This Brooklyn-based interior
designer and founder of design
blog EyeSwoon, has devoted her
professional and personal life to
creating modern, minimalist spaces
with just the right amount of
warmth and romance. Cal¬derone
has managed to carve out a place
for herself as a go-to designer for
chic children’s spaces (she
reinterprets high-end modern
interiors for the under-ten set). An
interior designer by trade, her
innate sense of style has also
made her a natural muse for
designer friends like Dolce &
Gabbana, who created her
wedding dress, and fellow Glow
mama Jennifer Fisher. Rounding
out her tight-knit trio is husband
Victor (he’s a DJ who has
collaborated with Madonna and
Beyoncé) and surf-obsessed son.
ATHENA ON MOTHERHOOD When you become a mom,
you get to believe in magic again. Santa Claus and the
excitement of Christmas morning, playing hide-and-seek,
running around barefoot on the grass, having water-balloon
fights, getting messy and not caring, going sledding and
having snowball fights, dancing and spinning around until
you fall on the floor in a ball of dizzy laughter. Having a child
has helped me let go!
HARDEST PART I wish I was better at not reacting
immediately to frustrating moments, at letting go of the
“to-do list,” and being fully present when I’m with Jivan.
FAVORITE PART OF THE DAY Every night at bedtime all
three of us climb up the ladder of Jivan’s bed. We end by
piling on top of each other before Jivan goes to sleep.
ROOM STYLEThe Modern Mix
With its graphic wall art, clever built-ins, and boyishly cool
touches, this surf-inspired space epitomizes Brooklyn chic.
PHILOSOPHY I love to include Jivan in the design process.
He already has such a trained eye and has been on
construction and job sites since he was tiny. Visual beauty is
my passion, and it’s so important for him to see and
understand what inspires Mommy. I love hearing his opinion
and always ask for his design feedback.
As Jivan was getting older and beginning to develop a
stronger sense of self, I wanted his room to reflect his
current interests—skating and surfing—while still feeling
playful, bold, and energetic, like his personality. The
out-come is a space Jivan enjoys being in, creating in, and
one he can grow into.
THE MIX Many of the pieces were recycled from our prior
apartment and his “younger” room, like the loft bed, which
I designed. The vintage mid-century modern Sputnik light
fixture has always found a place in our homes, and with the
high ceilings of Jivan’s room, it seemed to work perfectly for
the space, adding sophistication and whimsy. It also gave
the room a grown-up feel, while still being playful (it reminds
Jivan of fireworks). Adding something vintage and special
makes him feel proud to have a “grown-up” piece in his
STARTING POINT The bold and graphic wall mural was the
starting point. Jivan chose the graphite and yellow colors.
Every time people enter the room, they instantly respond to
this strong feature—it’s the room’s anchor!
Save: The rug is IKEA, and Jivan’s desk is from West Elm. I
also chose to manipulate and alter many beloved pieces
that we already had: A white Cappellini chair that I used for
my desk in our last apartment was sprayed the same yellow
as the wall graphic and used as Jivan’s desk chair; I took
orange coat hooks and had them spray-painted the same
turquoise as Jivan’s Sanskrit name; and I took a large series
of colorful, lacquered “jellybean” art that used to hang in our
living room and hung them over Jivan’s bed (I picked four of
the brightest colors). I love reusing and repurposing items
for new uses—it’s creative to find new homes for old pieces.
Splurge: We spent the most on hiring an artist, Kim from
Kamp Studios, to work on the large graphic of Jivan’s name
in Sanskrit, which means “to give life” (Jivan chose the color,
“Surf Blue”). The custom linen roman shades were also a bit
of a splurge.
HOMEMADE TOUCHES The tape artwork was something
Jivan and Icreated together—we purchased an array of
bold-colored gaffer and electrical tape and covered a
canvas with alternating colors and varying thicknesses.
Jivan chose the colors and the order we applied the colors.
It’s so important for children to feel involved in creating their
surroundings—it gives them a sense of pride and
connectedness to their space. We also framed some of the
watercolor “splat¬ter” artwork Jivan made in school in white
PERSONAL TOUCHES The puja, a place for him to keep
things that are sacred to him—photos, artwork, me¬mentos.
Jivan has had it in his room since he was three. There are
many rocks and shells we have collected together from trips
and various items that hold special memories.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE Spatial planning: The room is large,
yet long and narrow, so creating certain “zones” (play,
homework, toy storage, sleeping) took some creativity to
find an ideal layout.
I had purchased a wooden mold on eBay, and I never quite
knew what to use it for. When Jivan chose yellow for his
room, and with the sudden need for lots of pencils for
homework, I chose to fill this rustic wooden object with lots
of utilitarian basic yellow number-two pencils. It’s a great art
installation that’s also useful. I also love juxtaposing punchy
bright colors against either dark or light walls. You see this
in many areas within the room—from the wall graphics to
the yellow desk chair and the vertical coat hooks.
ROOM DÉCOR IN THREE WORDS Bold, playful, graphic
JIVAN’S ROOM IS . . . The space really represents Jivan
growing up and becoming a boy, rather than a preschooler.
The ritual of using the foosball table every night before bed
speaks to his coordination and is an engaging activity the
whole family enjoys—it continues to create memo¬ries for
Vintage chandelier for a bit of glamour
Dark walls to add edge
Pops of bold color to brighten things up
Jivan’s framed artwork to add personality and pride
Athena-designed bunk bed, made by a local furniture maker
IKEA striped rug
Vintage mid-century modern Sputnik chandelier purchased
more than a decade ago from Lost City Arts (the first major
piece Athena and her husband, Victor, bought together as a
West Elm bedding
West Elm parsons desk