Name: Teman and Teran
Location: Dumbo, Brooklyn
Size: 700 sqft, 2-bdrm condo
Lived in: 2.5 years
Teman and Teran are very talented twins with a background in architecture and interior design. When they decided to downgrade from a 2000 square foot loft, they didn't just move their stuff and call it a day! Before the move, they created a 3-d model to figure out how all of their current belongings would either fit in the new space or get edited out of their lives.
By the time they moved in, they brought with them exactly what they wanted, and knew exactly how it would work in their new space. According to Teman, "there were no surprises!" How many times have you hear that said in reference to a move! By the first month, the apartment resembled 90% of what is seen in these photos. They devoted everything to making the apartment a home as soon as possible. "It's where you rest your head. It's how you start your day and how you end your day," says Teman.
Teman and Teran worked side by side to assess what was needed, to shop for the perfect solution, and to design and build what they needed. Then they installed everything together, experimenting with new ideas along the way. According to Teman, fights with his twin brother last no longer than 2 minutes. They've covered every potential dispute during their 28 years on this earth, so they know how each disagreement is going to end soon after it starts. If one brother questions the other's suggestion, they try it first and then decide if it works or not. For example, the black painted frames lining one wall were an experiment that Teran had problems with in the beginning but which they both liked in the end.
Because T&T are 6'4", high ceilings are crucial to their ideal space, and because they like to be able to survey the room from a relatively comfortable spot, a really good couch is the other thing they can't live without. They didn't mind compressing their home because they have enjoyed the challenge of making everything work together in a more concentrated form.
"Home is the only place you really have full control in your life," says Teman. He and his brother are committed to taking advantage of this belief and to feeling fully empowered by their stylistic, design, and space planning choices. The result is a stunning display of a thoughtful and fun lifestyle.
Style: A collision of really low-end and high-end that we call "Mix-up Mix-up" (inspired by the name of a drink we tried at a bar in London years ago.
Inspiration: Having it both ways. We like to pair old stuff with new stuff; really cheap stuff with expensive stuff (Target meets DWR…Wal-Mart meets Frette), really big stuff with small stuff, and subdued colors (like grays, whites and beiges) with sudden bold splashes of bright color in unexpected places. Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?
Favorite Element: The incredible light, the 11-foot ceilings and the 4 closets.
Biggest Challenge: The zebra wood accent wall in the living room. We actually converted a flooring system into wall paneling with just a band saw, a hammer, nails, a lotta sweat and minimal cursing.
What Friends Say: "Host more dinner parties and movie nights!" Followed by "Will you design my apartment for free?"
Biggest Embarrassment: No dining room for dinner parties because we need the office more. And the kitchen! It's in desperate need of an island and subway tiles. We're working on that one.
Proudest DIY: It's a three-way tie between building the large projection screen for the home theatre, re-wiring the fixtures in the living room, kitchen and foyer without electrocuting ourselves, and hanging kitchen cabinets in the office for suspended shelving that didn't fall down. As for the large screen that we created for our digital projector, we built the frame and stretched the canvas ourselves. Then we covered it with a special paint that has crystals in it to sharpen the picture. It looks like minimalist art during the day and becomes a TV screen at night.
Biggest Indulgence: The insane shipping fees and customs duties we've paid to have certain furniture pieces shipped from whatever random part of the world where we found them.
Best Advice: Make up your own rules…and then break all of them!
Dream Source: Auctions at Christie's, Moss, Scandinavian thrift stores