Business Partners Share a Brooklyn Rental Apartment

published Dec 20, 2018

Business Partners Share a Brooklyn Rental Apartment

published Dec 20, 2018
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Square feet
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Name: Jessica Becker and Daniela Moebius
Location: Bushwick — Brooklyn, New York
Size: 950 square feet
Years lived in: Rented — Jessica 13 years, Daniela 5 years

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Jessica and Daniela are the duo behind Konstruktive Studios, a design company. Additionally, Daniela provides architectural services through Moebius Architecture PLLC. And they created a workspace within their home that allows them to collaborate, but each with their distinct style. Jessica is often found playing with design materials at her desk that is filled with creative treasures and inspirations. And Daniela has a more minimalist taste, where she is surrounded by books and open space for spreading out the “blue prints” of their projects. Although they bring contrasting styles to their projects, as with their home, it all comes together seamlessly.

Although the apartment no longer has right angles, and the floor has a distinct slant, Jessica and Daniela have the solution to make any space a home. And this work/live home is no exception. When the kitchen cabinets were ugly and falling down, they cleverly went with a bold blue paint and brass hardware, which brought a ton of richness to their kitchen. Mixed with Jessica’s large collection of her grandfather’s antiques, it makes for a feeling of inviting warmth. Which is perfect, since they are often found hosting glowing, candlelit dinner parties, where they serve signature cocktails in antique glasses.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Our styles have been combined to form a maximalist meets minimalist home, with extra plants.

Inspiration: Places we’ve traveled, Jessica’s grandfather, materials and inspiration from design projects, vintage textiles. Using functional items as design elements, and most things vintage.

Favorite Element: The high ceilings and all of the natural light.

Biggest Challenge: The lack of the building updates, from uneven and poorly done floors, to cabinets coming out of the walls, to electrical fires (we still have original wiring!), and dust from an old building and busy street.

What Friends Say: It feels like a home. We love it. When are you going to design our place.

Biggest Embarrassment: It was the floors and the kitchen cabinets; we’ve done some pretty great DIYs and some small DIY and contracted work to make the floors better. Daniela amazingly gave the cabinets an upgrade including reattaching them to the wall!

Proudest DIY: Tackling those kitchen cabinets and surrounding walls. They were partially falling off the wall, sagging, crooked, the doors did not stay closed, and many areas had large gaps between the cabinets and the soffit. The walls had cracks and were quite uneven. Buying new cabinets seemed too large of a project given the fact that we rent, so we opted for patching, jacking up sagging cabinets, metal mending plates, thin trim strips, and quarter-rounds to clean them up. As a finishing touch, we installed new hardware so that the cabinets closed, as well as new brass knobs to match the light fixtures.

Biggest Indulgence: Jess’ vintage dishes and glasses. I don’t really know how to stop. Plants… all of the plants.

Best Advice: There is always a way to make it better or to hide it. If you can’t figure it out, ask for advice or hire us!

Dream Sources: Estate sales, Jess’ grandfather, vintage, markets all over the world, our secret wood source. Art-wise, Erin Rachel Hudak, James Stewart, Bonethrower, Alexis Kochka.


Entry Walls — Benjamin Moore, semi gloss in Deep Space
Doors and Trim — Benjamin Moore, Diamond White
Bathroom Wall — Sherwin-Williams high gloss Inkwell
Kitchen Walls — Benjamin Moore, matched to Farrow & Ball color, semi gloss, Tallow. Benjamin Moore matched to Farrow & Ball color, semi gloss, Green Smoke
Kitchen Cabinets and DIY Bar — Benjamin Moore, matched to Farrow & Ball color, gloss, Hague Blue
Jess’ Bedroom — Benjamin Moore,, gloss, White Diamond
Living Room/Studio — Benjamin Moore, flat, Gallery White
Daniela’s Bedroom — Benjamin Moore, eggshell, Swiss Coffee
Daniela’s Doors, Trim, and Cabinetry — Benjamin Moore, semi-gloss, Diamond White

Horse Portrait — Jess’ grandmother’s horse
Light Fixture — The one light fixture that was acceptable in the apartment when Jess moved in
Wood Mirror — Vintage, Jess’ great-grandmother’s
Green Shelf — Vintage Jess’ grandmother’s
Runner — IKEA, no longer available
Record Player — Vintage, Jess’ dad’s
Amp — Vintage from Human Head Records; Brooklyn, New York
Cloud Tray — Target, Oh Joy!, no longer available.
Anchor Wood and Brass Coasters — Vintage
Vinyl Flooring — Florama; Brooklyn, New York
Wood Horses — Vintage (these make two visits, since there was space between the shoots)

Many of our plants are offcuts and transplants from friends and family plants that have histories and stories. (i.e. Those baby cacti came from an old one my mother had, the jade in my room may be the baby of a tiny one my mother had; one of the philodendrons came from our friend Ocean’s mother.)

