Monday, December 17, 2012

Inside Restaurateur Chelsea Altman's Clinton Hill Home

Posted By on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 11:00 AM

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Seated across from the mini (toy) piano inside the mega (real) hearth, Chelsea Altman said she was “flanked by crack houses” when she first bought her dilapidated Clinton Hill home. Well, good things come to those who wait. After over a decade of rump-busting labor, she has one of the nicest slices of the Brooklyn Dream I’ve set foot in—Oh, and she borrowed against her home to open the original of what is now a midsized (real) culinary empire, including Maggie Brown and Olea, (Dos) Pequenas, and her latest, Allswell in Williamsburg.

What do you do?
I own restaurants, I’m an actress and I’ve just started writing, to add to the list of impossible professions.

Why did you move to Brooklyn?
In 1999, I wanted to buy, so clearly Manhattan was out. My boyfriend at the time lived in Clinton Hill, a neighborhood I had barely heard of, but there was a super-cheap apartment for sale on his street. So I bought it. That’s a young dumb move, but it worked out... the apartment that is.

What's your favorite thing about your space?
It’s like a country house in the city. It’s cozy and rustic and colorful and the opposite of the loft I grew up in. I find some comfort in tiny rooms.


Slideshow
At Home with Chelsea Altman
At Home with Chelsea Altman At Home with Chelsea Altman At Home with Chelsea Altman At Home with Chelsea Altman At Home with Chelsea Altman At Home with Chelsea Altman At Home with Chelsea Altman At Home with Chelsea Altman

At Home with Chelsea Altman

By John Emrys Eller

Click to View 11 slides

What's your least favorite thing?
Having a house when you’re not handy is an issue: mice, waterbugs, leaks, snow shoveling, power outages. Sometimes I want a hermetically sealed condo high up in the sky.

What are the three things you'd save first in a fire?
A picture of my Dad from the late 60s, my kids’ art and all the Lauren Moffat coats I just bought at her winter sample sale.

What's your favorite room in your space?
My bathroom.

If you suddenly received a windfall of cash, what changes would you make to your space?
I’d blow out my attic, make it into a master bedroom with sliding glass doors that lead onto a roof deck.

If you could move your house/block/neighborhood to another city, which one would it be, and why?
Oaxaca. Good food, good people, good times.

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About The Author

John Emrys Eller

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