Taylor & Alana’s Carefully Crafted Hoboken Apartment

published Jan 16, 2015
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(Image credit: Anita Jeerage)

Name: Alana Biagioli & Taylor Gulbins
Location: Hoboken, New Jersey
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months; Rented

You may recall Taylor’s house call post a couple months ago, and the apartment in Hoboken that lured him and his girlfriend, Alana, out of Manhattan. The square footage and daylight in their home definitely seems worth the move. They have created a fresh and modern space that has plenty of character and craft.

(Image credit: Anita Jeerage)

Decorating this apartment was clearly a labor of love. After moving into the place, the couple re-thought how to use the rooms (the previous tenants used the living room as a bedroom) and painted every wall. They had help from family and when the landlord saw the paint job, he was so impressed he wanted to hire Taylor’s mom to repaint another apartment!

Taylor had a few months before starting a new job to decorate the place, and scoured Craigslist and flea markets around New York City to find the right pieces for their home. He and Alana would text and email throughout the day to consider the various finds, developing a way to shop together remotely. They also repurposed furniture and light fixtures to create stylish pieces on a budget. The pipe-shelving unit in their living room is a great example, along with the bedside lamps that were created by wiring a Target lamp through a shelf bracket from Ikea.

(Image credit: Anita Jeerage)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: For the most part we have similar tastes – we lean towards blacks, whites, woods, and neutrals with a mix with some mid-century and industrial pieces. We love adding plants and other small pieces throughout our home to add pops of color.

Inspiration: In our decorating journey we used sources like Houzz, Pinterest, and Instagram for inspiration. Taylor updates an Instagram account regularly called @theschadeshop with design and DIY ideas.

Favorite Element: Our favorite element in our home is the coffee table. It is a reproduction of the classic George Nelson bench that comes in wood and black. We had been saving up to buy the actual thing when we found a guy on Craigslist selling this black reproduction for $30. We couldn’t resist the deal and opted for the reproduction over the real thing — someday we will get the real one. Also, our gallery wall is a labor of love that we will continue to add to as the years go by.

Biggest Challenge: We disagree on the definition of being “neat.” I (Taylor) openly admit I am a little OCD about keeping the house neat, and Alana – not so much.

What Friends Say: Can you decorate my apartment?!

Biggest Embarrassment: We have two big embarrassments in our home. First are the windows. They are incredibly old and stuck in place in most cases, so it is nearly impossible to clean the outside of them. The second big embarrassment in our home is the brick wall in our kitchen. There is a leak in our roof that we are working on with our landlord, but right now when it rains, water runs down the wall and leaves a large stain that we have to scrub off every time.

Proudest DIY: Our favorite element in our home is the DIY pipe-shelving unit we have in our living room. It had been our dream to have a shelving unit. In particular we wanted something that had an industrial feel so this DIY shelving system was the perfect solution. Taylor’s dad was a huge help doing all the carpentry and legwork.

Biggest Indulgence: The biggest indulgence in our apartment are our dressers. The dressers in our bedroom are mid-century Johnson Carper low-boys. We found the first 6-drawer dresser for $60 at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. It was an amazing deal, but we knew we needed another dresser. We searched and searched for something that was cost effective with the same mid-century design, but just couldn’t find something we loved. Eventually, we ended up splurging on a matching 8-drawer Johnson Carper that we found on Craigslist in Maryland.

Best Advice: Be thrifty. We are very proud to say that we furnished our entire apartment on a budget of one month’s rent. Don’t think that just because something is new or expensive means it’s better. We found the majority of the items in our home either on sale, or at vintage shops, flea markets, thrift stores, and Craigslist.

Dream Sources: Dream items are Carla Fletcher’s “The Alchemist” print, and a mid-century Selig Z Chair. Dream sources – we are a big fan of Brooklyn Flea.

(Image credit: Anita Jeerage)

Resources of Note:


  • Bedroom: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
  • Entryway: Benjamin Moore Navajo White
  • Living Room: Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White
  • Kitchen: Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue


  • Entry table: Target
  • Wood bowl: HomeGoods
  • Glassware: HomeGoods
  • Mirror: Grandfather’s garage


  • Side table near window: Target
  • Other side table: Furnish Green NYC
  • Couch: IKEA
  • Couch Legs: Etsy
  • Pillows: Target & Etsy
  • Hanging corner light: IKEA light, spray-painted gold, rest is DIY
  • Coffee table: Craigslist
  • Rug: Urban Outfitters
  • Mid Century Chairs: Craigslist
  • Yellow side table: Eric Trine
  • Hanging art: Homemade, Flea markets, & Society6
  • Hanging planters: West Elm
  • Bar Open Sign – Flea market
  • White shelves – DIY with old bookcases and barn wood
  • Wood trees – DIY
  • Wood and Pipe Shelves: DIY
  • Silver bird and sphere – West Elm
  • Lamp: Ikea base, Target Shade
  • Pendant Light: Eurofase, from Amazon Warehouse


  • Table: The Christmas Tree Shop
  • Mid century white chairs: Overstock
  • Metal chairs: Target
  • Corner chair: Habitat ReStore
  • Pendant light: IKEA
  • Sun Print: Society6
  • Rum & Coffee sign: trash picked
  • Milkcrate(bar): parent’s shed


  • Kitchen island: IKEA, painted legs black
  • Stools: Target
  • Keurig table: Target
  • 3 glass bottles above stove: TJ MAXX
  • Pendant light: IKEA
  • Antique Blue Milk Jug: Furnish Green NYC


  • Bedframe: IKEA
  • Side table stool: Joss & Main
  • Side Table crate: DIY
  • Bedside lights: DIY with lights from Target & shelf brackets from IKEA
  • Rug: Urban Outfitters
  • Cork Lamp: Target
  • Art: Taylor’s grandfather
  • Corner chair: Philadelphia Salvage, refinished and reupholstered
  • Wood jewelry rack: HomeGoods
  • Mirror: Alana’s aunt
  • Wicker laundry basket: TJ MAXX
  • Mid-century bench: Craigslist
  • Dressers – Habitat ReStore & Craigslist


  • Shelves: IKEA
  • Three black and white prints: Etsy
(Image credit: Anita Jeerage)

Thanks, Alana & Taylor!

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