This Restaurateur’s Harlem Apartment Masters an Afro-Minimalist Aesthetic
Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox
Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter
When Nigerian-born restauranteur, entrepreneur, influencer, model, and digital collage artist Folasade Adeoso and her fiancé Noah Levine were about to open their first restaurant, Teranga, they were also in the middle of relocating to Harlem. “We knew that this new business would take up A LOT of our time, so we had to live close by,” she explains. “After weeks of searching, and with just one week left before our restaurant opening, we were beginning to lose hope when we finally found our ideal place.”
Their ideal place is this large Harlem rental apartment, with high ceilings and lots of natural light. Though the kitchen is small, the architectural details make up for it; the home features gorgeous fireplaces and warm wood floors. Noah and Folasade have embraced the space’s natural warmth by incorporating lots of plants, earthy color palettes, and a mix of textured decor elements from West Africa. It’s an intentionally minimal space, particularly the bedroom, which creates the perfect oasis for a busy pair of entrepreneurs.
“Since moving in it’s been a dream,” admits Folasade. “It’s our sanctuary after long work days and our neighborhood feels like home. We’ve applied an Afro-minimalist aesthetic to the apartment that reflects our love of Africa and our utilitarian lifestyle. We’ve done our best to keep the place quite minimal because we love to stretch, do yoga, and enough room to dance! I also love the natural light that our apartment receives which makes it a great place to work from on a day off.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our style: Our apartment style derives from our love for African craftsmanship. We both work in West Africa and travel there frequently. Our apartment is really a reflection of these experiences! We intentionally created an earthy vibe to the space through a combination of plants and earth tones (browns and greens).
We also love to showcase our friends and family art as well. We have a series of photographs of West Africa, and Noah’s grandfather and father are artists, so we have a couple of their paintings as well.
Inspiration: Our relationship with Africa and desire to buy local handmade goods from the continent.
Favorite Element: I love both the airiness and the botanical elements of our apartment. We’ve accomplished that by not filing our apartment with too many things and taking excellent care of our plant babies.
Biggest Challenge: We have a tiny kitchen, and we love to cook. Especially Noah—he is 6’9 and always needs to fuel up on veggies. We’re still finding ways to work around this challenge, but for now we’ve created extra surface space by placing our chopping board on one half of our stove. We’re currently looking to grab a small kitchen cart to allow for more surface area and kitchen storage.
Proudest DIY: Hanging up our art. We have a small collection of art that we’ve bought from friends that has been passed down to us by family or found tapestry from Africa. It’s a beautiful shared experience hanging up pieces of art that we own together. Also, we just started composting!
Biggest Indulgence: We don’t really indulge. We decided to keep our apartment very minimal and spacious. Perhaps our biggest indulgence would be our antique African furniture.
Best Advice: Renting large and essential pieces of furniture from Feather has been a total game changer. We have the option to swap-out furniture and return items we don’t like or no longer need. We actually swapped out our queen size mattress for a king because one of us is a giant! As renters in New York City, Feather gives us the opportunity to be flexible with our budget. I definitely recommend Feather for those who are subletting or even have short term leases.
What’s your best home secret? Make your own cleaning agents and home fragrances. I make everything from natural kitchen cleaners, linen sprays, and bathroom air fresheners. It’s super affordable to buy a bottle of rose and orange blossom water at your local ethnic store and mix it with different essential oils. Not only is it super affordable, your home will always smell fresh.
PHOTOGRAPHS & PAINTINGS
- Fabric Boy by Josha Kissi Photograph — @joshuakissi
- Codou Playing Basketball by Stephen Counts Photograph — @stephencounts
- Coney Island by David Levine — @dlevineart
- Vintage Japanese Print
- Slope bar/counter stool — FEATHER
Thanks, Folasade and Noah!