Art, Arts and Culture, Astoria, Community, Living, Neighborhood, Real Estate
Sep 04, 2020

ASTORIA INTERIORS: SOMETHING BORROWED ON 35TH ST

Welcome back to another edition of Astoria Interiors, a series where we go inside neighborhood homes to showcase design on the most local level. Today we head inside an actor’s (…)

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Welcome back to another edition of Astoria Interiors, a series where we go inside neighborhood homes to showcase design on the most local level. Today we head inside an actor’s artsy 2-bedroom on 30th Avenue, where he’s been collecting and creating custom pieces for the last 15 years. From a tailor-made table to an inherited stand-up bass, it’s safe to say Caleb doesn’t let a thing go to waste.

With all of us spending more time at home, we’d love for you to submit your home for Astoria Interiors. Please send a selection of six well-lit photos (including captions!) and a series of responses to these questions. All types of homes are welcome and encouraged. Send your submission to dore.anna@gmail.com with “Astoria Interiors” in the subject line. Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis.

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Name: Caleb Damschroder 

Social handle: @damncaleb

Location:  30th Ave and 35th St

Years lived in: 10

Size (# of bedrooms, bathrooms): 2 bedroom/1 bath

Tell us a bit about you and your Astoria apartment: 

I’m an actor/writer who’s lived in Astoria for 15 years. Three apartments within a block from each other. I’ve spent the last ten years combining pieces I’ve made, pieces I’ve collected from my extended family, and pieces I’ve found on the streets of Astoria to create a home that‘s uniquely a story of my life. 

Describe your design aesthetic in 5 words or less

Borrowed. Found. Refurbished. Repurposed. 

This is my dining table I made and stained. The chairs on either end were a perfect match that I found a couple years later on 35th St. The mirror on the wall is an old bedroom vanity mirror I found on Astoria Blvd.

What’s your favorite room and why? My favorite room is my office (our second bedroom). 

It’s where I do my writing and keep all of my instruments. It’s my space to create and dream.

I purchased this piano from a doorman on the UWS. The stand up bass was my grandfather’s. I do most of my writing at the piano. There is a white board for ideas and my vision board is for a musical I’m currently working on.

My inspiration corner has a few of the instruments I play. The posters are from some of the shows I’ve acted in. The couch is for naps between bouts of creativity. The pillow is from the Uros floating islands on Lake Titicaca. The dolls are ones my grandmother knitted and were always on the bed I slept on in her guest room.

Most prized piece? 

My hallway entry table is an old sewing machine table I found many years ago in the trash on 33rd St. It’s the perfect “Welcome to my home, welcome to my neighborhood” piece. 

This is the old sewing machine table I found on 33rd St. (I don’t get much light in my hallway, unfortunately.) The painted rock I purchased at an Astoria craft fair. The key bowl my sister made in college. The sketch is a greeting card of Tower Bridge from a trip to London. The linoleum print is from a local artist on the Hana Highway in Maui. I saw a photo of a check-in desk at an old hotel and was inspired to make a wall of keys using keys my dad had collected over the years.

What part of your home are you most proud of? 

The pieces I’ve collected from the neighborhood. My television sits on an old steamer trunk I found on 34th St. My liquor cabinet is an old freestanding kitchen cabinet I found down the block on 35th St. I mentioned above that my entry table is an old sewing machine table I found on 33rd St. I found two dining chairs on 36th St. that matched the scale and finish of the dining table I built. 

I found this trunk on 34th St and built my shelving unit around it. That brass and marble table sat in my grandmother’s reading corner in her bedroom. The red blanket is from a trip to Peru. The coffee table is from my grandparents’ trip to Peru before I was born.

Best apartment advice? 

Find pieces that have history to them and pieces that tell something about who you are and where you’re from. You’ll never have a guest say, “We have the same IKEA bookcase!”

I made these lighting fixtures for my kitchen out of piping and an upside down shower drain.

My table top garden brings the outdoors in.

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