A Brooklyn Writer Turned a Stage Model Apartment into a Sleek, Monochromatic Haven
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Name: Joey Skladany
Location: Greenpoint — Brooklyn, New York
Size: 674 square feet
Type of home: One-bedroom apartment
Years lived in: Less than one year, renting
Joey Skladany, a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer, found his one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment with a little luck, timing, and resolve. Participating in a housing lottery, the opportunity came about to move into his current building. As Joey tells it, “While touring my current building, I saw a few apartments, but fell in love with the staged model. It was a corner unit with floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out onto Manhattan and Brooklyn. The views were goosebump-inducing and it was absolutely my favorite of the bunch.”
Unfortunately, when it came time to select an apartment, the staged model was no longer available. Joey almost walked away from the opportunity, as he “couldn’t justify taking anything else in the building while knowing that someone else was enjoying my favorite apartment for the same price.” Luckily, the exact same staged model he fell in love with became available at the last minute.
So in love with the staged model, Joey kept the original aesthetics of the apartment and used that as a foundation for his decor and design — the original color scheme providing inspiration for furniture and fabric.
His design was also inspired by his need for organization and whimsy. “I am admittedly a control freak,” Joey says. “So everything in my apartment has a place and needs to stay consistently organized. This means that while I love bold colors and patterns and elements of whimsy, there needs to be a very effortless flow among furniture and decor that is rooted in neutral tones and modern, clean lines.”
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Inspiration: I opted for a very basic, but trendy black, white, camel, and gray color scheme as the base, accented by geometric shapes, sleek and streamlined furniture, and pieces I’ve collected during my travels. A pop of lime green through plants, moss balls, and appliances helps to weave everything together because I’m, unshockingly, all about the details.
Jonathan Adler is, by far, my favorite designer and I love how he maintains a balance between playful and refined. It’s his tasteful crudeness and the juxtaposition of the two that I really admire. My friend, Anthony Gianacakos of Anthony George Home, is also an inspiration because he is so willing to be bold and daring in his color and fabric selections. While most of his projects are a bit too eclectic for my personal living space, I always keep his fearlessness in mind when making major design decisions.
I also like collecting things that seemingly have no meaning, but are tied to memories. My apartment is full of trinkets that tell a story. In fact, the entire space is one giant conversation starter, which helps to tone down the potential sterility of the neutral color scheme.
Favorite element: The floor-to-ceiling windows. There is a comfort to seeing the Manhattan skyline after leaving the city.
Proudest DIY: I love taking pieces of furniture that are designed for one purpose and using them for another. My buffet is now a coffee nook, my storage bench is now an adorable seating area, and I have skinny laundry baskets hiding behind my couch to store random belongings that don’t fit in the furniture.
Budget: I am a huge fan of high-low decorating. Invest in the pieces that will last for years (i.e., my leather couch from BenchMade Modern, pillows and bedding from Jonathan Adler, etc.) or speak exactly to your design aesthetic, but don’t be afraid to save money on very basic, personality-less items that are really just used as storage.
Also, don’t be afraid of a good flea market. Sometimes a scavenger hunt to find something that just speaks to your mood can be a wonderful investment. And it’s a piece that will always make you happy.
Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? Having to treat floor-to-ceiling windows as actual walls has been unique and interesting, but it’s taught me to really take dimensions and furniture height into consideration. You don’t think much of scale in a smaller living space, but literally every piece of furniture I put into this apartment affects aspects like my view, the general flow, and how it interacts with everything surrounding it.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small-space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: I often hold on to entirely too many things that I don’t need. It’s easiest for me to separate everything into categories, pare down duplicates of anything, and then figure out the storage that suits its size. This is easier than buying a ton of furniture and just praying that everything fits.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Pick one major piece of decor or furniture and use it as your inspiration for the entire living space (or room). This is great for anyone who may feel lost during the design process. In my case, I knew I wanted a big and bold, black-and-white striped chair.
And this purchase informed every decision I made going forward, knowing that all other shapes and colors had to complement and/or support it — not overshadow or clash with it. This chair was my star, my muse, if you will, and it was fun to find pieces that played into its design.
- Grandparents’ clothing store logo from the ‘70s. The store was called Paraphernalia and my grandma held onto it after all these years.
- Macen modern industrial console table — Overstock
- Custom Skinny Fat sofa — Benchmade Modern
- Paris velvet wingback — Overstock
- AllModern geometric rug — Wayfair
- Carson Carrington sideboard — Overstock
- Coffee table — Wayfair
- American art decor tree trunk stool — Overstock
- Carbon loft metal console table — Overstock
- Black glass end tables — Overstock
- Bookshelf — Pottery Barn
- Bar and counter stools — Wayfair
- Rustic counter dining table — Overstock
- Abstract art — Overstock
This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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