Name: Ashley Clauss, of CLAUSS & CO., a communications consultancy specializing in brand strategy, public relations and event production.
Location: West Village; New York, New York
Size: 400 square feet
Years lived in: 6 years; Rented
Diligent editing and an honest desire to be surrounded in her apartment only by things she loves has served Ashley Clauss very well. Her West Village studio positively hums with the energy of a life well-lived, and contains within it objects, art, and furniture that remind Ashley of the people and places that enliven her spirit.
Memory plays a large role in Ashley's decorating, in a way that is somewhat unconventional and not overly precious. Important paper items, like a letter she wrote as a young girl to a famous writer she admired, as well as his response to her, populate the walls as gallery denizens, not relegated to being stacked in the back of filing cabinets, a fate that often befalls such items. She rotates these pieces as well as three-dimensional objects in small vignettes around the apartment, not feeling unduly attached to them if at some point she decides that they no longer fit and it's time to give them away.
This approach of welcomed impermanence radiates through the space. It's easy to admire how the combination of a clear sense of style and the ability to let go of what no longer serves her creates continuously a home that is warm, comfortable, and unique.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: My personal history guides my design approach - where I’ve been, who I’ve known and how I’ve felt. I gravitate toward a mix of coastal, vintage and French Country, and bring it all together under the umbrella of classic New York.
Inspiration: I like to think of my apartment as the center of a Venn diagram of the usual inspirational suspects: culture, childhood, travel and relationships of all kinds. I am my happiest self by the sea, so I treat my home as a kind of safe harbor from the raging ocean that is daily life in New York.
Favorite Element: I love the antique hardwood floors and original fireplace. If only the fireplace worked! The building was built in 1900, so it certainly has an all-embracing air of history, nostalgia and charm.
Biggest Challenge: It’s a rental, so there are inevitably too many challenges to count! But perhaps the biggest disappointment is not being able to entertain. I love nothing more than gathering friends and family and hosting an afternoon or evening of decent home-cooking, good wine and great conversation. But for now, it’s just my beagle and me - and that often feels like too many in this space!
What Friends Say: That it’s a perfectly cozy pied-a-terre. The consensus has been that despite being diminutive, it’s a home that feels complete. And the location is hard to beat.
Biggest Embarrassment: Calling my apartment ‘home’ means living above one of Manhattan’s only remaining cigar bars and enduring the constant, rising chatter from its sidewalk tables and the atmospheric scent of Eau de Stogie.
Proudest DIY: I let my boyfriend D.I. for me. I’m 100% comfortable indulging in conventional notions of masculinity if it means heavy objects won’t fall on my head.
Biggest Indulgence: Calling the West Village home.
Best Advice: Be authentic and live surrounded by what you love without getting too identified with any of it. Be a bit Buddhist about your objects. As Pema Chodron says, “Impermanence is a principle of harmony.” Learn to throw things away!
Dream Sources: Brimfield Antique Show, BURKELMAN, Olde Good Things, BDDW and COASTAL.
- Table: Hold Everything
- Dining Chairs: Phillippe Stark for Kartell “Louis Ghost Chair," MoMA Design Store
- Paint color: Benjamin Moore Bunny Grey
- Gallery wall frames: J. Pocker
- Chandelier: Globe: Marvin Gardens, custom electric work
- Louis XV settee: Brimfield Antique fair, custom reupholstery
- Side table in nickel and mirror: Marvin Gardens
- Vintage dressmaker’s form: Brimfield Antique Fair, custom electric work
- Desk: Parsons Table: West Elm
- Grainsack jute pouf: Lillian August
- Zebra oil painting: Estate sale, Colorado
- Zebra print pillow: Dovecote
- Curtains: Restoration Hardware
- Faux taxidermy: Lillian August
- On mantel: whale : Bodega
- On mantel: antique books, Charlotte Moss
- On mantel: coral: Lillian August
- Horse photograph: taken by my mother, framed by J.Pocker
- Zinc lamps: Marvin Gardens
- Aluminum side tables : Marvin Gardens
- Headboard: custom
- Pillows: Restoration Hardware Cashmere Pillow Covers
- Pillow: Fluf Blizzard print in smokey grey
- Bedding: Pottery Barn vintage ticking stripe duvet and shams
- Nantucket “Haul Over” sepia photograph: inherited from my mother
- Photograph: Cari Vuong
- Ticking stripe shower curtain: West Elm
- Perfumes by L’Artisan Parfumer, Calypso, Reed Krakoff
- Oil painting of Marilyn Monroe: inherited from my grandmother’s home
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