This 900-Square-Foot Prewar Apartment Has a Personal Element in Every Room

The two seats are accompanied by a built-in bench with a geometric Zak+Fox cushion, a plinth-like West Elm table, and a Taiwanese paper lantern that Justin has admired for eons. “I have been coveting that pendant for literally 15 years,” he admits. “I saw it while I was still in college studying design. It has this ubiquitous feel, but the terracotta finish with the hand-painted bamboo motif makes it a little bit more unique. It’s been sitting on my Pinterest board for so long.”

In the adjacent living area, a velvet Pottery Barn sleeper sofa (for accommodating overnight guests) mingles with a 1960s Bassett surfboard cocktail table, wiggly bronze Design Frères Méandre accent chairs, and molded glass-and-brass Brasher sconces from Hudson Valley Lighting. But it’s the commissioned painting, with its tawny hue and moody flowers, that steals the show.

“It’s my favorite thing in the world,” raves Justin. “It’s by another one of my friends from school, a fine artist named David Silverstein. I sent him a photo of the pendant in the dining room and some other inspiration images of what I was going for and he was able to draw this out and then paint it at his studio in Connecticut. I think it’s amazing.”

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“When there’s someone staying in this room, they can pull the curtain across and have a little bit more privacy,” says Justin.


Nearby, the new bedroom-office includes a Serena & Lily Presidio Trundle daybed (to squeeze in more guests), Love House butcher block cubes, a tiny artwork by Justin’s friend Matt Jackson, and a fluted Studio McGee for Threshold cabinet. Most notably, the compact chamber is covered in a beige Helene Blanche wallpaper that evokes Justin’s childhood.

“It gives me a bit of a country vibe,” he describes. “I grew up in a Colonial Williamsburg reproduction house, which was very popular in the ’90s, and this just reminded me of that in some way. It makes this a really cozy, nostalgic space. I like that there is a pattern, but it’s neutral, so when I’m working, I am not distracted by it. It helps me focus and it creates a little cocoon for me to be productive in.”

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