Madewell’s Head of Design Lives in This Earthy, Textured Brooklyn Apartment

published Aug 27, 2020

Madewell’s Head of Design Lives in This Earthy, Textured Brooklyn Apartment

published Aug 27, 2020
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Name: Joyce Lee and husband James Ryang, with daughter Poppy and son Kai, and cat, Panda
Location: Williamsburg — Brooklyn, New York City
Size: 1250 square feet
Years Lived In: 3.5 years, owned

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Look, did I recently spend four days off from work laying around in my favorite Madewell dress? Yes. Am I wearing one right now as I type this? Yep. Is it my dream to eventually buy enough flowy Madewell dresses that I can throw away all of my pants and just lounge comfortably and stylishly forever? Absolutely. Which is why it’s extra exciting to feature Madewell’s Head of Design, Joyce Lee, and her Brooklyn home today.

Credit: James Insung Ryang

“Our last apartment was a gem, but it was a fifth floor walk-up and my daughter Poppy’s room was pretty small,” Joyce says, when explaining how she and her family—husband James Ryang and kids Poppy and Kai—ended up in this bright and spacious Williamsburg home. “When we found this apartment, we were excited by the idea of having an elevator, a large common courtyard and community, large windows with lots of light, and a spacious second bedroom.”

Like many of my favorite Madewell outfits, Joyce’s home features an earthy color palette and an array of cozy textures. The dramatic contrasting combo of black and white pops up in a few places, from the living room rug, to the main bedroom’s bed cover, to accessories. Though the space features modern lines and an uncluttered vibe, this is no empty or austere home.

Credit: James Insung Ryang

“Our living room has become a constant fort of pillows and blankets, and the kids
love doing arts and crafts at their little home art studio, Joyce shares. “Since our kitchen blends straight into the living room, we can cook and keep tabs on the kids at the same time, which makes me appreciate apartment living more than ever. We love playing records and having family dance parties—both kids love to sing and dance and put on performances, so there’s never a dull moment.”

Credit: James Insung Ryang

And though the kids make use of the entire apartment, the kids’ room is where plenty of colorful decor magic happens, with lots of toys, patterns, and shapes. “Poppy’s room is actually roomier than our master bedroom, which works well since we now have a second child,” she says. “It’s actually their playroom, and while we try to keep most of their toys contained in there, it’s inevitable that the living room has become a natural extension of their things, especially during this quarantine period.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Lived-in, casual, comfortable, natural, neutral, earthy and functional. I love wood, textiles, texture, a mix of vintage meets modern, and lots of plants!!

Biggest Challenge: I adore plants, especially cacti! But since we don’t have a ton of space and also have toddlers in the house, it makes it challenging to have too many.

Credit: James Insung Ryang

Biggest Indulgence: Our couch—this was our big investment when we moved in. We wanted something we could sink into and that would double as a bed for guests. We found it at ABC Carpet and Home, and the floor model was white, which is my dream. However, my practical mom-side told me to upholster it in something a little more forgiving!

What’s your best home secret? I got a memo board for the kitchen so I can write out schedules, shopping lists and meal plans. It has been a huge help in managing the chaos each week!


Credit: James Insung Ryang


  • Console Table — CB2
  • Mirror — CB2
Credit: James Insung Ryang


Credit: James Insung Ryang


  • Vintage mid-century table
  • Vintage Eames shell chairs
  • Stokke high chair
Credit: James Insung Ryang


Credit: James Insung Ryang


  • Bed — IKEA
  • Crib — IKEA
  • Neutral Rug — Lorena Canals
  • Rainbow rug — Vintage from ABC Carpet and Home
  • Toy Shelf — Oeuf
  • Low Bookshelf — IKEA
  • Tall dresser — IKEA
  • Changing Table — IKEA
Credit: James Insung Ryang


Thanks Joyce!

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