After shuttering its Park Slope storefront, Sounds has taken up residence in a Jamesport farmhouse.
On the block of 7th Avenue between Garfield Place and Carroll Street, few windows carried more intrigue than Sounds, an exposed-white brick wonderland of euphoric colors and forms that fast became a neighborhood favorite.
For three years, passers-by beheld its cheekily-abstract melange of approachable, high-design lifestyle objects for home, work, and self, from soaps, oils, books, and candles to Japanese stationery to pinch pot espresso cups. An in-store cafe served an original menu of plant-based lattes, Variety Coffee, and baked vegan noshes like orange-cardamom coffee cake, sent out in quirky ceramic mugs and brightly-hued plates to enjoy in the cozy window nook or on the deck out back.
When New York City locked down in March of 2020, its lights, like so many others, went dark. But what could have been another pandemic small business casualty resolved in positive change for both shop and keeper.
In truth, Sounds was bigger than a store to begin with.
“We are first and foremost a design studio,” remarked Ester Kislin, the brand’s founder and creative director, whose products are stocked by the likes of such tastemaker steadies as Austin Motel, Humboldt House in Chicago, and LA’s Slowdown Studio.
Her already-extant ecommerce site threw a lifeline during the pandemic, though it hardly replaced the tactile, multi-sensory experience of the shop. After a brief sans-cafe reappearance in the original space, Kislin, who relocated to the North Fork with her family, sought to test waters with a pop-up closer to home.
Sounds Out East debuted this summer at 1146 Main Road (NY-25), just over the line from Aquebogue between the Paumanok winery and Jamesport Vineyards—the latter hosts a wood-fired pizza program that just might be the East End’s best-kept culinary secret.
While the setting couldn’t be more different, the tone is audibly similar.
Kislin has managed to infuse the same calming vibes into the new space, a sun-splashed 19th century farmhouse that formerly served as a real estate office. The side-door entrance, reached up garden steps past voluminous sunflowers and hydrangeas off the rocking chair porch, offers a moment to pause and embrace the pace of East End life. Jamesport Farmstead runs its CSA program from a farm stand in their shared parking lot, a setting that feels not entirely unlike Grand Army Plaza on an easy Sunday morning.
“Transforming the space was definitely a challenge, but we went with an approach that was simple and respected the original style of the farmhouse,” Kislin explained. “Furniture designed by Simon Abranowicz, and shelving by Nicky Marino, elevated the interiors with a modern look and feel.”
Light hardwood floors and minimal decor draw attention to a kaleidoscopic array of meticulously-curated objects, which Kislin makes a conscious effort to move weekly to ensure every visit is a new experience. And while there’s no plan for a cafe, Kislin hopes to add outside seating for guests to enjoy adaptogenic drinks and non-alcoholic cocktails sold in the store.