A Plant Filled, “Lofty Atrium” on the Lower East Side
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Name: Jean and Jeff
Location: Lower East Side — New York, New York
The basics: 1 year, rented — 750 square feet
Jean and Jeff’s apartment takes high ceilings to the next level. With an almost unheard of amount of New York sunlight, they’ve filled their apartment with plants and funky vintage finds, making the whole place feel like a swinging tree house.
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My name is Jean and I share our one-bedroom loft on the Lower East Side with my boyfriend Jeff. I work in business development at a startup and Jeff is a financial tech entrepreneur. Our apartment spans two floors with an airy living room featuring 17 foot ceilings and a distinctive half-dome window which floods our loft with natural light. We wanted our living space to synthesize the indoors and outdoors to create a seamless transition to our 200 square foot private terrace. We’ve got a team of philodendrons filling out the white space on our walls, creating the illusion of ivy. We chose bamboo, grass, warm hanging lights and natural printed accent pillows for our outdoor oasis to evoke the feeling of peace and meditation.
What is your favorite room and why? Our vibrant living room is the focal point of our apartment. We were immediately drawn to how suddenly the space opens up into a lofty atrium and we knew that we wanted to deliver a colorful first impression. We’re surrounded by found goods from nature and art done by our closest friends. Some items in our home include a quartz collection we found in the Atacama Desert, a scotch diary with personal tasting notes of our favorite single malts, a seemingly unimposing “treasure map” rock Jean had salvaged from the dirt in Canada as a child, and a 1937 ceramic Kahlúa decanter.
If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? Our terrace is one of our favorite places to entertain friends and family, but it becomes inhospitable during the winter months. We’d love to magically add a retractable roof and climate control for our patio, and a hot tub would be nice too!
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? We bought (and built) a device out of PVC pipes to help us water the elevated plants that outline our living room.
Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? The faun from Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’Après-midi d’un faune
Jean’s words of wisdom: Edit, iterate, and obsess. The way we approach our personal design projects is by sub-dividing and conquering over time. Before making a purchase, take the risk-free option of creating mock-ups to visualize your home and don’t be afraid to find yourself 60 pages deep into a search for a particular object. It’s normal.
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