Name: Kip & Saadia McConville
Location: Park Slope; Brooklyn, New York
Size: Approximately 500 sq ft
Years lived in: 1.5 years; Rent
Saadia and her husband Kip (not pictured) love to travel, whether it's within the United States or internationally. They have a love of adventure and trying new things that is infectious. A look through their apartment demonstrates this through decor picked up along the way.
A view of Manhattan is visible from their generously sized living and bedroom windows — a lucky find when apartment hunting in New York City.
This couple also loves good food, good drink, their sweet pup Betsy and each other. Little nods to these are visible on a stroll through their home and while their eye for style is visible, so are the things that make them who they are. It is for this reason that their place in Brooklyn feels more like a home than simply an apartment.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Mid-century modern with touches of natural elements and a dash of glam.
Inspiration: No particular place or person, but a general desire to create a space that feels personal, comfortable and sophisticated. We did recently redo our bedroom and didn't realize it at the time, but it ended up being reminiscent of the best hotel we've ever stayed at — the Hotel Excelsior Parco in Capri.
Favorite Element: Our dining room table and benches, which we commissioned from our friend Ethan Abramson. I think one of the biggest challenges living in a small New York apartment is finding furniture that fits into tiny and specific spaces, and it was great to give him the dimensions of the nook between our living room and kitchen and have him create exactly what we wanted. The benches for the table are a bonus, as we can pull both out for extra seating when a lot of people are over, or use one as a piano bench. On rare occasions we use them for what they're actually intended for and eat at the table!
Biggest Challenge: Storage – we both like things to look clean and uncluttered, so it's tough to find hiding spots that don't look like storage. We're lucky we have a lot of cabinets in the kitchen, but they're all filled to the brim since Kip loves to cook and I love to bake. This leads to occasional marital spats when Kip decides to change where he puts the toilet paper or my cake pans in an effort to maximize space and address stacking challenges. In the bedroom, Kip's wooden nightstand doubles as a storage cube, and the ottoman is also a storage cube. Kip keeps his shirts in large boxes he slides out under the bed, since he was generous enough to give me free rein of the large bedroom closet (he gets the smaller one in the hallway to himself)!
What Friends Say: Our friends usually comment on the apartment as a whole feeling cozy and warm, and people like that we incorporate personal elements into our decorating. We try to make our home photos more design-friendly by treating them like art – from the series of Kip skipping a rock at the Oregon coast that hangs in our bedroom to the clothespin wall of our travels and friends in the hallway.
Biggest Embarrassment: It would be a tie between the busted up front and broken legs of our free craigslist piano, or our dog Betsy's crate – we've tried to minimize its appearance by keeping it in the corner of the living room and covering it with fabric, but it's still ugly!
Proudest DIY: Can I have two ties? It would be the wardrobe we Frankensteined at Ikea by putting cabinet doors on a bookshelf and replacing the knobs with Anthropologie ones, or the dressing area in the bedroom corner. We couldn't find a vanity we liked enough to justify the high cost, so we used our old dining table and pantry shelf, bought a mirror and put coat hooks up to hang my necklaces. Kip gave me the stump stool as a birthday gift back when we lived in Portland, and it works perfectly in that area.
Biggest Indulgence: Our bed – the mattress and pillows are Tempur-Pedic that we bought as a wedding gift to ourselves, and the sheets we ordered after staying at a B&B for our friends's wedding and being amazed at how incredibly soft and luxurious the sheets were. I'm pretty frugal in most areas, but believe investing in great sleep is well worth the splurge.
Best Advice: I try to always keep in mind when curating my space the William Morris quote to "have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." If you can combine the two, even better! We've moved around a lot and shed items each time we do, and it feels good to know that everything we have either serves a purpose, or is meaningful to us in some way. It sounds simple, but it's amazing the crap some people hang onto that they don't need. My personal advice is that you don't have to spend a lot to make your space look great. We've liked items from more expensive stores and had luck finding them for a quarter of the price on craigslist, or just waited for sales from more reasonably priced places. You can also do so many things easily on your own – we were looking for something to put on the wall of a kitchen we lived in years ago and ended up using the printed bird images from a calendar we had and pairing them with some inexpensive frames off Amazon. We still have them up and love them!
Dream Sources: Wyeth, Kelly Wearstler, reGeneration., ABC Carpet & Home.
- Olympic: Cracked Slate
• Bar cart: Brookstone
• Tall lamp: Ikea
• Gold pinch bowls: CB2
• Green bamboo serving bowls: Core
• White nightstand: Tvilum
• Soap dish: West Elm
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