A Multi-Media Artist’s Brooklyn Loft is a Personal Jungle

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Multi-Media Artist’s Brooklyn Loft is a Personal Jungle

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Rachel Hornaday
Location: East Williamsburg — Brooklyn, NY
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 7 years, renting

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The colorful jungle space that is Rachel Hornaday‘s third-floor Brooklyn apartment is actually a museum filled up with all of her beloved collaborations, collections and curiosities. The photo stylist by day/artist all the time has decorated her three-bedroom home in a comfortable way that tells the story of a creative always willing to be inspired. Plant pots overflowing with leaves and vines, walls dripping in hangings, tapestries and frames, tabletops sprinkled with trinkets and instruments of creation, all display Rachel’s appreciation for multi-media.

Rachel’s choice of maximalist design comes from a decision to bring many influences into her home to see how they compare, contrast and share stories, rather than a more minimalist approach reducing those inanimate object interactions. A love of vintage and all things thrift store only adds to the eclectic collections she adores and cultivates on a consistent basis.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Bohemian Artist Loft styled in a mid-century modern-meets-vintage salon vibe. Art collection, sacred objects, plants, rocks, shells and high vibes. I work in functional and sculptural ceramics, painting, prop styling and window design in New York City, so my home is a direct reflection of my work and style; it is an extension of me.

Inspiration: Frida Kahlo (Blue Azul), Shelby Williams, Georgia O’Keefe (Ghost Ranch), Isamu Noguchi, Eames, Wes Anderson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Robert Rausenberg, Stonehenge, Indigenous Peoples arts and textiles, Oaxaca-style, Rufino Tamayo, artists homes, my great grandmother’s home.

Biggest Challenge: Staying organized, battling clutter.

What Friends Say: They love the apartment! Friends and guests tell me they feel comfortable, the light the living room has gets a response usually immediately. The space is like an oasis in Brooklyn, transformed to another place, especially if records are playing!

Biggest Embarrassment: Right now, tap water, my filtration system is down and I have been spoiled with reverse osmosis. It has ruined me. Tap water will never taste the same.

Proudest DIY: All the lighting fixtures I designed and upcycled using vintage glass and hardware, and some of the plants I rooted myself and created new plants for my jungle.

Biggest Indulgence: Collecting art, hosting dinner parties, flea markets and yard sales.

Best Advice: Be patient, have vision (envision the space in your mind). Find the “hero” design items and build off of them. I am more concerned with creating a collection of decorum I like, decorating my apartment piece-by-piece, and being selective based on quality with material and how it is constructed. I love a great piece of vintage wood furniture and veer away from particle wood. It creates a richer palette and is a more eco-conscious way to approach a furniture collection. Buy objects and art that speak to you.

Dream Sources: Collecting nature elements in the woods and on the seashore, 7am trips to the flea markets in Brimfield, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, estate sales, Craigslist, thrift stores, set designer friends’ giveaways, or pieces passed down from grandmas and great aunts, parents, or found while dumpster diving or on the sidewalk!


Entry Table — Purchased at a thrift store in Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Noguchi Table — Isamu Noguchi for Herman Miller
“Nageur,” 2010 — Agnes Pezeu, 81 x 45, oil and charcoal on canvas
Bust — Rachel Hornaday Ceramic sculpture (self-portrait)
Hopi Kachina Eagle Doll — Collector’s item
Skyscraper Lighting Fixture — Purchased at Go Green Village
Painted Ladder — Plant stand from a Long Island estate sale
Wall Book Shelving — Home Depot
Love Seat (Sectional) — Inherited from Great Aunt
Sofa — acquired from Art Dept. on a music video I worked
Mission Rocking Chair — Gift from a friend
Antique Dresser and Antique Mirror — Inherited from my parents

Dining Table — Purchased at Go Green Village
Shelby Williams Gazelle Chairs — purchased at The Big Reuse

Hyena Painting — Lisa Enders
Subway Tile Backsplash— Home Depot
Grundtal Kitchen Series — Ikea
Stainless Steel Prep Table — Found on Craigslist
Vitamix Blender — Vitamix
Omega Juicer VRT 350 — Omega
Green Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Pot— Lodge

Color Field Paintings (Diptych), 2006 — Richard F. Dahn

Kalkgrund Shelves — Ikea
Bamboo Corner Shelf — Trademark Innovations

Thanks, Rachel!

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