Joshua’s Grayscale Living & Gathering Space

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)

Name: Joshua Kissi
Location: Bedford-Stuyvesant — Brooklyn, NYC
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year; Rented

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When you’re one half of the creative agency Street Etiquette—tagline: “Telling Stories Through Style”—home styling is second nature to you. The home of Joshua Kissi is also more than a home—it is a meeting place, photography studio, and informal art gallery all at once. These versatile functions dictate the placement of furniture and decor throughout the home, yet he’s arranged things in such a way that they all work seamlessly together. The home is minimally appointed, while elements of Joshua’s Ghanaian heritage and his career nuance that foundation in an impeccable and refreshing way.

(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)

Joshua is a NYC native whose style has been influenced by his urban surroundings and years of travel. Angola, Thailand, South Africa, and Germany—all featured on Street Etiquette—are a handful of the destinations lending their cultures and lifescapes to his aesthetic. But rather than accumulate tchotchkes along the way, Joshua immortalizes his travel experiences through film and photography. The latter is the salient design feature in his home; the subjects captured are from Brooklyn, Paris, and beyond. All of the portraits on the mantel are in black and white, underscoring its identity as the focal point of the home, while the images on the brick wall and elsewhere are in color, primarily neutrals.

Custom work and the work of artist friends are also prominently on display here. The drawings above his desk are by his friend Ojo Agi, and the Black Ivy flag above the mantel was a custom piece fabricated from denim and leather. The Black Ivy is a project Josh launched with his business partner, which celebrates the modern Black intellectual and creative through apparel and personal effects. The very personalized aspect of Joshua’s home undoubtedly adds to its authenticity. All said, Joshua has honed a tightly edited and streamlined home which still comes off as lived-in and authentic.

(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Minimal-Africana.

Inspiration: My inspiration stems from traveling, and being Ghanaian-American. There’s a mix of what is culturally inspired as well as what I’m aspiring to accomplish.

Favorite Element: The mantel in the living room.

Biggest Challenge: I would say having my living room feel like a “home.”

What Friends Say: It feels like they’re in a home art gallery.

Biggest Embarrassment: The fact that my coat rack kept falling while you were taking images for Apartment Therapy, how embarrassing.

Proudest DIY: It would have to be the black painted doors and the long bar table in the living room.

Biggest Indulgence: My biggest indulgence would have to be magazines and books. Every time I’m out, there isn’t a time when I don’t want to pick up another read or magazine to be inspired by.

Best Advice: Do what you’re comfortable with, as you’ll be living there in the home.


(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)


(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)


(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)


(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)


  • Galvanized trunk: CB2 Versus
  • Floating shelves: custom
  • Mirror: MUJI
  • Q-tip jar: MUJI
  • Small gray/concrete tray on shelf next to Q-tip jar: CB2
  • Green vases in window: MUJI
  • Wall clock above bed: MUJI
  • Wall lamp above bed: IKEA
  • Tweed trench coat: Club Monaco
  • Long varsity jacket: NEEDS&WANTS
  • Short MA1 bomber jacket: NEEDS&WANTS
  • Framed photographs: The photo of the homes is a personal image of mine taken in Bed-Stuy. The photo of the lady is of Patrice, a model friend from Chicago of mine; it was part of a project for Adidas.
(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)


  • Framed photographs: taken by me—the image of the buildings was taken at Chelsea Public Housing for a short film editorial we released called SLUMFLOWER.
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All of the common areas in Joshua’s apartment are part of the great room. (Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)

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Thanks, Joshua!