Philip & Leong’s Live / Work City Space

published Mar 24, 2010
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Name: Philip Leeming & Leong Ong of Falls
Location: East Village
Size: under 600 square feet
Years lived in: 9 years — rented

The apartment that Philip and Leong call home during the week is in the heart of the East Village — just east of Astor Place on Saint Marks. In addition to being their weekday home, the apartment functions as hub of the couple’s fashion line Falls — it functions as their design studio but also hosts meetings, photo shoots and model castings. See how they do it…

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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Peeking into the living room through the French doors that separate the dining room/workspace/kitchen. (Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Philip Leeming & Leong Ong are veterans of Kenneth Cole and Ralph Lauren and now work as a designing duo for their own collection, Falls. Their transitional weekday apartment / office / studio showcases their appreciation of vintage design and their dedication to their craft — nearly every space performs double duty.

The apartment is noticeably dark — but not overwhelmingly so. The chocolate colored walls and ceiling in the living room are broken up by the shocking hot pink furnishings salvaged from their store upstate. The back bedroom is painted black and it’s window look out to the black brick of the building next door! It’s been decorated to function as a cozy cave for sleeping and little else. Don’t miss the pictures of the smallest bathroom we’ve witnessed in person!

On the weekends, the couple escapes to their 1850’s farm house upstate. They’ve renovated it to be a welcome retreat from their live / work city space!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our style: A mash up of mid century and contemporary, but pretty clean.

Inspiration: We love to use color, print and texture in our Falls collections, and the choice of decor reflects that.

Favorite Element: The living room. The sofa and the drapes were part of the furniture we put together when we had a store up in Hudson, New York — we love the intense pink against the chocolate brown walls. The art was created for FALLS by photographer John Arsenault and artist Georgie Hopton for different collections we have done and the 19th century beaded piece on the wall is a favorite — a total contrast to everything else in the apartment.

Biggest Challenge: Storage! We have to make every inch work, so built in shelves were a must when we moved in 9 years ago. We also need to “close” the office so that we are not swamped by our work 24/7 — the curtain feature in the dining/kitchen was a must. It covers our office storage and the pin wall we use when working — making it all vanish at the end of the day!

What Friends Say: Mostly good things! They’re surprised the dark colors work and we often hear how they make the space feel bigger since there’s no contrast between the walls and the ceiling. Also that there is a lot of pink

Biggest Embarrassment: not telling

Proudest DIY: Recovering the sofa. We bought it for $50 at a yard sale, took it apart and re-upholstered it ourselves.

Biggest Indulgence: The dining chairs — they are Haywood Wakefield and purchased for about $80 each. The chairs are upholstered with printed linen/silk from a previous collection. Everything in the apartment cost less than $250 a piece.

Best advice: We love vintage — but not NYC prices! Take the time out to check out upstate New York for cool pieces.

Dream source: Hard to say just one, but we love the Conran store in London, Habitat in London, Moss NYC, and Spruce in Highfalls, New York. If we could take pieces from anywhere it would be to raid the the Met.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


    • sofa – yard sale, reupholstered ourselves
    • wrought iron stools – yard sale, reupholstered ourselves
    • beaded wall art – flea market
    • desk – Parsons desk from West Elm
    • chair – West Elm
    • vintage mirror – flea market
    • milkglass – flea market
    • lamp – part of a pair of onyx/brass faux Victorian lamps that we spray painted white
    • storage ottomans – West Elm
    • custom linen colorblock floor cushions and throw pillows – Variegated in Catskill, New York
    • plastic beaded chandelier – Urban Outfitters


    • dining set – Haywood Wakefield from Lost and Found in Stoneridge, New York. The linen fabric on the chairs is our own design, leftover from a past collection.
    • desk – Parsons desk from West Elm
    • chair – West Elm
    • mirror – Lost and Found in Stoneridge, New York
    • overhead lamp from Habitat in London
    • spotlights – vintage



    • headboard – covered in leftover fabric from Falls
    • bed frame – West Elm
    • nightstands – Urban Outfitters
    • vintage milkglass bedside lamps from Lounge in High Falls, New York
    • artwork – 1970’s watercolor nude that we found on the street
    • artwork – assorted 1950’s Margaret Keane lithographs from the underground flea market in Chelsea
    • artwork – a fake Margaret Keane painting from the underground flea market in Chelsea
    • artwork – 1960’s Lanvin foulard floral silk scarf
    • artwork – floral canvas is leftover fabric from Falls


    • Artemis cabinet – from a store in Florence
    • No room for anything else, it’s so tiny!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Philip & Leong!

Images: Aaron Able

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