Marissa’s Culinary-Chic Compact Studio

published Apr 24, 2015
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(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)

Name: Marissa Lippert
Location: East Village; New York City, New York
Size: Approximately 450 square feet
Years lived in: 5.5 years; Rented

The expression “Less is More” most certainly holds true in the home of culinary expert Marissa Lippert of Nourish Kitchen + Table. With just 450 square feet at her disposal, Marissa creatively carved out a space for the same living areas you would expect to find in a much larger home. The open concept floorplan becomes a blank slate in which Marissa made creative decor and organization choices, further embellishing her gorgeous and entertainment-friendly home.

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The entire home is visible from the open entryway. (Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)
(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)

Marissa’s biggest challenge ended up being her biggest design opportunity. Despite being in the small space, her studio apartment has at least two enviable features which are hard to come by in NYC: ample closet space and a lovely balcony to boot. The latter is large enough for a table for at least three, a grill, and even a bike. Given the open concept of Marissa’s studio, dinner parties are pulled off without a hitch, and easily spill out onto her balcony.

Marissa has chosen to keep her home as one contiguous space, achieved through the use of low-profile furniture, and a crisp, clean palette. Colorful accents are intermittent, found mostly in throw pillows and art. She deviates from the clean lines of her modern furniture only in creating the home’s focal point, where a large feathered Juju hat from Cameroon sits atop a stately armoire. This combination is the perfect example of how Marissa has used accents and the appropriate scale to create a sense of space and features throughout her small home.

(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: A mix of Scandinavian modern, global/Moroccan, clean and crisp white.

Inspiration: My travels, beautiful design, heirloom pieces with meaning and a story behind them.

Favorite Element: That’s tough. I have a special place in my heart for the framed piece of velvet fabric from my grandfather’s arm chair. I also love the white ceremonial African Juju feather hat.

Biggest Challenge: Making a tiny studio feel much bigger than it really is!

What Friends Say: They’ll “bring the wine”. (In response to a Sunday night dinner invite out on my mini balcony…any outdoor space is good outdoor space).

Biggest Embarrassment: That’s a tough one. Related to my apartment…well, I took the trash out in my hallway one morning, barefoot and with a towel around my head straight out of the shower, and…conveniently locked myself out. I had to sprint down the block to my dry cleaners, borrow a pair of flip flops two sizes too big and walk five blocks to my friend’s apartment to get my extra key. I banged on the door, woke up her boyfriend and pulled her out of the shower. Slightly embarrassing!

Proudest DIY: My cobalt blue velvet pillows on my couch. Ok, not totally DIY – I didn’t sew them…but that color brightens my day every time I step through my door.

Biggest Indulgence: The hallway runner I bought in Istanbul at the Grand Bazaar from an amazing vendor who specializes in modern Turkish rugs.

Best Advice: Think of designing your home like your favorite meal… layer in a little intrigue mixed with utility.

Dream Sources: Room & Board, Asher Israelow, Trnk, Sawkille, anything vintage Danish modern, a kitchen full of Melissa Weiss plates and serveware, random ethnic and vintage finds from traveling and flea markets, Design Within Reach, inherited pieces from my family, huge framed photographs by Jamie Isaia and David Kepner, functional pieces from my super talented friends, Anthony Malat, Christian Munoz of David Vincent, and Glenn Heimgartner of Plank Road Woodworks.



  • Closet doors: Benjamin Moore, Onyx
(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)


  • Mirror: Ballard Designs
  • Silver urn: My grandmother’s
  • Black lacquer chair: Old school West Elm
(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)


  • Brass knobs on closet doors: Schoolhouse Electric
  • Black leather vintage Danish chair: a vintage shop on 12th Street and 3rd Avenue
  • Knobby rug: West Elm
  • Couch: ABC Home
  • Pillows: DIY! (Sort of. Found fabric)
  • Herringbone blanket: IKEA
  • Coffee table: Sheharadze
  • Wooden armoire: Craigslist (score!)
  • TV Stand: Housing Works
  • Cameroonian Juju Hat: laviva Home
  • Bar glasses: Michelle Varian
(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)


  • mix of pots, pans, spices from all over the place, mix of vintage and West Elm dishes, bowls and serveware from Chilmark Pottery and Melissa Weiss.
(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)


  • Bedspread: West Elm
  • Ikat pillows: Sheharadze
  • Bedside table: Flea market find handed down by an old friend
  • Print above the bed: She Hit Pause
  • Gold cut printout by the bed: Abigail MacNamara
  • Shades: custom-sourced by interior designer and good friend Sam Masters
  • Woven wall hanging: Hazel and Hunter
  • Perfume tray: My great aunt’s
(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)


(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)


  • Desk: West Elm
  • Vintage Danish Modern chair: Vintage shop on 12th Street and 4th Avenue in Manhattan
  • Vintage pieces from my grandmother and flea market finds

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Thanks, Marissa!