A Couple’s Bronx Apartment Has Gorgeous Brick Walls, Lots of Plants, and Tons of Style

published Oct 8, 2020

A Couple’s Bronx Apartment Has Gorgeous Brick Walls, Lots of Plants, and Tons of Style

published Oct 8, 2020
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Home Type
Square feet
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Name: Janna Pea, Mariela Peguero, and Vido
Location: South Bronx; We are uniquely sandwiched between Yankee Stadium, BX courthouse and three different parks
Size: 800 square feet
Type of home: Coop
Years lived in: 5 years, owned

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Janna Pea, a senior vice president at BerlinRosen focusing on social impact, racial justice and storytelling, purchased this apartment in a “historic gem” of a building five years ago, but it didn’t quite look like it does today. Hidden architectural details were uncovered when Janna began renovating the space. “In the process of pulling up floors, breaking down walls and ceilings, I discovered beautiful brick throughout the space and chose to keep it exposed,” Janna explains. “My partner, Mariela, moved in about two years ago and during the process we did another overhaul. This one involved decor because we wanted to incorporate both of our styles.”

Credit: Erin Derby

Mariela, who works in retail operations at Peloton, likes a lot of color, while Janna prefers more uniformed palettes. “We started with our art wall and decided to only add pieces that meant something to both of us,” explains Janna, on how they merged their styles. “Puzzles are something that I love and Mariela suggested we frame a few. In the end we came to an agreement and love the end result.”

Credit: Erin Derby

The couple appreciates the natural light that fills their home (and keeps all their plants happy), and they spend their days cooking, tending to plants, and playing with Vido. But perhaps most of all, they love how they’ve been able to design a home “tailored to our style and preferences,” Janna admits. “Although it was a quite the process to fully gut this space out, we were able to create the perfect home for us.”

Credit: Erin Derby

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Mariela – We combined our styles. While Janna likes clean, monochromatic looks and is a minimalist, I love color and accent pieces.

Inspiration: Mariela – We wanted to make the space inviting, warm, and contemporary. Color + comfort is always the inspiration!

Favorite Element: Mariela – My favorite element in our home is our blue wall. Janna and I both love the color and wanted to incorporate it into our space.

Credit: Erin Derby

Janna – My favorite element is the amount of natural light we receive for our lovely plants!

Biggest Challenge: Mariela – I would not say it was a challenge but instead a labor of love. Janna had been in the space for a few years and when I moved in and we had to mesh our styles. Thankfully we aligned on the changes we wanted to make and the result is a home that we both love.

Janna – It was, by far, a complete gut reno on a small budget. From tearing down walls to rearranging the bathroom layout to building in extra closet space, there was no shortage of challenges with the reno.

Credit: Erin Derby

Proudest DIY: Janna – Building in our closet spaces. We love our big closet as we are able to store so much (shoes, purses, clothes, etc). Of course we had help but we created the vision and helped with the labor.

Biggest Indulgence: Mariela – Our most recent splurge was our glass coffee table and very much worth it!

Credit: Erin Derby

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? Mariela – We have a space in our kitchen that is an additional exit and wanted the space to be functional. We added a sliding barn door, shelving inside the space and now it serves as a storage and cleaning supply closet.  

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? Mariela – We love candles and burn them daily! Currently burning a mixture of Apothecary + Lomar Farms’ candles.

Janna – For me it’s the plants + puzzles. The plants bring so much life and calmness to our space and I love watching their growth. Puzzles are also calming for me and allow me to escape the hectic work life. Every puzzle we have framed has a special meaning for us (women’s rights, NYC, sports, etc.)

Credit: Erin Derby

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Mariela – Adding shelves and hanging hooks in our closets has helped in keeping organized.

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Mariela – Do not be afraid to try something new and a pop of color is always helpful.


Credit: Erin Derby


  • Benjamin Moore all day! We have a few favs: Revere Pewter (gray) and Newburyport blue
Credit: Erin Derby


  •  Art — Puzzles we have worked on then framed+ Art Society
  •  Sofa — Jonathan Adler- Mariela
  • Sofa cushions — Target and CB2-Mariela
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Favorite Hand Soap — Foster my body’s Mandarin and Black Pepper via mboutiqueintl.com

Thanks Janna and Mariela!!

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