Peek Into Athena Calderone’s Graveled Backyard Before She Sells Her Dream Home

Exactly how she pulled the nontraditional landscape together.
athena calderone
Photography by William Jess Laird

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It’s official: Athena Calderone is leaving the Brooklyn townhouse she calls her dream home.  Over the years, we’ve gotten peeks inside the place as she painstakingly transformed it with her signature serene style, and, of course, incredible furniture choices. Between the memories she says are padlocked in her heart and the truckloads of pieces following her to the next adventure, the EyeSwoon founder has plenty to take into her new chapter. But there is one thing she’s leaving behind: a fully graveled backyard that is so chic it makes us want to ditch grass for good. Luckily, she’s gifted us with a 97-page e-book detailing all of the sources, suppliers, and inspiration from the townhouse, including how she pulled off the sophisticated outdoor space.

Calderone was apparently inspired by her many trips abroad when she revamped the yard. “I wanted a garden that felt soft and loose,” she says. “Like a European vacation, as opposed to something structured and architectural, which is common throughout NYC.” Together with Brook Landscape, Calderone achieved a quintessential Mediterranean feel by laying large Renaissance dolomite tiles from ABC Stone in the center of the area and adding creeping thyme in between the squares to break up the tonal monotony. They also mortared pebbles in between the cracks, making sitting and walking through that area a comfortable experience. 

In addition to the nontraditional hardscaping, Calderone brought in custom pieces like cedar stools and a bluestone coffee table crafted out of salvaged elements from the original yard to infuse the space with a bit of personality. For some coastal Italy flair, she peppered in vintage vessels, sculptural pedestals, and angular teak chairs from B&B Italia. We’re already envious of the lucky buyer who gets to make this city oasis their own.