Name: Jenny and Clove
Location: Astor Place environs
Size: 500 sqft
Favorite: That the private garden doubles the size of their apartment.
After 4 months of contract work to redo the floors and renovate the kitchen, Jenny painted the walls, and then scoured Craigslist with near military-like precision. The result is a testament to an artistic sensibility and a Bay Area influence. Jenny and Clove have created a sleek, modern studio space that integrates natural elements to remind you that the world is not made of lacquer and concrete alone. Even though it is only 500 square feet, it feels spacious. (The garden is another 400 sqft!)
Upon crossing the threshold, one gets the impression of a huge apartment. I spent 10 minutes there before realizing that there was no bedroom. This is because they have managed, through the magic of a modern Murphy bed , to prioritize their space for living and entertaining rather than sleeping. It is a studio that can effortlessly accommodate a 10-person dinner party, a 15-person salon, or a 200-person raging party!
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Jenny, a visual artist, and Clove, a dancer and choreographer are incredibly creative, but they are also painstakingly organized and methodical. They knew what they wanted for the apartment and made sure that the contractor met every request. When the super said they couldn't turn off the gas in the building in order to relocate gas lines during the kitchen renovation, Jenny and Clove offered to relight all 180 of the building's pilot lights themselves. When the contractor said that the kitchen was being framed in the next 8 hours, Jenny learned about and drove to, a timber salvaging warehouse in Brooklyn (M Fine Lumber), then selected and brought home six 7' beams in her jeep—in one day. The framing went in and works beautifully. Jenny even went as far as curating the individual textures of the beam. A noticeable notch in one beam is prominently displayed over the sink and can be appreciated from both inside and outside of the kitchen.
Their experience in renovation stems from a Victorian dollhouse of a house, formerly lived in by Jack London, in Oakland California. The improvements they made to that house offered them the financial freedom to move to NY after 6 years in California, and to buy a 750 sqft apartment in the East Village. Jenny and Clove decided that was more space than they needed, so they decided to downgrade and live more within their means. When they found this apartment in the basement of a huge coop, on the same floor as the laundry and electrical rooms, with walls covered in 45 years worth of nicotine smoke they decided to wait until the renovation was complete before telling any of their friends. Although they were calm and confident, they knew that others might think them insane. Clearly no one is worrying now.