My 900sqft: Tour the Romantic Prospect Heights Home of Two Brooklyn Entrepreneurs
Our ongoing series “My sqft” checks out the homes of 6sqft’s friends, family and fellow New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to Prospect Heights. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
Brit Liggett and Mike Cadoux may lead busy lives heading up their own companies—Brit is the founder and president of Show the Good, a startup that focuses on digital storytelling for nonprofits and social ventures, while Mike is the co-owner (alongside his brother) of Peak Organic Brewing Company—but this adorable Brooklyn twosome know a thing about winding down and stepping away from work when the day ends.
Nestled in the heart of Prospect Heights, their home is as disconnected from the digital world as one can be in this day and age, filled with shelves and shelves of books, LPs, instruments, and vintage maps. They even have a room—”The Room for the Pursuit of Arts and Leisure”—where electricity is completely banned. Self-described as “old world,” Brit and Mike have perfectly curated their apartment with a collection of incredible antiques, each with a story. In fact, only four pieces of furniture in the whole place are new! But they are no hoarders. As Brit tells us, “I’m a collector of things, without doubt, but I try to only have things that are useful or have a function.”
Brit and Mike recently invited us into their home, and while we immediately fell for their generous, beautifully decorated spaces, it was really all the charming and quirky details reflecting their six-year romance that had us swooning and tapping #relationshipgoals into our phones when we left.
6sqft: How did you two meet?
Brit: We met at an Open House NY event that Peak was sponsoring, it was seven years ago this month. The party was in an unfinished penthouse apartment in Tribeca and there was a lovely view. Our first date was a few months later in February of 2009.
6sqft: How did you end up in Prospect Heights?
Brit: Mike lived in this apartment with a roommate when we first met. He’s been here for about nine years. As they say: they hit the rental jackpot. A friend of theirs was working for the company that owned the building. They signed the lease before they saw the apartment. Their friend hadn’t seen it either but people at the company assured him it was nice. So they took a chance. I moved in six years ago in December.
6sqft: How would describe your personal design style?
Brit: I would say our style is just about surrounding ourselves with things we enjoy. It’s not often that we wonder whether something will “fit in.” It is more of a question of how much we like it. It was lucky that Mike’s style and mine mesh together well. I think we are both more old world than new world. I’d say my style is more feminine and eclectic but it fit’s well with Mike’s. I’d say his style is more like a gentleman’s study circa 1925.
6sqft: You have an eclectic mix of things in your home. Do you guys ever fight about decor choices?
Brit: There is an ongoing argument about how many maps is too many maps. Mike would live with maps on every wall if I wasn’t around. I prefer to vary the decor. Though they were first confined to the Room for the Pursuit of Arts and Leisure, they’ve multiplied and snuck into the hallway over the years.
I bring things home sometimes that Mike looks at with a side eye, but nothing egregious. I also generally tell him about things first and give him a veto opportunity. A lot of things in the house came from the Brimfield Antique Show. I go every year with my mom and sometimes friends come along for a weekend of perusing lots and lots of old things. I always come home with little treasures from my searches there—the flower curtain holders in the kitchen, Mike’s desk chair and lots and lots of vintage kitchen wares..
In general, we have similar taste and are open to mixing and matching our aesthetic styles. The big things we choose together. The couch is from the ABC Carpet and Home Warehouse in the Bronx—the best place ever. We went together and sat on every couch in the place. We both loved this one, it was a no contest situation.
6sqft: What are a few of your favorite pieces?
Mike: My favorite things are the maps. Maps are the quintessential expression of social political and economic realities of a specific time. And they’re really, really cool looking. The there’s the J.M.W. Turner reproduction of the Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons in the living room and the Thornton botanical prints in the kitchen. We actually have a folio of dozens more prints from Thornton, but these were our favorites so we framed them. I also like the bookshelves, because I like books. Brit and I built them together from supplies we bought at Build it Green.
Brit: The maps are Mike’s favorite things in the house. By a mile. He got interested in the history of trade and through that became interested in cartography.
For me it is hard to pick favorite things. I’ve collected so much of it over the years from special people and places, but I’ll try. Collectively, I love our family pieces the most. We have a number of things from Mike’s grandmother—the lamp situation next to the television, the long green table in the Room for the Pursuit of Arts and Leisure and the mirror in the living room; and from my grandparents—the painting in the bedroom, the hope chest that we use as a coffee table, the jewelry box and porcelain set on my dresser and a few family cameras. It’s wonderful to have things that belonged to them.
My mom gave us the little tin lunch box in the kitchen for a wedding present. It is filled with family recipes from our wedding guests. The bookshelf in the living room is our book club bookshelf. We’re the only ones in the book club and we’re reading the Modern Library’s Board List. We put the books up on the shelf when we are done. Next to that is an antique postcard of the place we got married in Lenox, Massachusetts.
I’m also obsessed with my Kitchen Aid, obviously. My parents bought it for me when I moved in with Mike. Best present ever.
6sqft: What are some of your favorite features about the home?
Brit: The molding can’t be beat. It is just so elegant and adds so much texture to the apartment. We both love that we’re on the top floor of the building because it means our place is always bright. The dueling living room spaces are also pretty wonderful. They make for a great place to hold a party. We’re lucky, it’s a lovely space.
6sqft: Which room is your favorite and why.
Mike: My favorite room is the Room for the Pursuit of Arts and Leisure.
Brit: The dueling living rooms. We spend most of our time there. I love that they have two personalities but are really the same space. There is no electricity allowed in the Room for the Pursuit of Arts and Leisure—it’s meant to be a place to get away from technology. We spend a lot of time in there in the weekends and have friends over for candlelit dinners.
6sqft: What do you love about Prospect Heights? What are some of your favorite spots and is there anything you’d change?
Brit: Prospect Heights is the prettiest neighborhood around. We’ve been here for awhile and have seen it change. It is definitely more bustling than it used to be but it still has all its charm. The streets are tree-lined and stately and Prospect Park is so close, it feels much greener than some other neighborhoods.
We are lucky to live near a lot of great small businesses. Our favorites spots are Bar Chuko, No. 7 in Fort Greene, Barboncino in Crown Heights and Unnameable Books; you can’t beat having a quirky local bookstore on the block.
I’d love to freeze the neighborhood in time right now—things will change once the new housing near Barclays Center is finished. But I guess progress is good and we need more housing in the city—so it is a good thing I don’t have a time-freezing machine.
6sqft: If you could liken your partner to one historical or iconic figure, who would it be?
Mike: Brit’s a female WWII pilot, because she’s adventurous, smart and sexy.
Brit: Mike is Harrison Ford’s character in Blade Runner. Whip smart, straight faced, thoughtful and very quick on his feet.