NY House Tour: Justine and David's Home Away from Home

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Name: Justine and David

Location: Financial District

Size: 1500 sqft rental

Favorite: wrenches, cats, dishwasher (Justine), records, map (David)

Justine and David claim to be unsentimental about stuff. Between the two of them, they have been away from their respective homelands for 14 years. As a result, they share a sense of the prolonged "living out of a suitcase" mode...

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Each arrived in the United States with very little and never felt the need to accumulate that much more--at least in terms of major purchases such as furniture and the like. David, a former architect, has an apartment's worth of high modern furniture packed in storage in London and doesn't want any more, while Justine, who has moved 9 times over the past eight years, is very practical (wary) about her acts of acquiring (barring wrenches of course).

After a number of years in San Francisco, they met, married, moved to New York, and created their first shared apartment. This is it.

It isn't their ideal rental.

It isn't their preferred taste, but it will work for a year.

Both prefer a space with more character. Justine likes more rustic, cozy spaces and David likes more raw, reclaimed spaces. In New York, you pay extra for character, so, in a rush to find housing, they settled for a 90's new construction (purpose-built) loft space in Lower Manhattan. It could be worse, certainly. The day they moved in, they unpacked, completely.

It has looked as it looks today, since that evening. They are very efficient about design--emphasizing the pragmatic aspects of it, but possessing an innate sense of style--yielding a well put together space in a matter of hours.

Their white cube of an apartment offers an infinite and forgiving canvas. The vintage industrial pieces are striking against the white background and the light the apartment gets is exaggerated by the epoxy resin coated floor.

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Some parts of the apartment were done as a group effort, while the far wall and floor are all David. He wanted wall space to hang his architectural drawings and floor space to lay his map of Manhattan. Since this is the general vicinity of his 'home office', Justine conceded the rights to that space.

A similar logic served her painting studio space. Fortunately, their aesthetics overlap with regard to finding a new purpose for old things. For example, an auto mechanic's rolling seat becomes the perfect tv/dvd stand.

Justine and David are open to change, and ready to move again when the opportunity presents itself. They both agree "it is more fun to be nomadic."


Do you have an idea for a house tour? Let me know! jill@apartmenttherapy.com
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Originally Posted August 3rd, 2005