House Tour: Austin and Jess Found Each Other, An Apartment, and A Few Things Along The Way.

House Tour: Austin and Jess Found Each Other, An Apartment, and A Few Things Along The Way.

Maxwell Ryan
Aug 26, 2008

• Here's Daniels final post! Comment away...

Name: Austin and Jess
Location: East Side, Lower 60's near Central Park. New York City
Size: Studio, roughly 600 sq ft with sizable private terrace that we've turned into a sunroom of sorts
Years lived in: Rented for 3 months, in the process of decoration.
Who else lives here: An old woman downstairs who's been there for ages and pays next to nothing in rent, A nice family with 2 kids and a dog upstairs (we don't think they're supposed to have a dog), a few single guys upstairs, a few finance types on the top floor. We're the only one's with a terrace.


Young creative sweethearts Austin and Jess live in an impressive part of a city where it has become increasingly difficult to to find such a gem of an apartment. The couple found their apartment on Craigslist and snagged the space within 30 seconds of the ad being posted. The apartment itself has an amazing quality of light, especially in the morning, which drew the couple in....


The collection they've assembled during their journeys and compulsive foraging has transformed their space into a home where there's always something new to discover and discuss. The apartment is a snapshot of their lives, drawing from where they have been and what fascinates them, which like them, is constantly in flux. The apartment is the perfectly decorated space for these two vivacious recent Dartmouth graduates. They've combined a New England pack-rat sensibility with an urban collector's eye and have fulfilled their desire to be surrounded by catalysts and objet d'art. The result is a loved and lovely space.


Though the apartment isn't large, the couple is constantly adopting new finds and creating works of art themselves. They have achieved perfect harmony with the space they have and the decoration seems effortless-- even their mysterious piles somehow seem to make sense. All credit is due to their creative personalities and collective eye to arrange a scene. The open plan of the apartment is also surprisingly conducive to entertaining, which was Austin and Jess' aim -- to create a malleable and social space. Their terrace, which is as thoroughly decorated as the rest of their space, accompanied by good wine and good conversation has been the scene of many a summer nights' entertainment.


Austin and Jess, who both have degrees in Studio Art continue to create art for their apartment. Jess works in sculpture and drawing, primarily in her Brooklyn studio. Austin works in Energy Finance and photographs on the side as much as possible, he's recently back to working with film. Currently their art is scattered while they determine the logistics of hanging art on their walls. Their collection is extensive and will be ideally personal when it is hung. Austin's photo series of the Papal Succession in Rome and of architectural construction sites, as well as abstract drawings by Jess will embrace the space perfectly and continue to make this home uniquely theirs.

Both Austin and Jess took the photographs for their House Tour slideshow.

AT Survey

Our Style: Categorical with pack- rat tendencies.

Greatest Inspiration: Our grandparents/collectors.

Favorite Elements: The windows, Huge french doors, large wooden shutters, lack of a television, terrace, the folding wallpapering table on the terrace.

Biggest Challenge:
Plaster walls, Pigeons on the terrace.

What Friends Say: I'll sleep in the hammock on the terrace!

Biggest Embarrassment: The currently disabled Kitchen.

Complaints: We have to bring the garbage up to the roof. We're not sure why. We suspect it gets air-lifted out by helicopter.

Proudest DIY Project: Jess' shower curtain.

Biggest Indulgence: Plants, a freakish portrait we picked up recently.

Best Advice: Don't be afraid to let things go when it is their time.

Dream Source: Our families' barns, closets, back-rooms, workshops and sheds.

Other Inspiration: Each other.


Appliances: We're awaiting our electric stove, there's a gas line leak.

Our Porcelain Hookah: The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.

Hardware: We've gotten most of our hardware from Austin's Dad (A master carpenter working in Northwest Connecticut). He also designed the desk and the Beaver stick rack on the terrace.


Couch: A friend's grandmother, she bought it in the 70's

Pair of consoles behind couch (Mahogany): Austin's Dad

Bentwood side table: Housing Works on the Upper East Side

Vintage William Plattner steel and glass coffee table: Austin's Parents, purchased in the 70's

Armchair: Austin's Grandmother

Stool: Bed Bath and Beyond

Desk (Its Australian Lacewood and Mahogany): Austin's Dad

Wallpapering table on Terrace: ReCover (158 South Main St. White River Junction, VT 05001 (802) 359-5900)

Beaver stick and millstone wine rack/plant holder: Austin's Dad

Folding theatre chairs: Austin's Dad (salvaged from a Connecticut barn)

Folding chair/plant stand: Jess found on the street

Butterfly chairs on terrace:
Austin's parents deck from the 70's


School room chalkboard: Yard sale in Connecticut

"Freakish" portrait:
Sloan-Kettering Thrift Store (1440 Third Avenue New York, NY 10028)

Double portrait: Austin's Grandparents' closet

Rolling toy under the couch: Austin's childhood

East African Woven basket: Street fair

Painting on desk:
CT Artist Carol Anthony

Dolls: Yard sales

Flower Needlepoint in front of mirror: Housing Works

"Map of Adventures for Boys and Girls": Austin's childhood

Quilt: Austin's Great Grandmother's

Wooden Necktie: patented by Austin's dad in the 80s

Dartmouth Plate: found in bottom of bin at yard sale

Rocks: From the corners of the world

Horseshoe crab: Ocean (Atlantic)

Hatchet: Woods (New England)


Plants, including a cactus of debatable height (6 feet give or take): Farmer's Markets

Nut Holder on terrace table: Jess found on the street

The pitcher on terrace stairs: A Friend's parents

Champagne bucket engraved with satyrs sacking a wine cellar, with stand: The Arthritis Thrift Store on the Upper East Side

Tripple Beam Balance: Burried in Austin's Great grandfather's Junkyard in Connecticut

Canopy with lighting: Custom ordered from Canada


Rooster atop refrigerator: Jess made it when she was younger


Floor lamps behind the couch: FurnishGreen (1261 Broadway Ste. 510)

Two little yellow desk lamps: ReCover

White Parachute lamp: ReCover

Austin's Banker's Lamp:

Rugs and Carpets: We embrace the wood floors (aesthetics and allergies)

Bed: A big bearded guy in a tie-dye shirt dropped it off in a bumped-up Minivan (Craigslist).

Currently looking for a large blackboard to hang above our bed

Artwork: Jess and Austin are both studio art majors from Dartmouth.

She draws and sculpts, he is a photographer.

Jess' thesis is in the little sack behind the couch on the left. Its a hand stitched book with photographs of sculptural work.

Posters and Art Consultation: Metro Insights (

Gifts and awards

We also get a lot of our art from garage sales.

Jess: "Are we allowed to?" Austin: "Unclear... Pending."

- Daniel Palmer

This is the last of Daniel's four trial posts that we've been rolling out over the past two weeks. His other three posts are below:

The Brooklyn Museum: Digging Through The Archives
Castiglioni's Secret: The VLM Light Switch
Demisch Danant

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