Girls' Jemima Kirke Lets Us Into Her NYC Pad

In 2011, before BFFs Kelly Stuart and Violet Gaynor had kids of their own, they launched The Glow — a glimpse into the world of inspiring, stylish moms. Swoon with us as we thumb through the archives in preparation for their next venture: an equally addictive book that'll feel right at home on your coffee table.
When the London-born, New York-raised artist Jemima Kirke decided to have a child, she wondered how easily motherhood and creativity could coexist. Almost a year later, this young mother is proving that the two can mesh peacefully. The Brooklyn Heights home she shares with her husband has a decidedly romantic feel; vintage treasures fill the eclectic space, while a beguiling mix of art — from Robert Mapplethorpe to Alfred Wertheimer — cover the walls.
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A RISD-trained painter, she became an accidental actress last year when her childhood friend, filmmaker Lena Dunham, persuaded Kirke to star in her indie hit film, Tiny Furniture, as well as the highly-anticipated Judd Apatow-produced HBO series, Girls. Artist, performer, mother, wife — Kirke deftly moves between each role with effortless charm.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
Rafaella, 11 months, September 2011
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
A Few of her favorite things

1. "Keeping her up late sometimes. I recently went to a Patti Smith concert with her — she was strapped to me the whole time and holding glow sticks in each hand til 11 p.m. By the last song she was asleep on my back.
2. Her breath in the morning.
3. Her two bottom teeth.
4. Feeding her water from a glass.
5. The funny made-up songs my husband sings to her.
6. Watching her fall asleep.
7. Watching her love."
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"Lena [Dunham] came to me two days before I gave birth — we were just lying on the bed, chatting and she was like, 'Will you be in my pilot?' I said, 'Are you kidding? I will have just had this baby and be 30 pounds overweight.' But I did it. She’s got a way with words. Rafaella was six weeks-old when I started filming the pilot [for Girls], so I brought her with me to set. Sometimes we would shoot from 6 a.m. to midnight, or 2 in the afternoon to 7 a.m."
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"Everything must be grabbed and put in the mouth: shoes, cables, paper, the computer, the dog."

RELATED: At Home With Photographer Zoë Buckman
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"The moment I saw my baby it wasn't love at first sight like I thought it would be. I felt like, 'Who is this little stranger?' As the days went on I fell more and more in love with her — the more affection I felt for her the more love and concern I felt for any and every baby or child. I really felt I could love any baby put in my care. This surprised me." Jemima: Slip: Geminola; Bra: Cosabella; Rafaella: Dress: Vintage
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"I kept imagining having a small baby in this space, which seemed fine. I thought she’d stay a baby for longer. After six months, she was crawling, and needed more and more toys, gadgets, gidgets, and contraptions. We’ve grown out of this apartment really quickly." Changing table: Vintage chest of drawers
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
For Kids Gear...

Citi Mini Stroller
Teething Feeders: "You put any fruit, vegetable, or ice inside and the baby just sucks on it."
Travel high chair: "It’s a high chair that’s not a big ugly plastic thing that becomes one of your dining room tables."
Aden + Anais blankets
Rocking chair
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"She’s awesome at sharing. I don’t know where she got that from."
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"She really knows when she likes a person, they don't even have to look at her. She'll see a person in the checkout line at the grocery store, decide they're a good person and smile and shriek. Obviously this will have to change eventually or we've got a big problem, but it makes me proud to see how warm she is."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"These animal hooks were mine as a child."
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"She turns one at the end of the month, and everyone keeps asking me, 'What are you going to do for her birthday party?' What am I supposed to do, take her to Six Flags with five of her best friends?"
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
Crib: Bloom Alma
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"When I found out I was having a baby, I wondered whether there were any successful female painters with children. When I actually asked the question I realized there were a lot. I was worried about how I was going to do it. When I was younger, painting was something that was quite impulsive or even compulsive for me. When you’re a mother, there’s no room to be impulsive or compulsive, or it’s better if you’re not. I asked myself, 'What am I going to lose by having a child?' And so far the answer is nothing." Dress: Bonton
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"Being a mother takes all of the bullshit out of being an artist. Artists can sometimes be flighty or flakey, or have these loopy ideas. I’m doing everything that’s not that, and really stripping it down to what it is — I’m a painter, and I’m really thinking about what I do and working to make that happen. It’s awesome."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"Brooklyn Heights is so seductive. You can feel the history when you walk around. We’re amongst some amazing writers that lived around here — Truman Capote, Henry Miller, W.H. Auden. It’s a very romantic place."
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"In order of importance: 1. Self, 2. Marriage, 3. Child. Of course all are as important as each other, but neglecting the one before is a disservice to the one after."

RELATED: The Amazing Amagansett Home Of Model Leilani Bishop
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"I had a couple of names picked out before she was born. I really liked Alfie for a while — I just thought it was so cute. You have to be a hot 60s model for that name. And I thought Sid was so cool for a girl — kind of sexy and pretty, but Sid Mosberg just didn’t work. I love the abbreviations for Rafaella — Raf and Rafa. Her middle name is Israel, after her great-grandfather. It’s such an old man’s name."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"I love raising her in New York — there's so much to see from her stroller."
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For Kids Clothes

Album di Famiglia: "It’s all gray, and white. It’s the antithesis of most kids' stuff. I hate anything with rhinestones or things that say cute stuff, like 'My Mom’s Hot', or 'I Might Throw Up On You' I stay away from the rock band t-shirts, anything with smiley faces, peace signs, Che Guevara — anything that a kid obviously has no idea about. Then, Zef, Tuss, Gap, and Geminola."
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"I wish I was better at cooking all her meals. It takes a lot of time and effort but is so rewarding when she eats it and likes it. I know exactly what's going into her body and I know it's all healthful, beautiful food. But, I do buy a lot of her meals prepackaged from the store out of laziness."
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"Some people, when they have babies, embrace all the 'stuff'. I don’t. I didn’t want my house to look like a jungle gym. I swore that I'd get everything in black, beige, and white — it’s almost impossible. I want people to walk into my house and be surprised that there’s a baby."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"The hardest thing about being a mom is losing some of the spontaneity in life. There's no more getting up and going somewhere because you've suddenly decided it would be fun — no impulsive actions, no last minute trips or outings. Almost every action or trip must be thought of in advance — seeing a movie, going out to dinner, taking a nap, walking the dog."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
Before I had her, I wondered, 'Is my life over?' I've realized you can pretty much do everything you were doing before, just with restrictions. You can travel, go out to dinner, make dinners at your house, have parties, go to parties. All that stuff is still allowed."
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
"I never thought I’d be so excited about dressing my child as I am. I always liked clothes, and I even appreciated a well-dressed child, I just didn’t think I’d be that way with my kids — and oh my god I am. Every time I pass a kids’ store, I have to go in. I love it. It’s a little bit narcissistic, really. My mother saved my dresses from when I was little — this vintage one was mine."
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"When I was pregnant, things got swollen in ways I never knew possible. I looked younger. I wanted to dress in a bohemian way, but the reality was leggings. My idea of what pregnancy looks like didn’t line up with what I actually wanted to wear."
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"I like shopping for her online — it makes it that much more impulsive, which is what I enjoy about it. I don’t even get to feel it, I just see it, love it, click it, get it. It’s funny, though, because my favorite thing to see her in is a diaper."
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A collage of family photos in the kitchen.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
Framed picture from Fork & Pencil in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Glow.
For Beauty

"Optimum oil therapy for when my hair is dry and flat. Hair powder for when I haven't washed it for a while."
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"Allow someone else to care of your baby sometimes. It's good for them. It's good for you."
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