Inside a Brooklyn Home Filled with Antique Finds

The founders of State bags have a thing for 1stdibs and color-coordinated bookshelves.

By: Jodi Taylor
Photography: Alec Kugler

There are certain people who have a knack for decorating. We enter their homes and find ourselves looking around in awe. Such was the case when we stepped inside Scot and Jacqueline Tatelman’s Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, home a few months ago. The couple are the brains behind State Bags, a one-for-one bag company in the United States, which hand-delivers a backpack full of tools to a child in need for every bag sold.

While Jacqueline did use the help of an interior decorator, she was involved in the entire process and chose all of the unique one-off pieces that accent the home—think a light pink velour sofa and a seashell chandelier. As the couple walked us through their space, the creative duo talked about their first piece of art, color-coordinated bookshelves, and why they fill their home with encouraging signage.

ST: “Nine years ago we started a nonprofit summer camp for kids growing up in really tough neighborhoods of Brooklyn and now within the Bronx as well. We call it Camp POWER. We’ve been sending hundreds of kids there since 2009, and we started seeing a recurring theme of kids carrying all their stuff in trash bags either at camp [or] during the school year. At the same time, there were a lot of companies that were doing great work for kids overseas, but our focus was on kids right here in the U.S.”

JT: “We [donate] a bag for every bag sold.”

JT: “The fact that we have a backyard and we have the space that we do is a dream. The backyard is really like a haven for us—to be able to open the door and let the kids out in city life [is amazing]. When we moved in, we really invested in making it natural, giving us a vineyard vibe because Scot’s family lives on a vineyard in summertime, and we love that natural sort of old-school, overgrown feel.”

ST: “It’s as outdoorsy as you can get in Brooklyn. We’re outdoorsy people, we just like being outside. We spend a ton of time in Prospect Park when we can with our kids and our dog [Pokey]. If you can have an outdoor space in New York City in Brooklyn, you’ve got to take advantage of it.”

JT: “I had an interior decorator, but, of course, because I love design, color, fabric, and all that stuff, and that’s my background in my professional life, I was extremely involved. I don’t have one specific style of the way I dress or the way that I dress my home—it’s very eclectic, fun, and comfortable, and that was kind of the idea during the design process. It was more just, let’s find really interesting things exploring 1stdibs, finding vintage chandeliers, and creating a home around those unique pieces.”

JT: “We bought our first piece of art from Joel Mesler right before the shoot, and that was a really exciting thing for us because it was hard to find actual canvas-like art. It says ‘Sunrise, Sunset’ with older hands holding the sun. My friends are friends with him, and I texted him and told him that I loved it, and he was like, ‘I’ll make it for you.’ So he made it for us, sent it over on a little bus. It’s just a great story about our first piece of art which we bought together. It’s the centerpiece of our living room.”

ST: “The backpack wall was an obvious tie-in to State and what we do every day when we’re not at home. We thought it would be a cool [and] a functional way to have all of our bags hanging up on a wall. It’s actually very convenient for us with kids.”

JT: “There are some Star Wars bags on [the wall] that is our latest collaboration that we're really proud of and excited about. We have so many bags in our house that I just wanted to make a nice display. We’ve had these little brass hooks from Etsy on our minds for a little while.”

ST: “It’s always been important to us that our home be comfortable and casual. We love hanging our kids' art on the wall, as a lot of parents do, but our daughter has become really interested in drawing and coloring. She’s five, so the sketches are nothing to put in a frame yet, but there’s a section right near the playroom where we hang everything she draws. We have this really beautiful place, but at the same time it’s not too beautiful that we can’t dedicate an entire wall to photos where you’d be like, ‘What the hell is that is that picture?’ Our kids run the show in our house.”

JT: “When I was doing the banquet, I wanted it to be dramatic and also incredibly practical. I also wanted to juxtapose something interesting on the wall with the wallpaper that I had chosen, which is kind of a textured, almost grey metallic animal print. We live in a city, and we love that there is so much beauty behind some of the art that lives in the day-to-day of your walk to the subway. When I saw those two photographs at the gallery I was like, ‘Wow, we really need those.’ The guy who took the photographs, he then cuts them and tapes them back together so it’s not just a perfectly square photograph, it’s almost like a puzzle and a little bit raw.”

JT: “We’re happy people and we enjoy laughing, and when I see [a sign] that reminds me of that, I can’t help but pick it up. We really believe in good vibes.”

JT: “I am extremely detail-oriented, but I have no upkeep ability. I do try to maintain [this] bookshelf because it’s something that people comment on all the time. I thought that it would also add a lot of light and brightness to our living room.”

ST: “This color-coordinated thing is always hilarious to me because she could have 12 enormous piles of clothes in our bedroom scattered all over the floor, but she'll get upset that a red book was placed where the blue one is. I think it’s funny because I am the color-coordinated one—my entire t-shirt, sweatshirt area is fully color-coordinated and hers is not at all.”

ST: “My dad is a big drummer, and that was my entire childhood—doing homework on the third floor of our house, and in the basement my dad was wailing away for hours. Our son is kind of getting into it. He more so just likes destruction and noise, so that's a good combination for drums.”

JT: “I found [this sofa] at Adaptations in Greenpoint [Brooklyn]. It’s a vintage store, but they do some of their own inspired satays, and they make these incredible pillows that are really fun. I was shooting State product that day, and I was like, ‘I’ll go get some Kind Bars,’ went to this little Bodega, walked past [Adaptations] by accident and ended up finding not only that satay, but a vintage capiz shell chandelier that is now hanging in our stairwell.”

ST: “We have great balance at State, where we’re able to push so much incredible product out while trying to build our platform to better the world and make it a kinder place. From a mission standpoint, we’re really trying to be strong leaders in how we build on the one-for-one model and bettering lives in the best way we can.”

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