Finalist #5: Gideon and Tracey’s Pocket Knife

Name: Gideon and Tracey
Location: Jersey City, NJ
Size: 530 s/f studio
Original Entry: Click Here

1. Who was your favorite entry and why? (other than your own apt.)

“Our favorite project is #38 Dixie’s Vintage Carnival. It’s just so original and quirky, a little bit Betsy Johnson a little bit Rout 66 flea bag motel fabulous. Dixie’s apartment is the thing that a personal living space should be most of all…Personal…

It is more than just a collection of great old junk, although it is sublimely that, there is an iconoclastic form of curatorship going on there. With the possible exception of the lovely Haywood Wakefield furniture, Dixie avoids collections of the stuff that every body else goes for. She has no Fiesta Ware, or neon, or Elvis Memorabilia, or Lava lamps. That stuff is really beneath such a finely honed sensibility; rather then kitsch, Dixie’s use of carnival swag and leopard print achieves a finely honed edge, akin to Pink Goth.

There is something just on the funny side of scary about this place, the parrot cage might have been too Mrs. Havisham, if it were not for the Gnome side tables.

When it comes down to it we just basically love this place, because it is just a little bit kinky and it puts us in the mood for Daiquiris and ukulele music.”

2. Why you should be the champ?

“Our project is fun and unusual, it reflects our personalities and it’s very much from the heart. We did it on a shoe string budget providing much of the labor ourselves and acting as our own general contractor when we needed plumbers, electricians and cabinetry. Although we had some professional advantage on our team, Gideon is in the design business (Tracey is in trucking,) this was very much a homemade effort.

When we decided to do something this radical, we worried about all the stuff you would expect. What about resale? Will the renovation take too long? Will the experiments fail and end up costing us allot of money to fix? In the end we came to the conclusion that is central to most of the projects entered in this competition…Hey, its 0ny 530 square feet, any risk we take is by necessity a small one.

If the comment threads from this competition are any indication, these days the audience for design seams to break into two groups, the “Yuk its too self-conscious and cold…Do real people actually live there?” camp and the “Gross what a mess…How do you even breath with all that junk chocking your life?” camp. The thing we are proudest of in our design is that way we avoid either characterization…Or maybe offend everyone. Ours is a complete design from concept to detail but the result is warm and colorful, there is room for the stuff of life, family photographs and Gideon’s grand father’s baseball shirt, as well as funky junk shop finds, and even a shag rug. The result is what a small space should be, cozy and personal.