marzolf’s keen eye for pieces that may seem mundane or unusable.

  • Rayon Richards

    A display case serves as counter space and storage, and also cordons off the kitchenette. Marzolf said she stumbled across the piece while antiquing. A shop owner was using it to display her wares, and Marzolf was amazed when the woman agreed to sell it. “You never find this kind of beveled glass anymore,” she said.

  • Rayon Richards

    Marzolf’s building feels boroughs away from the bustle of the nearby Williamsburg waterfront. The serene garden is filled with rose bushes, lilacs, and creeping vines. Enclosed by two ivy covered walls, the backyard is almost silent, even on a busy Saturday.

  • Rayon Richards

    Most of the materials in the apartment were collected from Marzolf's various antiquing road trips across the country. “It was just stuff that I liked. It was a bit of a hodgepodge,” she said.

  • Rayon Richards

    Situated on a street that dead ends at the East River, Marzolf's place feels secluded. But she said the storefront window does invite people to peek in “constantly,” though she doesn’t mind. "I like that everyone is so curious. They love taking a peek and are always so complimentary," she said.

  • Rayon Richards

    Marzolf is deeply sentimental about the house, having put years of her own sweat and blood into its refurbishment. She enlisted friends to help to decorate the place as well. A fellow artist painted the birch trees on the wall. “I just love how it turned out,” Marzolf said. She and a friend also attached over 100 pressed tin tiles—originally from a schoolhouse in Missouri—to the ceiling by hand. “That was backbreaking,” she said.

Rayon Richards

The ground floor of this 19th-century Greenpoint building once held a store, but it had long been converted into a residence when Maya Marzolf bought the building in 2008. She restored the original windows and opened an antiques shop. “We took the whole place apart and tried to put it back together in a way that seemed historically accurate,” she said. Marzolf later tired of operating the store and converted the space back into a studio, but kept the picture windows and plenty of antiques.


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