Brooklyn brownstone Sharktooth

The Brooklyn Brownstone of Sit + Read’s Kyle Garner and Sharktooth’s Kellen Tucker


You would think that, for two longtime design dealers and collectors, moving in together would entail an agonizing, OCD-like process of visual choreographing and styling until everything looked magazine-level perfect. In the case of Kyle Garner and Kellen Tucker, though, you’d be mistaken — the couple may do magazine-level work for clients, but when it comes to their own home in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood, it’s barely about looks at all. “The driving force is comfort,” says Tucker, who deals antique textiles through her shop Sharktooth. “If you close your eyes and walk into this house, does it feel good?” Garner, the furniture dealer and designer behind Sit + Read, who moonlights as a DJ, agrees: “We prioritize the feeling over the aesthetic,” he says. “Kellen is interested in crafting smells, and I’m really interested in sound. I don’t really design my own living space.” It’s not that their two-floor brownstone isn’t beautifully appointed, of course, just that it strives for a more visceral appeal.

Part of that has to do with the fact that not only is the house ultimately temporary (it’s a rental), the objects that populate it, by and large, are temporary as well. As dealers — who met via email a decade ago after Tucker discovered Garner’s blog — the couple almost never keep their finds forever; they cycle in and then out again, to her shop, or to his interior projects. They’ve had to train themselves to embrace that state of impermanence, and to value their own well-being more than they value their possessions, to prevent their obsession from burying them. That process took slightly longer for Garner than for Tucker, who kept the house almost empty before Garner moved in with her a year and a half ago. “Suddenly there were kitchen shelves filled with ceramics, and real furniture,” she recalls. “He’s much more of a homemaker than I am. The store takes up all of my energy, so the last thing I wanted was stuff in my house. It was a struggle to find a happy medium.”

Now, they both agree, there’s a good ebb and flow. Garner’s Sottsass lamps happily coexist with Tucker’s antique Persian rugs and Turkish flat-weaves, and Garner keeps himself stimulated by constantly moving things around. “One day a chair will be downstairs, and the next day it will be upstairs,” he says. “Or I’ll find a weird, rusty nail I like the shape of that will change how the mantel is arranged that particular week.” Tucker gives herself room to play, too. “I couldn’t stop buying dandelion paper weights for awhile,” she laughs. “Eventually I was like, enough, that has to go. I can’t help myself from buying weird folk objects that don’t have a place in my store, but eventually they end up in a corner, then outside, and then in a free bin somewhere. The trick is not to feel ownership over them — or feel burdened by them.” Adds Garner: “This apartment is an exercise in restraint.”