Name: Noah Allison
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Six months ago, I finally made the move to New York from Los Angeles. As a result that I became car-free over two years ago, assimilating to public transit was much easier than adapting to the realization that I was going to be living in a much smaller space that I was use to.
I was coming from a 1,300 square foot one-bedroom apartment in a late 1920’s Spanish styled multi-family dwelling that was perched on a small hill overlooking Koreatown, downtown Los Angeles and the neatly lined Mexican Fan Palms that were planted for the City Beautiful Movement in anticipation for the 1932 Olympics. It was quintessentially L.A.
Coming to New York, I wanted something similar; that is, something undeniably New York. I started and ended my search in the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bed-Stuy) in Brooklyn. There I knew I could find something that was within my budget and had the characteristics and integrity that I was looking for. The second floor studio (approximately 350 square feet) is in a brownstone row house that was built in 1887 in the Neo-Grec style on a beautiful tree lined street. When I secured the space, I knew I was going to have to get rid of at least half my furniture, which was no easy feat.
Now, having being settled there for a couple months, I am so happy with my modest space. I never feel as if I am neglecting any parts of my apartment (as I have in the past) as I am always utilizing it all, because I have to.
I set up the space around the dining table, which I wanted to be the focus of the space since I love to cook and host food gatherings.
Since it is essentially one room, besides the kitchen, bathroom and closest, I painted one wall a grey/blue color (amphibian) and the faux fireplace (grey and black). I have done this same color scheme in other apartments, though usually the entire living room. I find the color to mesh well with the gold mirrors and wooden furniture. The computer desk and credenza are from a vintage furniture shop in Echo Park called Pepe’s. The kitchen table, chairs and computer desk chair were designed and built by my father. The wooden light fixture above the table was designed by an MIT architecture student for a senior class project.
The apartment came with a large refrigerator that sat in the main space as there was no room in the kitchen to house it. Before moving in, I replaced it with a stainless steel workbench that I got at a restaurant supply store on Bowery and placed a mini-refrigerator underneath it.
Like Mies Van der Rohe, I believe in and am a fan of honest architecture, so I tried applying that theory to the kitchen and kept everything exposed.
The three double hung windows that face north towards the large red oak tress let in lot of light, so I made use of diaphanous curtains, which doubles as a back up alarm clock on sunny summer mornings, as a result that my bed lines two of them.
The things that this apartment encapsulates have been made by or come from people or places on the other side. So while I believe the concept of home could be a combination of many different places, people and feelings, this space is a reminder of where I come from, who I am and what I am evolving to be; it is a place where I am at ease.
Thanks, Noah Allison!
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(Image credits: Noah Allison)