Crest Hardware in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; Foliage Garden in the flower market, on 28th Street; Chelsea Garden Center in Red Hook, Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford, New Hampshire; and IKEA.

Curtains — IKEA, no longer available
Sofa — IKEA, no longer available, but similar to this sofa
Sheepskins on Sofa — IKEA
Striped Pillows — IKEA, no longer available
Sconces — IKEA
Paintings above Sofa — Erin Rachel Hudak

Desktops — White counters no longer available from IKEA; DIY cut to size to fit a custom L-shape desk.
Desk “Legs” for Daniela’s Desk — IKEA Helmer Units
Task Lamp on Daniela’s Desk — IKEA
Mid-century Chair — Vintage
Wall Shelves — IKEA painted white
Brackets for Shelves — IKEA
Green Faceted Pots — TJ Maxx
Clay Pot with Jasmine on Daniela’s Desk — IKEA
Cloud Tray — Target; Oh Joy!, no longer available
Wood Horse Heads — Vintage that Jessica found in Maine
Wood Levels on Wall — Vintage

Brackets for Wood Storage Shelf — IKEA
Moving Wood Credenza — DIY with IKEA and casters from Uline
Raw Wood Piece from Our Favorite Wood Source
Terracotta Pots — Mixture of vintage and IKEA
Triangle Art Brackets — Left over from a job, actually bumper pool triangles, source unknown
Encaustic Art by Amy Conger
Metal Toolboxes — Vintage
Photograph — Jessica Becker, IKEA frame
Cork Trivets, Used as Plant Holders — IKEA, no longer available
Marble Geometric Candleholder — Vintage
Brass Eagle — Vintage
Green Plant Pot — TJ Maxx

Cabinets under Standing DIY Desk — IKEA
Desktop — White counters no longer available from IKEA
Wall Shelves — IKEA painted white
Brackets for Shelves — IKEA
Sconces — IKEA
Metal Tool Boxes — Vintage
Wooden Hand Planer — Vintage, gift from Jess’ mom
Brass Gumball — Gift from Thom Driver, artist unknown
Brass Dice — Vintage
Agates and Crystals — Vintage
Scissors — Vintage
Library Catalogues — Vintage
Lioness Stapler — Anthropologie, no longer available
Photograph — Jessica Becker, IKEA frame
Bird — @bonethrower
Harem platinum print — Jessica Becker, IKEA frame
“Right away” — Erin Rachel Hudak, IKEA frame
Bug Drawings — @bonethrower
Assorted Postcard-sized Drawings and Photographs on Right Side in White Frames — Erin Rachel Hudak; IKEA frames
Frames Postcards, Lucian Freud, Pablo Picasso, Lucian Freud; Wood shadow box frames — IKEA, no longer available
Pieces of Wood — Vintage, and off-cuts from jobs
Brass Swan Planter — Vintage
Stool — Street find
Sheepskin on Stool — IKEA
Bent Wood Chair — Vintage, Ebay
Pillow on Bent Wood Chair — Crate & Barrel outlet, no longer available
Black Coffee Table — Vintage, NH
Black and White Floral Trays on Coffee Table — IKEA
White Mirror — From Jess’ parents bedroom when she was a little, painting Benjamin Moore, gloss, White Diamond
Plant Brackets — Amazon
Leather Rug — West Elm, no longer available

Dining Table — Vintage, Jess’ grandfather’s
Dining Chairs — Vintage, Jess’ grandfather’s
China Cabinet — Vintage, Flea market find
Bar on Top of China Cabinet — Vintage, Jess’ grandfather’s
Poker Set — Vintage
Brown Leather Traveling Bar Suitcase — Jess’ grandfather’s
Crosley Radio/Speaker — no longer available
Vintage Blue Heaven China Set — Thrifted, some eBay and etsy
Mirrors — Vintage NH
Painting Above Bar — Jesse Curtain
Brass Candlesticks — Vintage, thrifted and EBTH
Linen Runner — H&M — No longer available
Bar Credenza — DIY IKEA and IKEA
Bird Pieces — From a furniture store in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, that is now closed
Crystal Lamps — Vintage
Level — Pottery Barn, no longer available
Shaker — Vintage
Silver JD Holder — Jess’ grandfather’s
Crystal Bowl — Vintage
Ice Bucket — Vintage
Glass Stirring Rod and Ice Tongs — Jess’ grandfather’s
Silver Shot Glass — Jess’ grandfather’s
Agate Coasters — Vintage
Decanters — Vintage
Photograph above Doorway — Someone we went to college with, can’t remember his name. (Eek!)
Wood Shelves, above Credenza and above fridge — IKEA
Shelf Brackets (Painted in Wall Color) — IKEA
Kitchen Chandelier — Lindsey Adelman’s “You Make it Chandelier” with some adjustments, smaller sockets, all supplied from Grand Brass Lamp Parts and specialty lightbulbs: Satco S3745 120V Candelabra Base 40-Watt HX10.5 Light Bulb, Clear, available at Crest Hardware Store in Brooklyn, New York

