A Colorful Tree House Grows in Brooklyn

Creative duo Chiaozza mix primary brights and pastel neons to electric effect in their home.

Blue and Green and Pink Living room
Photography by meghan mcneer

In a loft in Brooklyn’s most vibrant arts district, Bushwick, live Terri Chiao and Adam Frezza, along with their 6-month-old daughter, Tove, and cat Giro. Together, the pair go by Chiaozza and are known for their giant sculpture field at Coachella, installations with Nike and Régime des Fleurs, and electric-hued work peppered throughout the US. Bold palettes are their forte—whether in the form of paper-pulp sculptures in far-out shapes, geometric murals, or 3-D paintings.

“Experimentation and play are strong foundations of our practice,” says Frezza. “That’s the only way for me to make something that’s not belabored or overthought,” adds Chiao.

Blue and Red and White and Wood and Yellow Kitchen
Photography by meghan mcneer

The 750-square-foot apartment they share is a reflection of this creative energy. Chiao first moved into the space in 2007, building two raised tree house–like structures in light-blond wood as a way to cordon off areas and take advantage of the tall ceilings without having to put up walls. 

Green and Pink and White Vignette
Blue and Green and Pink and White and Yellow Vignette

When Frezza joined, he slowly brought in brightly hued textiles, ceramics, and art. “All the walls are white, and I think that’s a way to reserve color for special moments,” says Chiao, who has a background in architecture and is drawn to the simple materials and clean lines of Japanese and Scandinavian minimalism.

Red and Yellow Portrait
The couple met at a karaoke bar in Chinatown seven years ago and quickly became collaborators.
Photography by meghan mcneer
Blue and Pink and Yellow Study
Blue and Pink and Yellow Vignette

Although their studio is located just around the corner, the couple’s works-in-progress and recently completed pieces often settle in the loft, which acts as a makeshift gallery. “We think of it as a different zone, a different art project,” says Frezza of the home. The backdrop provides a place for Chiaozza’s palette to really pop—which is inspired by everything from industrial materials (orange traffic cones, fluorescent yellow warning signs) to nature (pink and purple sunsets).  

With the duo often riffing and rearranging—cutting a dining room table from a rectangle into an oval or building closets into an unused area beneath the tree house—the space continues to evolve. “Being around each other when we are creating keeps stuff happening,” says Chiao.

White Graphic
Chinese Orange, Pratt and Lambert
Nancy’s Blush, Farrow & Ball
Rosco Fluorescent Yellow, Rose Brand
Larchmere, Sherwin-Williams
All Made Up, Behr 
Big Country Blue, Benjamin Moore
Photography by domino

Pink Vignette
Photography by meghan mcneer

This story originally appeared in the spring 2018 issue with the headline "A Tree House Grows in Brooklyn." 

See more colorful homes:
Patterns Rule in this Colorful Austin Bungalow
Tour a Historic Nashville Home Filled With Maximalist Moments
Inside a Home That Blurs the Lines Between Indoors and Outdoors

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Published on April 22, 2018 - 5:10am EDT

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