Emily and her boyfriend Jesus must have felt like they won the lottery when they landed their Bushwick apartment. Their place has a lot going for it: It's in an increasingly hip area, features original architectural details, and boasts a dressing room for Emily and a pottery room for Jesus. Oh, and the rent is reasonable. They are living the dream.
Emily is the Visual Manager at Man Repeller, and her career focus has always been on the visual side of things. She's adept at illustration, graphic design, and prop styling, and with The Fruit Stand, she's wading into selling vintage decor.
She and Jesus learned about this apartment's availability through a coworker, and have called it home for two years. Emily admits she's handled most of the decorating, but Jesus isn't complaining. They both grew up on Long Island (and they went to the same high school!), which inspires their space and reminds them of home.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Long Island beach house meets Eclectic Maximalist NYC Creative Loft
Inspiration: Danish design in general, Long Island beach homes from the 1940s/1950s, Jenna Lyons, Christene Barberich. I started a hashtag on Instagram like Christene had started for her apartment (#thebaxterproject) because it was an easy way to track and follow along her renovation—so I created #thebushwickbeachcottage to document my own apartment—which is a bit of a mouth full but I liked it! It's mostly just a way for myself to keep track of the apartment photos that I post.
Favorite Element: There is a tiny mudroom in the very back of the apartment that leads to the backyard. My boyfriend, Jesus, uses this area as a small studio space to make pottery. There is a ceramic wheel in there, clay, some tools, and shelving. I feel like it is so rare to have any kind of work space for art—it's hard to not call it out as a luxury of sorts!
My favorite room in the apartment is the living room—I love the old millwork detail and the tin ceiling! The apartment was built in 1911—so it has a bunch of cool architectural details (that are honestly decrepit and falling apart) but cool to visually appreciate nonetheless!!
Biggest Challenge: Not having an actual bedroom for our bed, which means our "bedroom" is in the middle of the living room.
What Friends Say: "It feels like a museum in here!" They often feel like they can't touch anything because I have so many objects on display all around the apartment. (This speculation is partially correct—I don't want anyone touching anything because I'm super paranoid, but also feel free to explore!)
Biggest Embarrassment: For a long time, there was a leak in the ceiling of the office/dining room that created giant, dripping rust stains that stretched across both the ceiling and the walls, like a scene out of a Saw movie. Luckily the leak has since been fixed, and we primed and painted the ceiling ourselves with white paint. Fingers crossed it doesn't revert back to looking like the set of a horror movie.
Proudest DIY: IKEA shelf brackets—a million other people online have done this exact DIY as well—but it's because it's so simple! I spray-painted the brackets gold (originally silver) and it made them look more like they're from a higher-end home decor place.
My second favorite DIY was painting our kitchen cabinets a high-gloss gray. They were originally a '90s orange-y pine color, but we painted over them. The kitchen was in such rough shape that no matter what we did to it, it was an improvement! The landlord was alright with us altering the apartment, generally speaking, as it was in pretty poor shape when we moved in.
Biggest Indulgence: It's not even the most expensive thing in the apartment but buying art that you actually like for your home can be an expensive and time-consuming challenge. I love this Ögon Cacao - 1956 - Tutti Frutti and Trix Print from Tictail and Edith Young's historical palette prints generally speaking—both are luxuries in their own right. Happy to have brought them into our home, and can't wait to continue building our collection. My boyfriend also loves pottery as you can tell! Having art in our home is so important to us as we are both in the art and design field, but it is also a luxury to do so!
Best Advice: Shop at flea markets, thrift stores, and estate sales! Those are the places you'll find the most fun, unique items and for reasonable prices. I'd recommend venturing outside of NYC for better deals. Some out-of-the-city recs: Hudson, New York, in general, Elephant Trunk Flea Market in Connecticut, and Long Island is full of some great hidden vintage gems. If you're staying local, I like: The Brooklyn Flea, Dobbin Street Co-op, Adaptations NY, Housing Works, and Yesterday's News.
Generally speaking, my favorite trick in the book is making something look like a lot, with only a little (budget). So we'll shop only when things are on clearance, or heavily discounted so that we can splurge on fun items like handmade pottery, art ,or velvet pillows!
Dream Sources: Other homes: New Yorker's Vacation Homes via T Magazine; Jenna Lyons Soho Loft Apartment via Curbed New York. Stores: ABC Carpet & Home; MoMA Design Store; Jonathan Adler; Hawkins New York; Knoll; Gucci Home Decor; Fornasetti; and many more!
PAINT & COLORS
Living Room and Hallway — BEHR - Planetary Silver in Flat
Dressing Room, Office/Dining Room & Kitchen — BEHR - Ultra Pure White Flat
Office/Dining Room Accent Wall — BEHR - Very Navy in Flat
Kitchen Cabinets — Rustoleum - Gloss Smoke Gray
LIVING ROOM AND BEDROOM
Woven bench — Target, similar here
Danish wing armchair — West Elm
Greyson sofa — Bob's Discount Furniture
Wall shelves — IKEA
Pelle sconce light — West Elm
Brass tabletop picture frames — Article Uprising
Pottery — Jesus Antoshka Pottery
Small purple ceramic bowl - Clam Lab Pottery
Round velvet pillow — Adaptations NY
Navy tassel throw — Anthropologie, similar here
Equestrian side tables — Target x Nate Berkus
Mirror — Vintage
Walnut mid-century style table — Vintage
Runner — CB2 x Aelfie, similar here
Edith Young Tonya Harding Figure Skating Costumes print, similar prints to purchase here!
Orange wire table — Target, old item
Amphora — by potter Patricia Hubbard-Ragette
Man Repeller x Framebridge print — photo by Krista Anna Lewis, shop other Man Repeller x Framebridge prints here!
Louisiana Mei Gelpi photo print
Round brass wall clock — Target
Large water cooler glass bottle — Vintage
DINING ROOM AND OFFICE
Two-Drawer filing cabinet — Staples
ALEX desk in white — IKEA
Stick tabletop lamp — Target
3-piece acrylic nesting tables — CB2
Globe floor lamp — West Elm
Ögon Cacao - 1956 - Tutti Frutti and Trix Print — Tictail
Picture ledge wall shelves — Target
Wall mirror — Target
Two head brass desk lamp — Target
Ribba frame in white — IKEA
Eiffel round dining table and chairs — Inmod
"Wassily" chair — Vintage, the real one is here!
Blue kilim rug (on wall) — Vintage
Pink table set of drawers — Vintage
Wall mirror — Target
Pink shag rug — Ankit, similar here
EKBY ALEX shelf with drawers — IKEA
HEMNES eighy-drawer dresser — IKEA
ALEX nine-drawer unit — IKEA
HEMNES six-drawer dresser — IKEA
White plastic chair — IKEA, similar here
Brass wall hooks — CB2
Floor mirror — HomeGoods, similar here
Acrylic wall shelves — The Container Store
White wall mirror — Handmade
Rug — Vintage