A Plethora of Plants (and Custom Murphy Bed) Makes This 280-Square-Foot NYC Studio Feel Refreshingly Big
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Downtown Manhattan, NYC
280 Square Feet
Lived in 4 years
For Ilse Paanakker, plants and DIY projects are more than just creative decor decisions. They are also a way for her to encourage and sustain her own wellness. “By being efficient with my space and bringing in many, many plants, I’ve created a leafy and airy style that sets my own healthy habits up for success,” says Ilse. “Taking care of plants and DIYing is meditative for me, which is why you’ll see a lot of both throughout my space.” As the founder of Habit House, a wellness tech startup whose mission is to help people create healthy habits, having a space that rejuvenates sets her up to best help others build and achieve healthy habits. “Your home is the foundation for your healthy habits, take the time to make it a space that sets you up for success so you can live well,” she advises.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Leafy, airy, and efficient.
Inspiration: Nature and its natural elements.
Favorite Element: All the plants.
Biggest Challenge: Not buying more plants (there’s no more space!).
What Friends Say: It feels like a small indoor jungle where everything fits together well.
Biggest Embarrassment: Somehow I always end up picking a variation of the color purple for my accent wall(s). It’s been the case in the last four places I’ve lived.
Proudest DIY: The seven-foot wooden ladder that I hand built in my apartment. I bought 2x4s at Ace Hardware, carried them up my six flights of stairs, and sawed them right here in my space. I stained the ladder using some stain left over from my coffee table so it matched the wood I already had in my space.
Biggest Indulgence: Plants from the Union Square Farmer’s Market!
Best Advice: Your home is the foundation for your healthy habits, take the time to make it a space that sets you up for success so you can live well.
- Coffee Table — Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table from Etsy (can’t find link)
- Couch — Lazzoni Vetro Sleeper Sectional with Storage
- Rug — West Elm tweed rug (I can’t find it anymore)
- Pillows on couch:
- Pillow on couch with quote: Love grows best pillow from PCB Home
- Black Pillows Came with couch
- Tweed pillow: Crate and Barrel
- Painting in Living Room — Abstract Artist Barbara Paanakker
- Plates on Coffee Table — Thrifted from Mother of Junk in Williamsburg
- Small blue chair — Found on the street
- Throw Blanket on Couch — Ugg (This was a present so I don’t have link)
- Wine Crate with books/magazines in it — Found on the street
- Bird of Paradise Plant — Brooklyn Plants
- Monstera Deliciosa — Union Square Farmer’s Market
- Wooden triangles on wall — Self-stained, triangles from Etsy
- Puppets — From Indonesia, purchased during a trip
- Blue vase on table — Greenwhich Pottery House sale
- Art on Ladder:
- Body ceramic art on window sill — Artist Jeske Paanakker
- Pharmacy Pots in window sill — Family antique
- Ladder — Self Made using 2×4’s and wood stain that matched coffee table
- Macramé plant hangers — Self woven, took a class by @meditativemacreme to learn
- Shelves in Kitchen — Self made using plywood found on street and pipe clamps
- Window Whiteboards — Old windows from my space, reused them
- Bar Stools — Tabouret 24-inch Vintage Counter Stool
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