Annie & Paul Build a Home in Sync

published Oct 6, 2010
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Name: Annie and Paul
Location: Upper West Side — New York, New York
Size: 390 square feet — 1 bedroom
Years lived in: 2½ — rented

“We both roll with the same taste,” explain Annie and Paul when I ask if it was hard to design their first home together. Architects who met while learning their trade, Annie and Paul had each lived, previously, with roommates whose priorities diverged from home making.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

So it was “a welcome change” to combine their minimal belongings, fill in a few missing pieces with Craigslist buys, and figure out how to arrange it all in an apartment with great bones but limited space.

Configuring the space was not controversial since Annie and Paul knew they wanted to design around their prized exposed brick wall. After that, the options were pretty limited and they just followed the shape of the living room, working with what they had.

The only thing Annie and Paul had trouble agreeing on was a new couch. While standing in Room & Board, debating between their top two choices, Ed Norton walked in and sat on Annie’s favorite. The decision was made.

Both Annie and Paul work on residential design all day for architectural firms, so putting together a beautiful and comfortable home was a pretty straightforward exercise. Plentiful sunlight and a pre-existing cool art collection only made their job that much easier.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey

Style:: Modern and contemporary but a little funky and kitschy too.

Inspiration: Scandinavian and California modernism, travel, the work we do and see every day as architects, Dwell, ArchDaily, Remodelista, Design Sponge, Emma’s Design Blog and of course, Apartment Therapy

Favorite Element: Annie: our retro yellow kitchen and bathroom. Paul: Flyers Blanket!

Biggest Challenge: lack of money and space; being on the 5th floor of a walk-up.

What Friends Say: “Nice brick wall!”

Biggest Embarrassment: Our landlord is a bit laid back, shall we say, with maintenance. Some of our plants are not doing too well at the moment as well.

Proudest DIY: The bubble chandelier!

Biggest Indulgence: Our new sofa — Jasper, but we won most of the money to purchase it by placing first in an architecture competition.

Best Advice: Hire an architect.

Dream Source: Hivemodern and similar — Knoll, Herman Miller, Vitra, Artek, Ligne Roset, the Rug Company, ABC Carpet, Moss, Artemide, Fritz Hansen, Heath Ceramics, Duravit, Vola, our own custom millwork shop…

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)



    • Eames Hang-it-all: Herman Miller
    • Keith Haring wall decal: Blik
    • Shoe cabinet and rug: IKEA
    • Moustache key rack: Etsy shop suddenly, it’s real!
    • Jellyfish painting: my sister Becky (she sells custom birth announcement prints on her Etsy site: Pinto Bean Press)


    • Sofa: Room & Board
    • Bookshelves, rug, floor lamp and media locker: IKEA
    • Oh Chairs and vintage side table: craigslist
    • Table is a leftover solid wood door from a project Paul worked on (the legs are from a friend’s old architecture firm)
    • Coffee table: old Todd Oldham for Target (circa 2000)
    • Alexander Girard pillow & curtains: Urban Outfitters
    • Table lamp: West Elm
    • Manhattan poster: Ork Posters
    • Canvas print of Marina City photo:
    • Car fabric on pillow: Purl Patchwork
    • Woven ottomans: IKEA (left by the former tenant — he also left us bottles of vodka and ketchup!)


    • Rug: Urban Outfitters
    • Wine rack, shelf, canisters: IKEA
    • Stool: Target
    • Trash can: Muji
    • Philadelphia poster: Ork Posters
    • Lantern: Pearl River Mart


    • Floss dispenser: Alessi
    • Shower curtain: CB2


    • Bed, dresser, nightstand/stool, desk, red lamp, shoe cabinet, duvet, cork trivets as bulletin board: IKEA
    • Rug: Crate & Barrel
    • Round storage boxes: West Elm
    • Bedside lamps: Pottery Barn Teen
    • Lantern: Pier 1 Imports
    • Andrew Bird poster: Methane Studios
    • Stamps poster: Tiny Showcase
    • Wood grain fabric on plank pillow: Purl Patchwork
    • Felt organizer:

To see details of Paul and Annie’s kitchen, check out Annie & Paul Groove on the Retro on the

Images: Jill Slater

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