Location: Jersey City, New Jersey
Size: 902 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years; owned
Jeff has lived in the NYC area for over twenty years. Five years ago he purchased this Jersey City loft, which he has thoroughly made his own. His home is brimming with antique curiosities that he's collected along the way.
His loft, in a building that used to house the American Can company, has soaring 14 foot ceilings. His grand bookshelf is quite a visual treat — its size, materials, and books are nothing short of spectacular. The collection housed within has been a work in progress since he was in high school, when he would accompany his mom to flea markets and estate sales. This passion for vintage shopping has driven him to launch, with some like-minded partners, Public Manor, a venture that sells vintage furniture and home decor. They debuted at The Brooklyn Flea in March and will be back again on June 7, in Fort Greene.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I like to think I’m a minimalist, but really I guess I’m more of a maximalist. My style is a mix of louche 1970s, some industrial, a bit of mid century, and a lot of texture. The palette is very neutral, but with a lot of richness and depth.
Inspiration: I take inspiration from all over, but especially from the objects that I find and collect. I think everything tells a story. Some interiors that have influenced me include the gift shop at the Neue Galerie, Richard Gere’s character’s apartment in American Gigolo, the Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan, and old factory buildings. I’m also obsessed with the work of the interior design firm Roman & Williams. They’re the team behind the Ace Hotel, The Dutch, and the lobby of the Royalton.
Favorite Element: I think the 14 foot ceilings are what I like best about my apartment. There is no substitute for height in an interior room. The cast cement ceiling appears as it originally did when the building was the American Can Factory, complete with a series of holes used for modular factory equipment. The grain of the wood used to form the ceiling left impressions in several areas. I also love the mushroom top column, which is also original.
Biggest Challenge: I guess the biggest challenge was installing the bookcase. The frame of reclaimed angle iron was constructed in Maine, along with the circa 1800s barn board, then finished in a studio in Brooklyn. It was then shipped to Jersey City in nine pieces and assembled in place.
What Friends Say: My apartment is a bit like a cabinet of curiosities, so first time visitors are usually a bit speechless until they’ve taken a look around. The first question is always, “Where did you get...?” One friend said she thought my apartment “was more curated than decorated.”
Biggest Indulgence: My books are my biggest indulgence. I’ve been collecting since I was in high school and worked in a book store. I can’t imagine how much money I’ve spent over the years, but I do have some books that are worth a lot more now than what I paid for them, so I guess it’s a good investment.
Best Advice: I always tell people to make sure their room has personality and reflects themselves. I’ve seen many homes where you get no sense of the people who live there. It’s like walking into a hotel. I also think it’s nice to have at least one old thing, even in a room of completely new modern furniture. An object or piece of furniture with some of the patina of life adds a lot of character.
Dream Sources: My dream sources are two stores located next to each other on lower Crosby Street at Howard Street, in Soho. BDDW is the most inspiring interior space I’ve ever seen. And their furniture is completely amazing, if you can afford it. De Vera is like a small museum where you can actually buy the exquisite items on display. I painted a wall in my bathroom black after being inspired by the one black wall in the store.
Resources of Note:
- The bookcase is custom and was designed and built specifically for the space by Peter Gauthier.
- The rolling metal warehouse stairs are vintage.
- The collection of white pottery is a mix of vintage and new.
- The sofa is a vintage Milo Baughman with the original brown suede upholstery.
- The rug is from Calvin Klein Home.
- The artwork above the sofa includes an unsigned painting from the 1950s and a suede and copper piece from the 1970s.
- The porcelain rope on the coffee table is by artist Eric Hollender.
- The vintage leather and wood Roxinho chair is by Michel Arnoult.
- The Hans Wegner rope chair is vintage.
- The mid century entertainment unit belonged to my parents, who purchased it in 1976 when we lived in Mesa, Arizona.
- The trio of vases on the entertainment unit are by artist Eric Hollender.
- The pair of vintage framed photographs on the wall are 19th century French.
- The dining table is from CB2.
- The vintage Paul McCobb chairs have seats covered in felted wool from Calvin Klein. The large brass deer, possibly by Sarreid, was a gift.
- The bronze candle holder is by Calvin Klein Home.
- The vintage metal card file cabinet came from a pharmacy.
- The framed blueprint of Camp Upton on Long Island is from WWII.
- The Greco/Roman heads are vintage plaster casts.
- The kitchen was standard for Canco Lofts and consists of white lacquer cabinets, integrated refrigerator and dishwasher by JennAir, range by Amana, countertops of Caesarstone, and a backsplash of backpainted glass panels.
- The art above the kitchen includes a 1947 Spanish bull fighting poster and a Polish equestrian poster from 1967.
- The naturally shed moose antlers are from Maine.
- The vintage copper kettle is by Revere Ware.
- The bedding is from Calvin Klein Home. The striped blanket on the bed is vintage. The grey sheer drapes are custom.
- The cowhide I bought in Buenos Aires.
- The circa 1950s painting is signed Daub. The mid century credenza is unsigned.
- The vintage metal drawer organizer came from an old workshop in New Jersey.
- The custom glass tub/shower enclosure is by Mirage USA in Brooklyn.
- The paintings and hanging ceramic lamp are vintage finds from the 1950s. The towels are Thomas O’Brien for Target.
- The collection of vanity table mirrors are from the 1920s and 30s.
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(Image credits: Pablo Enriquez)