Matt's Mega Organized, 3D Printed, "Future Minimalist" New York Apartment

House Call

Name: Matt
Location: Lower East Side — New York, New York

Hi! I’m Matt, and I’m a designer based in New York City. My current focus is on creating organized spaces within the home using custom, 3D printed solutions.

I work from home — and home, currently, is a 550-square-foot rental in the Lower East Side. After I sold my studio a little over a year ago, I was looking for something that was different, had as much space as humanly possible and was interesting. When I found my current place, I remember thinking it was very bizarre; had a very odd, confusing U-shape layout; two “bedrooms” - neither of which had windows ...but it had a bunch of space. I like unique spaces because they pose challenges and allow you to work with them to create new, interesting solutions.

My design approach centers around form, function and whimsy. I need my space to first and foremost be very functional for what I own and how I use my things in my space. It’s very purely: practicality and usability. I'm a bit of a minimalist. I love white and stainless steel, and I like to use flashes of color. I like light wood. I don't like to be too flashy. Instead I like to purchase items that embody all that flashiness and rather than have a ton of stuff, I really cherish the few things that I own and possess, and I showcase them. New York is a place that is very multipurpose and you need to have things that have multiple purposes.

My favorite room is definitely my office. The biggest hurdle to getting things done is having your tools at the ready. By asking myself what do I need, it has become a joyous experience with my pegboard system because all the tools I need are right in front of me. Things I have to do, get done immediately. There are certain times where I will find myself with a big smile on my face because of how simple it was to do something. It helps me understand that organization goes deep and it means a lot more than just how something looks. It helps you develop a flow with your being. It really showed me what I really want to be working on the most and that the reason I wasn't doing it previously was because my workspace inhibited me. Now my workspace is my entire apartment.

My favorite element of my home, while not often used, is my fire escape. I love my fire escape. I grew up with a fire escape and never used it except on rare occasions, but I have this fire escape, and it is AWESOME. I look out over some trees, which is another rarity. I don't face the street, which is nice, so it's actually quite peaceful. You can't keep stuff out there or otherwise I would have made it really look nice, but just being able to know you can go outside without having to leave your home is something that is very rare in New York City.

My proudest DIYs are my pegboard organization system using 3D printed bins/mounts/shelves, etc that I designed, and some couch pieces I made with my 3D printer for my Crate and Barrel couch.

My pegboard collection of 3D printed parts is something that I had to dream up, and I'm proud of them not just because I came up with them and my designs worked, but because they're so baseline useful for so many people (I'm making the designs available for free on the web). The couch pieces are probably the most functional one-off pieces I have designed. My couch is a sectional, modular couch from CB2 with four parts to it. The only thing that connected the pieces to each other were velcro straps that were difficult to reach and access, and incredibly bad at keeping the couch pieces together. It took some trial and error but I eventually got my 3D print-bracket design to work and you can even move two pieces of the couch attached together, no problem. They hold so perfectly and they link everything together.

My biggest indulgence item is probably the dining room table that I bought from Ligne Roset. I didn't have a good coffee table/dining room table for the living room and I really wanted a new one and I saw this table that was so fancy and it also turned into a dining room table so I had thoughts of, “Whoa, this is so good for the future, of course I need this."

What I love most about my current home is how gritty it is. I love the fact that this is clearly an old building that had all old tenants in it and was run down. The gas stopped working after I moved in for six months. And there's barely a number on the door. There might not even be other people living here, it looks that decrepit. And I love that. I love that because it's just very gritty and at the same time, I have a nice apartment. And that really says a lot about New York City real estate and a lot of people would say, “I won't live here because x,y,z" but if it's the right apartment, everything else kind of goes out the window. Not always, but most of the time.

I would say it took about 9 months to get my home looking how it does now. I will often make a considerable number of adjustments. I would say my entire life is adjustments in the apartment because the more you're there, the more you know what you need, and it's just like a cycle that doesn't stop.

My Style:
Future minimalist. My style is modern, functional, and with a futuristic edge. Clean and modern.

Inspiration:
My inspiration is efficient space.

Favorite Element:
My living room and the pegboard in the living room as a way to showcase items. It allows me to showcase them as I see fit and I can move them around. I think that's really cool. It makes it a really interactive living room.

Biggest Challenge:

The low ceilings and the poor lighting.

What Friends Say:
It's insanely organized and representative of a home where everything is where it should be.

Biggest Embarrassment:

The ceiling height. It’s either 8 feet or a touch under — might be 7 feet, 10 inches, something insanely low. It doesn't bother you at first - well, it probably does bother you at first, but it only gets worse. So much worse. It stifles my creativity.

Best Advice:
Figure out what you need and then buy the best version. Don't buy things you THINK you need.

Dream Sources:
I tend to just put it out there to the world when I need something. I just kind of have it in my head, and I walk around Soho or really anywhere and it gives me a reason to go into stores I normally wouldn't go into. So when this process starts happening, I start seeing things, and that gives me more of an idea of what I want and I end up finding something or having a firmer idea as to what I want and I really start searching for it. I rarely know what I actually need at first. I like Crate and Barrel and CB2 simply because they're omnipresent. My go-tos are Crate and Barrel, CB2, DWR.

Thanks, Matt!

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(Image credits: Submitted by Matt)