An Artist Lets Her Imagination Roam
House at a Glance
Who lives here: Artist Clarina Bezzola
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Size: 2,220 square feet (206 square meters)
Designers: Clarina Bezzola, Sang-yun Han and James Ramsey of Raad Studio
Before: Bezzola purchased the home because of its proximity to her art studio and decidedly not for its aesthetics. “The place was gaudy before,” she says. “Everything in the house was covered in stone and marble. The transitions in the house made you feel like you were in a stone yard.”
Bezzola joins the construction crew on site (above) to watch the transformation take place.
After: The final “bubble” protrudes from the wall in a matching white color. As part of the design, Ramsey built upon Bezzola’s original idea with the addition of a walnut credenzathat houses a state-of-the-art audio system. Along with its functionality, the credenza also provides a visual interaction with the bubble. “It’s like my growth is eating up his credenza. We were having so much fun with that,” Bezzola says.
Today, Bezzola uses the bubble as a space to relax, read and watch movies. With the inclusion of the fireplace, she initially thought that it would be especially warm inside. However, most of the heat is emitted through the front opening, which Bezzola says is a good thing considering she’s now installed a TV inside the sitting space.
Guests’ reactions: One of the most interesting aspects of having the bubble in her living room is seeing how guests respond to it. “Some people act like it’s not there. Some immediately want to climb through it. Some are afraid,” Bezzola says. On one particular occasion, an ambassador in his 60s climbed into the bubble in his suit and tie. After that, Bezzola thought, “If he could do it, anyone can.”
Couch: custom millwork by M J A Class Furniture
The second level: Although a stairway connects the first and second levels, the bubble allows for a much more unique entry into the upper floor. “It’s very unusual, but I wanted this to be a growth that is breaking through floors,” Bezzola says. On this floor, surrounded by her books, Bezzola pursues a number of artistic interests, including painting and classical singing.
The bathroom: The theme of growth continues on the second floor with the use of vegetation in the bathroom. Bezzola said the inspiration came from seeing a New York City building lobby that resembled a garden. “I thought that was so beautiful, and I wanted that in my house — that idea of plants taking over the space,” she says.