Name: Stephen Siersema & Robert Quinones
Location: Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York
Size: 510 square ft
Years lived in: 4 years; rented
Upon entering Stephen & Robert’s home, one can’t help but instantly marvel at the natural light and bright pops of red throughout the apartment. The contrast of their blue-gray sectional against the red accents makes the room vibrant and inviting. Every wall is white, providing a blank canvas for the colorful and perfectly framed art, most of it created by artist friends.
As you walk through the space you will notice that every square inch is carefully utilized, yet without a bit of clutter. Of special note is the kitchen, separated from the rest of the apartment, hosting a vast collection of vintage Last Supper paintings on the cabinet tops. It's a clever display mixed with nostalgia and humor.
Every piece has a story, and Stephen and Robert are happy to share it with you. Stephen is a Scenic Designer with an eye for detail and an artful collection of leftover movie props; Robert is a Director of Student Life & Activities at Brookdale College with an understanding of structure and comfort. In this cozy pad you feel right at home, whether lounging on the chaise sectional in the living room or sipping tea underneath the paper lantern installation with pretty porcelain birds in the dining room.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Stephen loves modern, but Robert can't do minimal — "I just have too much stuff!" Stephen also love old things and is lucky to have a few pieces of furniture from his family: Aunt Clara's chest of drawers, a couple pieces of Grandmother's chinoiserie, and the dining table his mom ate at as a child. Robert is a fan of Traditional... so these older family pieces make him happy.
Inspiration: Our jobs and a long distance relationship between Brooklyn and the Jersey Shore make having our own cars a necessity. The Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood is loaded with wonderful people and beautiful historic brownstones, and parking on the street is still a possibility! We love it here so much that we're looking for a place to buy.
Favorite Element: The built-in cabinets and drawers, walk in closet, the vanity/bar, all of the original woodwork. The apartment itself is a real gem.
Biggest Challenge: Moving from a two-bedroom house to a one-bedroom apartment.
What Friends Say: Cozy & comfortable.
Biggest Embarrassment: The kitchen is in the hallway. We could have hung a curtain or something... instead we bought nice robes! It can be a true blessing in the summertime to close the door to the kitchen and the door to the apartment. We are the only ones using our oven on a hot day.
Proudest DIY: Stephen is a scenic artist, and he helped create this giant bronze S for a film he worked on a few years ago. They were going to put it in a dumpster, so he took it home. Rob loved it. It’s our nod to the Mary Tyler Moore show.
Biggest Indulgence: Having two wingback chairs re-upholstered. They usually live in front of the windows, surrounded by houseplants with the IKEA ottoman between them. We miss them terribly & are so sad they weren't done in time for the photos.
Best Advice: If you love something, display it. Put your favorite things in a place of honor, not in a closet or cabinet.
Dream Sources: Design Within Reach, Kartell, Green Street Antiques, White Trash (www.whitetrashnyc.com)
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
- Flat White. This is the only apartment we have not painted...ever. With all of the woodwork & our colorful stuff we decided to just keep it white
- Painting over the television "Nell's Boogie Woogie" by Nell Stifel
- Painting between the windows "Amaryllis" by Nell Stifel
- Pillow “Disco Lady" by Jonathan Adler from Shelter Home
- Cardboard Rockets were a set dressing from the film Arthur (2011)
- Painting over dining table "Deer in Woods" by Justine Stokes
- 2 framed Works on paper next to door by Roy Kinzer
- Framed landscape over Stereo "Morris Arboretum" by Nell Stifel
- Unframed plywood square "Untitled" by Nell Stifel
- Hand printed Table Runner by Julia Garrison from SarahElizabethShop
- Collection of Last Suppers - Yard Sales, Flea Markets, Museum Gift Shops
Thanks, Stephen & Robert!
(Images: Andrea Sparacio)
• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE: Check out past house tours here.
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.