Brooklyn-Based Designers

Meet the Brooklyn Designers Who Are Part of the Dixon Difference.

Brooklyn is known for its abundance of artists and artisans, many of whom reject the notion of cheap, disposable products in favor of old-world craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail. Dixon has had the privilege of working in close collaboration with a number of these fine tradespeople, and we consider their work to be an integral part of what we call the Dixon Difference.

Below, we return the spotlight to their outstanding work.

Madera Trade

Madera Trade — 22 Waverly Ave., Clinton Hill

At Madera Trade, two brothers — Daniel and Mikael Clason Höök — and longtime friend James M. Robb create handcrafted, "forest-to-floor" sustainable woodcuts for contractors and builders across the country. Known for their unwavering devotion to sustainability, Madera Trade also uses low-toxic glues and other products that are as environmentally-friendly as possible.

Born in Sweden, Daniel's passion for woodworking began early on: As a teenager, he created a wood patio for his parents Amherst, Massachusetts home. Today, the team operates out of a combination product showroom and collaborative designer workspace just outside the Brooklyn Navy Yards.

Madera Trade has supplied wood flooring and wall treatments for a number Dixon homes, including 296 Manhattan Avenue in Williamsburg where the team's salvaged, rustic hardwood is an integral part of the home's warm, woodsy feel. Meanwhile, neighboring homes on Cheever and Kane streets in Cobble Hill take a sleek and chic approach with floors of deep, black-glazed white oak that complements the homes' blackened steel accents.

Aside from residential projects, their fine woods can be found in commercial applications from coast to coast, including the white oak flooring in the Philosophy store at Macy’s Herald Square to the 10-inch pine floors at the Las Vegas location of Brooklyn Bowl.


Michelle James

Michelle James — 201A Richards St., Red Hook

The path of Michelle James artistry calls to mind the adage, "Necessity is the mother of invention." She never intended to become a lighting designer, but a careful renovation of her 1899 Carroll Gardens brownstone called for fixtures she just wasn't finding on the market. Looking to combine both historical integrity and contemporary style, she began collecting vintage glass globes. She then designed new, innovative ways to assemble them, and hired local craftspeople to execute her ideas.

Having honed her eye for style and beauty during prior careers as a hair stylist, personal shopper and fashion stylist, it's no surprise that once a friend included her lighting work at a home design show, a new career was born.

At the Dixon home at 10 Polhemus Place, James' stunning fixtures work in complete concert with the ample original details. In the foyer of the Park Slope abode, a drop pendant fixture takes inspiration from the Chrysler building, while the living room fixture combines five globes from different decades to playful and kinetic effect.

Michelle's work can now be found around the world and is frequently featured in fine design magazines.


FIND Home Furnishings

FIND Home Furnishings — 43C 9th St., Gowanus

During a recent tour of Brooklyn's Gowanus neighborhood, we visited FIND Home Furnishings a mecca for those seeking a tightly curated mix of designer home furnishings from both local and international sources. Throughout the huge showroom, you'll find abundant new pieces, from massive dining tables and sofas to small tchotchkes, many made from historical design inspirations and reclaimed materials. Each piece feels bespoke, special and utterly Brooklyn.

At two nearby destinations, Big Reuse and New York Old Iron, designer treasures from a bygone age await their second life.