House Tour: Jae Crafts a Sanctuary Around Art

House Tour: Jae Crafts a Sanctuary Around Art

Jill Slater
May 13, 2009

Name: Jae (architect/interior designer)
Location: SoHo
Size: 3-bdrm, 2600 sqft. condo
Years lived in: 4 months


Jae is an up and coming architect whose housetour you may recall or whose shoe vault you may covet. Or you may have seen him wax poetic at our Small Space Design Meetup last year. Jae recently completed the design and build of a vast loft in SoHo for a client who gave him nearly free reign...

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Jae's task was to design a living space around the client's existing art collection. While this apartment's high-end nature may veer slightly from the typical housetour, it is worth seeing. No matter what the budget, Jae always manages to fit in some DIY action. His ingenuity alone is infective. In order for the art to dominate the space, Jae used a subtle color pallette for the furniture, walls and floor. In fact, Jae remade the back wall to more prominently feature the large painting in the dining room.

When a preferred piece priced out of the client's budget, Jae was creative. He usually designed something himself to replicate the original piece and then called on woodworkers or his contractor to fabricate it out of less expensive materials.

Jae is accustomed to doing a structural renovation, but this project took him to a new level in one-stop service. The client trusted his style and sensibility so much that he asked Jae to do the decor as well! Jae jumped at the opportunity and learned a lot in the process. If that wasn't enough of a challenge, Jae also had to deal with major water damage half-way through the project.

While it is not a home many of us can aspire to, realistically, it contains many great ideas, from the custom-made cubby holes at the entrance, to the fantastic limestone tiles and hardware in the bathroom, to the wooden shelves built to house the dozens of Buddha heads from Vietnam.

Jae is meticulous. He works hard behind the scenes to make the space seamless and as if little to no intervention took place. The home is artfully understated.

AT Survey
Style: Modern
Inspiration: Owners Artwork, Owners lifestyle (loves to entertain, single, wine enthusiast)
Favorite Element: Custom wine refrigerator / Custom Fireplace wall
Biggest Challenge: Custom wine refrigerator / Custom Fireplace wall
What Friends Say: "I want to live here"
Biggest Embarrassment: The super heavy duty (and expensive) Hafele hinges keep popping out of their bracket…they need to get replaced.
Proudest DIY: Designing the custom wine storage/display; including custom stainless steel display bars, led lights, refrigeration system, and custom steel doors.
Biggest Indulgence: Wine display and lighting (LED lights are not cheap)
Best Advice: Get good homeowners insurance – client had water damage from apartment above and was able to get things replaced fairly easily.

BDDW – bedroom credenza, nightstands
PUCCI – Custom bronze chandelier, Vladimir Kagan sofas, coffee table, café tables in wine room
Carini Lang – Custom silk carpets in Living rm and Master Bedroom
Boffi – 'Cut' sink faucets and shower fittings
Ingo Mauer – Red light bulb hologram sconce
Poltrona Frau – Master bed
Eduardo Arranz-Bravo – majority of artwork


Images: (Jill Slater)

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