Name: Neffi Walker and her children (Adonis 23, Kawhyii 22, Jhette 17, Nile 5)
Location: Northern New Jersey
Size: 5,000 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 5 years
Some know her as the proprietor of Jersey City interior design destination, Le Noir Home. Others know her for her uplifting and unapologetic attitude on her blog and its related Instagram page. But all who know Neffi Walker know that her family is the center of her being. So when she purchased a larger home in anticipation of having her fifth child (Nile, now five) she had the opportunity to create her dream home virtually from scratch (and she only had six months to do it). It was important to her that all of her family members had their own dedicated space (the children in the home range in age from five to 23), but of equal importance would be the spaces where they could all convene. While it might be a tremendous challenge to make these various functions visually cohesive, Neffi took it as an opportunity to affirm her penchant for interior decor.
Neffi's home was a complete remodel. While the home was a classic mid-century modern custom, it hadn't been updated or modified since it was built in 1957. The contemporary lines of the home were already in line with Neffi's taste, but making it work for her growing family was key. A budding interior decorator at the time, naturally the first thing she did was rip out the kitchen and tear down walls. Out went the wood paneling, and in came the open floor plan and glass paneling. Structurally, these are the most significant changes Neffi made to the home. Aesthetically, she relied on classic furniture and high-end finishes to personalize the space.
Because Neffi is as much a business woman as she is a domestic one, she put an emphasis on the relationship of the kitchen to the rest of the home. She spends a lot of time here, so this alone dictated the necessity for the current open floor plan. Common spaces are wide open from end-to-end, but each family member also has their own very private space(s) as well. Nile has a playroom downstairs, and her sons have an entire floor to themselves on the home's most lower level. Meanwhile, Neffi created her own sanctuary in the master's wing. The bedroom is large, but she chooses to keep it minimally furnished, and the windows sans curtains (like in the living room). She even opted out of a shower, preferring to create a spa-like atmosphere with a dedicated slipper tub, one of five-year-old Nile's favorite places, too (who can blame her!).
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: All black walls and modern with a twist
Inspiration: My culture (Puerto Rican and African)
Favorite Element: Darkness
Biggest Challenge: Completing the remodel in six months flat
What Friends Say: They say I can't paint every wall black
Biggest Embarrassment: Mistakenly placing the towel warmer right next to the toilet — burnt legs galore
Proudest DIY: The first time I completed a tufted sofa (not pictured because a client begged for it).
Biggest Indulgence: Marble is my weakness
Best Advice: Live in your home for a while before you decorate it so you can have a feel of the space you live in and design accordingly
Explore this style:
Eames Coat Rack — Herman Miller
UPSTAIRS LIVING ROOM
Artwork — Fela by Champera
DOWNSTAIRS LIVING ROOM/ PLAY AREA
Sofa — Lillian August
Jazz Artwork — Mr. Brainwash
Tufted Bed — Lillian August
Bed — IKEA
Sofa — Le Noir Home