Name: Jeremy (and his roommate Ralph)
Location: Spanish Harlem — Manhattan, New York
Size: 875 square feet — 2 bedroom rental
Years lived in: 5 months
Jeremy's home should look familiar to readers — House Call: Jeremy & Ralph's Bachelor Pad. Visiting Jeremy and his roommate's home in person confirmed that they are destined for a life of fine living.
One year out of school, and these guys have figured out how to pare down, and how to create style with a very small budget and a lot of sweat equity. They are resourceful at every turn, whether it is finding DIY instructions for high-end replicas, scouring Craigslist for quality mid-century deals, or being able to repair to a state of beauty what others would consider too far gone to be saved.
Every object has a story that inevitably includes effort, creativity, and physical labor. And every project was a learning process that did not come easy. The result, however, is an apartment that exudes a calm, cool, and collected aura — that came about in the simplest manner
Making it look easy is no accident. Jeremy is a perfectionist. In fact, his former fixed-gear bike is now banished to the basement storage room because, as he very reasonably stated, "it clashed with my bedroom." After a moment's realization, I asked, 'but your bedroom has no color. How could it clash?" Jeremy explained, again very rationally, that the bike had logos that assaulted him every time he walked into his bedroom. The solution of course, was to build himself a new white bike from scratch. It is not only a great form of transportation, but it has become a perfect accessory to his room.
The precision exacted through all this is surely a sign of future successes for Jeremy and his roommate — in interior design and in life.
Apartment Therapy Survey
Style:: Midcentury Modern, Minimalist, Rustic
Inspiration: Tessellation Origami, Mid Century Danish Design, Nakashima woodcraft, The Brick House Blog, Door Sixteen Blog, The Eames House, Architecture Studios, Sustainable Materials
Favorite Element: Recessed lighting, dimmers, and large windows allow us to save on energy and use natural light. Having no lamps in the living space gives the clean look we desired.
Biggest Challenge: Trying to build furniture with no prior experience, without proper tools, and inside a poorly ventilated apartment. The living room was a wood-shop for approximately three months, constantly covered in dust, and often smelling of veneer/turpentine/wood stain. Everything had to be designed such that we could make it with our only power tool: a drill.
What Friends Say: “Can you make that for me?”
Biggest Embarrassment: The origami tessellations had a tendency to collapse under their own weight. When sleeping at night, it would fall on me, or sometimes the orange sculpture would fall on guests sitting on the couch. The sculptures went through about four iterations before we found a design that could support itself and stay intact.
Proudest DIY: The dining table. Having never made furniture before, we lacked the resources and experience to join the three large pieces of wood. The original design which we were inspired by connected the three planks by hidden biscuit joints. Since our only tool was a drill, we were able to improvise by using thin perforated steel bars underneath the planks.
Biggest Indulgence: 4 dining chairs. After months searching endlessly for a set of 4 white vintage Herman Miller chairs, we grew sick of the process and bought a set from Modernica.
Best Advice: Stay away from Beech! It was nearly impossible to stain and seal, especially for beginners. Go for a softer wood, like Oak.
Dream Source: Design Within Reach.
- • Credenza: 1970s second hand from craigslist
• Dining Table: Reclaimed church floor joist from Build it Green NYC, legs from IKEA.
• Bookshelves: Gas pipe from Home Depot, 1x12" 8' planks of pine from local lumber yard, stained to look antiqued.
• Television “credenza”: IKEA
• Couch: IKEA
• Shag Rug: Overstock
• Dining Chairs: Modernica
• Coffee table and Long Desk: Birch plywood from local lumber yard
• Eames Rocker: Craigslist
• Orange Eames Shells: Craigslist
• Chrome Lamps: Tolomeo by Artemide
• Bicycle: Vintage Raleigh (red) and custom built (white)
• Beds: Ralph (Sleepy’s), Jeremy (Malm IKEA, Oak Veneer)
• Origami Tessellations: Posterboard from Staples. Only $5 to make one sculpture!
• Computer and TV speakers: Lars and Ivan.
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