Cabinet Hardware — Amazon and Amazon
Magnetic Knife Racks — IKEA, no longer available
French Press — Amazon
Golden Saints — Jess got on a trip to Venice years ago
Glass Compote Dish — Vintage
Glass Dome with Plate — Vintage
Knives — Vintage and some new
Ceiling Fixture by Fridge — Urban Outfitters, no longer available.
Clamp Light — IKEA bought off of ArtCube
Shelf — IKEA
Dish Drying Rack — IKEA
Bar for Hanging Utensils — IKEA, no longer available.
S hooks — IKEA, no longer available.
Stool — IKEA, painted
Compost Bin — Amazon.
Vases and decanters above refrigerator — Vintage
Black plastic utensil holders — IKEA, no longer available
Juices — Vintage
Glasses for Making Cocktails — West Elm, no longer available
Paper Straws (cut to fit glass) — Amazon
Measuring Glass — Crate & Barrel
Wood Cutting Board — From the farmer’s market in Ithaca, New York

Headboard — Clearance when ABC Carpet Outlet was closing in the Bronx
Sconces — Urban Outfitters
Sheets, Shams, and Duvet — Crate & Barrel Outlet in Kittery, Maine; discontinued
King-size Down Pillows — Amazon
Linen Bedskirt, tucked in linen yardage — From
Throw Blanket on End of bBd — Gift from Sharon Ryan, source unknown
Throw Pillow — Crate & Barrel Outlet; Kittery, Maine
Crystals and Coral Pieces on Shelf — Vintage
Plant Hangers — Crest Hardware
Shadow Box Painting — Gift, artist unknown
Dresser — Vintage from the flea market that used to be on 6th Avenue at 17th Street
Wood Shelves — IKEA
Shelf Brackets — IKEA
Desk — Wood top, wood storage surface from our favorite wood source in New Hampshire
Desk Supports — IKEA; in gray which is discontinued
Desk Lamp Pair — Vintage
Brass Deer — Vintage
Brass Orb — Crate & Barrel Outlet
Brass Leaves — Vintage
Silver Tray with Crystals — Vintage
Wood Piece — Vintage
Conch Shells — Gift
Gun Drawing — Erin Rachel Hudak
Brass Grasshopper — Vintage
Gold and Stainless Scissors and Letter Opener — Jess’ grandfather’s
Chair — Vintage, Jess’ grandfather’s
Sheepskin — IKEA
Tree Stump in Window — Found in New Hampshire, left over from a photo shoot
Wooden Mushroom — Vintage
Brass Squirrel — Vintage
Sofa — Vintage, Grandfather’s upholstered seat cushion by Tania Kovalenko Ltd.; Navy linen from Fabric Barn; Dark gray throw pillows, IKEA.

“Ginko Leaf” “Summer Day” Intaglio pieces — Alexis Kochka
Framed enlarged print of a Treteaux (Sawhorse) — From Louis Mazerolle’s “Traite Théorique et Pratique de Charpente” a classic French book on 1800’s timberframing techniques. The piece was won at a Timber Framers Guild auction.
The book-matched panels of spalted birdseye maple hanging over the head of the bed — Came from a New Hampshire wood supplier and friend
Offcuts from completed timber-framing project used as plant stands
Porcelain cups — ABC Carpet and Home, no longer available
Ritva Layered with Sheer White Curtains (full length) — IKEA
EKBY BJÄRNUM brackets and shelves — IKEA
Two Rast 3-drawer Chests with Wood Top, Painted —IKEA
Faceted Wood and Brass knobs — Anthropologie, no longer available
Swing-arm Light Fixtures — IKEA (discountinued)
Nyponros Duvet Cover — IKEA
Decorative Pillows — West Elm and IKEA, both no longer available

The IKEA platform bed (discontinued) is in a small room tucked against a head and sidewall, so naturally the headboard had to be combined with a matching sideboard to create a sleeping nook. The veneered plywood panels used here were leftover project materials and were edged by F.A. Wildnauer Woodwork, Inc.

Thanks, Jessica and Daniela!

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