This Creative Couple’s Condo Is Filled with Warm and Functional DIY Woodworking Projects
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Name: Maria Henderson and Logan Dudas, with Bentley the Toy Poodle and Bambi the Viszla Mix
Location: Union City, New Jersey, which is just steps away from the riverfront skyline view of Manhattan and 10 minutes north of Hoboken
Size: 804 square feet
Type of Home: Pre War Condo
Years lived in: 5 years, owned
When Maria Henderson, who works in ecommerce in the luxury beauty industry, moved from Colorado to the East Coast, she found Union City to be a short commute to New York City and affordable enough to live alone. After meeting commercial interior designer Logan Dudas in 2016 and falling in love, he moved in a year later, and they began working together to turn the space into a personal, unique home. Logan has been woodworking since childhood, and together with Maria’s knack for plants and antiques, they’ve DIYed and designed a relatively small space while turning it into an incredibly cozy and comfortable home.
“Our apartment is on the top floor. A lot of people complain about the walk up, but what it provides in return is complete solace. Another perk of that is that our light doesn’t get broken up by surrounding buildings and we have a view of the tip of Manhattan,” writes Maria. “What we found most compelling about this space compared to others we viewed is how welcoming the layout is. The long hallway invites you in and feels further removed, which makes for a nice quiet space — our own personal sanctuary.”
In 2018, Maria and Logan combined their individual hobbies — plant collector for her and woodworker for him — and launched a small business that is the best of both worlds: Knotty Succs, which sells handmade wooden planters and other modern home furnishings.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Our style is Inviting Industrial. We have always enjoyed cabin living and how inviting it is, but both agreed to do it in moderation. We brought in transitional rustic style with the use of reclaimed wood and plants. It creates a cozy feeling that moves away from the dark feeling traditional industrial styling, but brings in the neutrals that nature provides. We are drawn to things that suggest a hardworking past and vintage feel. We look forward to coming home whenever we are away because of how the space is warm, relaxing, and comfortable. All of this creates a smart atmosphere with a neat twist.
Inspiration: We were inspired by nature. We wanted to bring the outdoors in.
Favorite Element: We love our living room. This room is inspired by nature and is displayed through the liveliness of the plants against the earthy tones of the shiplap feature wall. The unfiltered natural sunlight makes this room feel so cozy, bright, and warm during the day and a beautiful sunset view in the evening.
Biggest Challenge: We started off in this home as young adults and as we have continued to grow together, so has the number of items that we own. Our closet, our plant collection, and tools for our activities and hobbies had started to become cluttered. We had to come up with a creative way to fit it all in. The challenge was to build functional storage compartments in every covered floor space. This was under beds, and creating custom closets with multiple compartments and baskets to organize.
Proudest DIY: This entire space is our proudest DIY. We have truly curated each room to fit our style and there is a custom piece and story to go along with it. You’ll find this in each room of the house and this is what makes our home unique to any other. From the dining room, wood beam pendant chandelier, and wood bar shelf, to the owners suite’s oversized barn door, to the living room where all of the furniture is custom. We’ve built this home together.
We have designed and DIY’d the following in our home: The entryway coat hanger and shoe racks; the cabinets and concrete back splash in the kitchen; the wood beam pendant chandelier and wood bar shelf in the dining room; the glass inlay coffee table, floating picture frame, floating shelf, in-window plant shelves, radiator covers, shiplap wall, white U-shaped end table, wooden planters, and TV stand in the living room; and headboard, small floating bedside table, floating shelves, barn door, and dresser in the bedroom.
Biggest Indulgence: Our Sloan couch from Interior Define. Yes, so worth it! Before this we were on a smaller couch that our dog Bambi had chewed the seat cushions and we were always at risk of falling into a hole in the couch. The process of ordering the couch took about eight months from purchase to delivery. Initially, we had ordered a couch from another company and when it arrived it wouldn’t fit through the door, so we returned it. Then we found this one and were able to customize the depth and that made a huge difference for us because we are couch cuddlers.
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? Sheer white curtains from Amazon. They give rooms a light and airy vibe that makes you feel relaxed. We also love our espresso machine. Logan is a little barista on the weekends when we get to spend extra time together and he tries to make me latte art, which I appreciate.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: No covered floor space is off limits! We really had to figure out how to maximize space so Logan created custom pull-out drawers for under the beds, and I purchased baskets from the Container Store for under the TV stand to create additional storage for clothes and other items. I also “Marie Kondo-ed” my dresser drawers and that helped me to stay organized and realize which items I don’t ever wear.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Find a color palette and use throughout the house. Play up one color in one area and then another in a different area. This makes it feel like a cohesive space, but each area can feel different. It will also allow you to move your decor around to different rooms to freshen up your space every once in a while.
PAINT & COLORS
- Sloan Right Chaise Sectional — Interior Define
- Styria amber 23″ pillow with feather-down insert — Crate & Barrel
- Lilane 23″ blue and white pillow with down-alternative insert — Crate & Barrel
- Water hyacinth coffee table/under bed bin — Container Store
- Marie Kondo Ori rattan honey natural curved bins — Container Store
- Glass shelves — Crate & Barrel
- B&W plant photos — Z Gallerie
Thanks Maria and Logan!
This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.
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