Name: Natalie Marchant & Bart Jansen
Location: Cobble Hill — Brooklyn, New York
Size: 80 square meters (approx. 860 square feet)
Years lived in: 3 — rented
Natalie and Bart, both industrial designers, have created a carefully arranged home. Their style is simple and clean and they tend to be on the uncluttered side of things. This is not only because of a specific style they follow, but because they are extremely careful in selecting the objects they like and think will be useful.
When looking at something they're considering bringing into their home, they carefully inspect it to see how it is made, the materials used, and if they think it will be an object that will last for a long time. This doesn't stop them from having fun as you can see from their various collections including lead toy trees and plants, chocolate foil wrappers and helicopter magnets.
Our Style: Very Personal. We have some sort of 'relationship' or story with everything we own. Nothing is filler.
Inspiration: Nothing conscious really. We seem to just build up the space slowly but surely with things that become special to us, often through traveling and family history.
Favorite element: There are several. I guess you could rename the question as 'most adored elements'. 1. The Aalto stools. They are hands down the most useful pieces of furniture we own. We started with one that Natalie bought in Finland and carried back via a trip through Mauritius. It's very special because it was one of the first 'classic design' pieces I really took to heart. We got a second after living in the US for a year. We intend to collect them (old and new) forever. 2. Textiles (collected and gifts). 3. My plants are close runner-ups. All 3 choices are elements that we really live and interact with everyday and they make us feel at home.
Biggest challenge: Not to overdo it. We only have so much space. What helps is that we are both pretty picky!
What friends say: They say we have a very minimal presentation, but in fact if you look carefully you'll see that we have quite a few collections of things, including chocolate foils, lead toys, offset print blocks, books, art and graphic elements, baskets, sneakers, as well as artifacts from travel and our family backgrounds.
Proudest DIY moment: In this space, it's probably the barn doors. Not a huge task, but a necessary and successful one. Besides this door we have only 3 other doors in the space (front, bathroom and closet). This helped us make the bedroom more private and helped reduce the space to make it cozier. The white-washed wood gives the space some warmth, while still meshing with the light and mid tones of the walls. On the left side of the door is a "wall" covered in bamboo linen that lets light through and gives the space some visual softness.
Resources of Note
• Lamp: DIY with regular lampshade and some parts from hardware store
• Bed: Aspelund, IKEA
• Coat hanger: First generation of one of our designs for a Concertina Coat Rack
• Blanket: Purchased in Lima, Peru, while I was working with local artisans there in 2003. I knew the family that made it.
• Desk: DIY from Lowes, Taskforce Saw Horse and a table top made out of a door.
• Shelving: Container Store and Muji
• Sliding door: DIY, The hardware is from McMaster-Carr, the panels from Lowes, the frames from Blick, and the Bamboo Linen from Barnes & Noble (covers the left side of the door).
• Sofa: Moooi, on mega sale at DWR
• Coffe Table: Portica base from Room and Board frame with custom Corian top per our specs.
• Ceiling Lamp: Beat Light Wide by Tom Dixon, purchased at ABC Carpet and Home
• Chairs: The Eames is from a used furniture store on Wickenden St, Providence, RI. ($5!!!). The leather chair is from Two Jakes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the molded plastic chair is from IKEA.
• Stools: Artek direct from Finalnd.
Walls: Martha Stewart color from when she had a line at Lowes. White trim, lots of spackle and sanding (You woudln't believe the colors and state of the walls before we got here!)
Thanks, Natalie and Bart!
(Images: Natalie Espinosa)
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