Mike's Apartment Grows with Him

Mike's Apartment Grows with Him

Jill Slater
Jul 29, 2009

Name: Mike
Location: West Village
Size: 500 square feet — 1 bedroom
Years lived in: 15 years total (this was my college apt that I shared with roommates). I have had the apartment to myself for the last 7 years

Mike's home may look familiar. He first made our acquaintance in a recent house call. Mike is lucky enough to live in an amazing neighborhood in a great sized one-bedroom apartment. Luckily, he had the forethought to move in during college!

Since then, roommates (the living room once served as a 2nd bedroom) have come and gone, leaving Mike, eventually, as the sole lease holder. And since then, he has been honing his skills as a designer…

Working as a professional store designer has helped Mike develop his keen understanding of space and the blending of styles and materials. In his own home, he prefers to soften hard edges and bulky pieces with delicate organic elements. He also prefers to be as hands on as possible. If there is a space that needs filling, he will either hack IKEA or pull together street finds with sample sale pieces to get the desired effect.

Mike knows he has to "evolve things" in his home to keep it fresh. So whether it's a new coat of paint, or additional seating, the apartment continues to adapt to his lifestyle needs.

He's not giving up this apartment any time soon, so Mike is comfortable making significant improvements to the space. Pre-war detailing, good sized rooms, warm colored walls, and carefully selected décor all combine to make Mike's home a place anyone would want to stay in for a good long while.


Style: Modern eclectic with natural and organic influences

Inspiration: Clean modern lines with an eclectic mix of natural materials, furnishings, textures, pattern and color. My living space is made up of furnishings that I found, made, modified or had the opportunity to purchase which helped me to create the comfortable environment that I enjoy coming home to and entertaining in.

Favorite Element: My RM Schindler reproduction sofa. I was able to purchase this (as well as the table) for a minimal price when the company I was with was replacing it in one of the stores. I bought high end Kravet couture fabric off of ebay for less than the price of one yard(!) and had new cushions made.

Biggest Challenge: Creating and utilizing storage space to the best advantage.

What Friends Say: Comfortable, calming, inviting, great energy, Feng Shui in look and feel. I often get asked "When is your next get together?"

Biggest Embarrassment: Bathroom. Still haven't painted or did much since apartments above me seem to let their tubs overflow!

Proudest DIY: Closet in kitchen/living room panel. This used to be an additional double entry to the kitchen from the living room, although I made it into a closet accessed from the kitchen. This 'closet' has about 4"D of space and is perfect for glassware, candles, bottles and other misc items and has increased my storage needs!

In the kitchen I used two bi-fold doors and installed aluminum angles that I salvaged from an office conference room renovation. I fastened the angles on the backside of the ½" plywood installed on the living room side of the entry. On the living room side I covered the raw plywood with an inexpensive roll-up bamboo shade and added a vertical weaving of the bamboo material. I love the natural and modern linear texture it creates! I finished off on the sides with corner wood molding that I stained a color called "bamboo" to match.

Biggest Indulgence: LCD TV

Best Advice: Only you know what you love and what you can live with to make your living space an extension of yourself. Making even minor changes at times will continue to make it special, interesting and even more personal.

Dream Source: 1STdibs.com, because I love the challenge in searching for interesting pieces!

(Images: Jill Slater)

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