Joan Hiller and
Brooklyn, New York
550 square feet
Years lived in:
1 for Joan, 2
for Matt; Rented
We first met Joan when she was living in this stylish studio in Portland, so we already knew about her phenomenal sense of individuality and style. Knowing this, it's not surprising that upon moving to New York, she would meet and fall in love with someone whose creative energy parallels her own. Together Joan and Matt have put together a home filled with charm, personality and love.
With paintings by by Joan, and by family members, as well as spontaneous and fortuitous finds, the walls are like a gallery, filled with interesting pieces to take in. Their home has come together beautifully. Everything appears to have a story, like a grandfather's watch on display. All these elements come together to make Joan and Matt's home both stylish and romantic.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Matt and I
are very fortunate to have styles that work together super-fantastically;
before I moved in, this apartment was a sophisticated, sleek, minimal modern
man pad — lots of design objects, tech gadgets, music gear, clean lines and
shiny surfaces. Matt has amazing taste, and we both love looking at home stuff
and design-y things. I moved in with tons of artwork, textiles, books, vases
and objects, and together, we bought leather and overdyed rugs, plants,
shelving and lots of clean-lined but textural wooden furniture pieces to warm
the space up. Now, the combination is kind of a cozy future-rustic
representation of our combined aesthetics. We are psyched about it and always feel
so thankful and happy to come home. Matt has a fantastic eye for interiors. His
other fantastic eye looks for snacks.
Henderson. Grace Bonney. Junk shops. Designy catalogs.
Favorite Element: The art. Aside from
being lucky enough to own work by Beth Hoeckel, Bruce Colin Paulson, Ashley
Anthony, Derek Erdman, Michelle Muldrow, John Brodie, Luisa Matsushita (aka
CSS' Lovefoxxx), David Greenberger, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Renee Hartig, Jennifer
Charles, Mark Menjivar, Carson Ellis, Rachel Blumberg and my father, Mark
Hiller, we have Matt’s grandmother’s bonkers paintings up (that’s the
double-unicorn in the living room, as well as what’s on top of our fridge). We
were also just gifted a gorgeous decades-old student-made peace poster from our
dear family friend Liz Katz. Matt has a bunch of framed posters from shows he
played with his last band, Get Him Eat Him — and he has some wonderful prints by
David Byrne and Kim Krans. We also had canvas prints made of the first two
Instagram photos Matt ever took — they were taken on his way to meet me at the
foot of the Williamsburg Bridge for our first date.
[Matt’s note: I am
also mega-stoked to be the proud owner of several Joan Hiller originals. I’ve
been a fan of Joan’s work for a long time; in fact, I almost bought one of
Joan’s paintings long before we got together, but chickened out at the thought
of cold emailing her. Several years later, I cannot even express how grateful I
am to share a home with so much incredible art and such an incredible artist.]
Also of note: I want
to make out with the neat-shaped greeny-blue tiles on the bathroom
floor — they’re hands-down the best tiles I have ever had the honor of living
with. They look like vintage Heath tiles; no idea what they actually are, but
they have been part of the apartment forever. There’s also a gorgeous little
marble threshold to the bathroom that I appreciate daily. The kitchen cabinets
are also rad; they’re some ‘70s fake walnut renaissance faire shit. The wood
floors are also gorgeous and new.
Biggest Challenge: Our biggest
challenges are the lack of a second bedroom (we’d love to have a dedicated work
space for Matt’s recording and my painting in the future), the low ceiling fan
in the living room (we’re both tall!) and the knowledge that having the BQE
right outside our window is *not* good for our long-term health.
What Friends Say: “HELLO! WE ARE IN
Biggest Embarrassment: We are
individually and collectively really bad about letting laundry build up in a
crazy way. It’s always in its Official Dirty Laundry Universe, but it gets BAD.
Proudest DIY: We were proud
of ourselves after hanging all the art — we had a system! Matt measured, marked,
nailed & hammered, and I mapped it out. It was also a bear to put together
the shelving in the kitchen, but we did it! As this is a rental, we couldn’t do
any for reals built-in home improvement stuff, but we are excited to in the
future. Chair rails! Floating shelving units! Crown molding!
Biggest Indulgence: For Matt, probably
the incredible speaker/audio setup in the living room. For me, having fresh
flowers in the house as often as possible. Sounds like a dickhead thing to say,
but it makes such a huge energetic difference.
Best Advice: Surround yourself with things you love, and clean up after
yourself constantly and immediately. You want to come home and think OH GOD I
AM HOME; HOORAY.
I still cream
myself when I think about the Anglepoise Giant 1227 floor lamp, which is a
ridiculous $3,600 ultra-huge thing shaped like a desk lamp that is just Earth’s
Most Perfect Object. You would have to style your room super-carefully in order
to not make it seem like you were living at FAO Schwarz or something. Also,
everything Kelly Wearstler does is incredible. I also want to buy everything
Emily Henderson sells in her One Kings Lane sales, especially all the amazing
brass stuff. YES TO BRASS.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
is allowed in our rental, and no painting is allowed unless we paint it back
before moving out. I’m a huge fan of charcoal and/or navy walls and/or
bold-patterned wallpaper, all of which is a bitch to transform back into
standard rental white, so this time it doesn’t make sense. In the future,
though, paint shall be blasted all over everywhere!
drawer unit salvaged from upstate NY; purchased at Moon River Chattel in
guitar, bass & baritone collection
throw pillows from CB2
faux fur blanket that we’ve nicknamed “Flat Bear,” purchased at a thrift
store in Portlan
Carbon 3-shelf unit from CB
copper vase from Collective in Seattle
Chinese ceramic horse from a shop near Union Square in NYC, wearing a
costume gold chain from a Kleenex Girl Wonder photoshoot
Bar printer caddy from West Elm w/the same vintage Fisher Price turntable
Joan had as a ki
Bar bookshelves from West Elm, which holds vinyl and Matt’s amazing audio
ceramic cat from HomeGoods, wearing a second costume gold chain from a
Kleenex Girl Wonder photoshoot
Gravel Sleeper Sofa from CB
leather rug from safavieh
red ‘60s blanket purchased at a thrift store in Portland
Wool Kilim runner from West Elm
from Crest Hardware in Williamsburg
Floor Lamp from BoConcept
wood coffee table from Laytner’s Linen & Home
woven floor cone with reeds from IKEA
tables from CB2 covered in various rocks, minerals & crystals; we are
both life-long rock and mineral collectors!
Tube from The Future Perfect in Williamsburg
- Odyssey Dining Table from CB2
White Chairs from CB2
Chairs from Organic Modernism in Williamsburg
sheepskins from IKEA
tray from eBay
Bookshelves from CB2
Bamboo 2013 Cat Calendar
Bed from Room and Board
Desk from CB2
Chill Chair from CB2
from Home Decorators Collection
dressers from West Elm
purple rug from RugsUSA
Table Lamp from The Future Perfect in Williamsburg
AC4 desk chair
drawer unit salvaged from upstate NY; purchased at Moon River Chattel in
horn in bronze from a thrift store in Virginia
home studio setup
curtain from Target
from West Elm
metal sculpture from Fab.com
Thanks, Joan and Matt!
(Images: Liana Walker)
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