IN EVERY ISSUE
MEET THE TEAM
GET IN CHECK
THE EDITORS’ GIFT PICKS
RUE SHOPS WaShIngton d.C.
STUDIO TOUR Silks and satins galore: it’s the world of nelle handbags.
SURVIVAL GUIDE ValentIne’S day
SURVIVAL GUIDE Mix up a layered cocktail we call the Chocolate Flirt!
REFRESHED AND REFINED
IN THE WORKS
a warm haven of winter knits and silks.
a Seattle designer makes his home— and his office—in a 220-square foot space.
CHARLOTTE LANDING a home-away-from-home in the city.
Cleaner eating in 2012.
SMALL SCALE STYLE Maximum style gets minimized.
THE EVERYGIRL graphic designer danielle Moss fills a bright, clean Chicago slate.
ROOM FOR TWO light makes up for lack of space in Manhattan.
find us everywhere www.highpointmarket.org
THE NEXT SIX DAYS THAT MATTER
800.874.6492 | email@example.com
With the holiday season—and the overindulgence that accompanies it— behind us, we thought kicking off the new year with our very first Small Spaces issue was the perfect way to rein in the excess. Besides, who doesn’t love the charm and allure of intimate living, and especially during the chilly days of winter? Personally, I find it irresistible. When we think ‘quaint quarters’, we think of smart storage solutions, optimal organization, and creative design approaches concepts to make the most of our snug rooms. But it isn’t always easy; with this issue, we hope to shed light on these age-old obstacles and leave you with applications to reinterpret in your own abode. even if you don’t live in a small home, don’t worry. this issue’s ideas are easily applied to any closet, nook, and cranny that leaves your creative juices running on empty.
PHOTOGRAPHY: EMILY JOHNSTON ANDERSON
no matter in which corner of the country we live, city dwellers tend to face the space challenge more often than not. So we traveled from West Coast to east Coast; Midwest to South, in search of the most clever techniques we could find. though you’ll see that each home is different in aesthetic, one thing remains the same: they show us that big is not necessarily better, and that sacrificing square footage doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. not even close. of course it wouldn’t be an issue of rue if we didn’t have a little extra fun with things. So when a few talented friends approached us with their concept for an ultimate, over-the-top dollhouse photo shoot, we couldn’t resist the Small Spaces tie-in. and when it comes to fashion, there’s something to be said for wrapping yourself in winter’s best knits and layers—it’s the sartorial equivalent of cozy decorating. Plus with Valentine’s day around the corner, we’ve included a few sweet nothings here and there as well; it’s never too soon to start stockpiling kisses. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Cheers to 2012! though small on space, may it be big on inspiration, style, and joy! Sincerely,
CRYSTAL GENTILELLO CO-FOUNDER and EDITOR IN CHIEF
h a n d c r a f t ed a m e rica n - m a d e f u r n it u r e
Beck chair $ 899 - 1199 all items priced as shown.
Choose from timeless designs for every room in your home, with limitless options for fabric, finish and sizes Find the perfect solution with custom furniture thatâ€™s ready in six weeks or less Get an unlimited number of items delivered anywhere in the contiguous 48 states for a flat rate of $229
Atlanta Chicago Denver Los Angeles Minneapolis New York San Francisco Washington D.C. Our free catalog has 380 pages of inspiration. Order yours at roomandboard.com. 800.952.8455
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PHOTO: TRENT BAILEY PHOTOGRAPHY
FEATURE PHOTO GRAPHERS
John StoFFer ron royalS PhotograPhy
eMIly JohnSton anderSon
Jen gotCh We are the rhoadS
alaIna KaCZMarSKI styling
Kara BrodgeSell videography
lIZ SChneIder wardrobe styling
alICIa BUSZCZaK styling
Kat MCeaChern intern
Molly deCoUdreaUX photography
Chloe roth copy
KatIe rodgerS illustration
reBeCCa orloV copy
dIana PerrIn styling
KatIe StooPS photography
reVa gorBaty hair
Jenna FaIn copy
lIndSay goldner intern
ShoKo Wanger copy
JUlIa WalSh copy
lISa MoIr wardrobe styling
Woodnote PhotograPhy photography
ZInC door $790
layla grayCe $145
CUrrent ellIot $200
trIna tUrK $110
trIna tUrK $110
KATIE RIDDER HOME
ForeVer 21 $2
Light, bright, refreshing: it’s the visual answer to a single spoonful of sorbet between courses.
dWell StUdIo $28/YARD
World’S aWay $1010
SHOPPING CART tonIC hoMe $350
CalyPSo hoMe $185
Crate & Barrel $5
Jonathan adler $150
elIZaBeth and JaMeS $125 aterIorS $310
JeSS lC $14
MIRROR Pardon the pun, but January is the best time of year to get reﬂective, wouldn’t you say?
MadeWell $20 Zara hoMe $4
Crate & Barrel $30
Serena & lIly $28
FIVe StrIPeS $44
eMPIrIC StUdIo $65
FREAK Box ‘em up, bag ‘em up, rack ‘em up: you show those old magazines who’s boss.
WeSt elM $100
ContaIner Store $10
PURE STYLE HOME/LAUREN LIESS
UrBan oUtFItterS $20
Kate SPade $198
MarC By MarC JaCoBS $158
CoMMe deS garConS $305
CHECK That resolution to pay every bill on time? It just became so much more fun. MIU MIU $480
See By Chloe $195 lodIS $128
SHOPPING CART MIMI hollIday $144
CartIer CONTACT FOR PRICE
SWanSon VIneyardS $25
olyMPUS $899 d.r. harrIS & Co $275
general Knot & Co $108
gregg WolF $330
MIChael BaStIan $225
ChronICle BooKS $11
red rooSter tradIng Co $72
PaUl SMIth $88
BUlleIt rye $23
NELLE HANDBAGS Accessories designer Laura Nelli makes room for function and fancy in her Minneapolis workspace and showroom. With their signature bows and beautifully hidden contents, and made to mark the most special of occasions, every nelle handbag feels like a little gift. an impeccably hand-wrapped gift, that is. the couture craftsmanship behind every nelle bag begins with a sketch made by designer laura nelli at her home office in Minneapolis, Minnesota. From good luck charms to rainbows of ribbon, the 16’ x 20’ studio is filled with design inspiration. “I surround myself with a mix of found objects and classic pieces,” says nelli. “this dichotomy is exciting, and the challenge for me is to keep it from feeling cluttered, as I get a little overzealous with my layering.” though you wouldn’t know it from looking at her office. how did she turn a space that doubles as a dining room for dinner parties into a sanctuary of creative stimulus? to a soundtrack provided by her grandfather’s vintage record collection, nelli enlisted a dIy attitude, a little elbow grease, and the help of a few tool-handy family members. the first stroke of move-as-needed genius was to put every piece
Photography: Woodnote Photography Copy: Chloe Roth
of furniture on coasters. Nelli whitewashed pine
was made by my super talented bestie Tara la Tour,”
planks for shelves, her husband built the table from
Nelli gushes. “I have it on display because it is just
Craigslist finds. Since NELLE clutches and belts
too beautiful to put away.”
are available in nearly 300 fabrics, baskets of raw
Though her studio’s ivory centerpiece and wall
materials—organized by color—line the shelving
art, designed by her husband for the ceremony
unit built by Nelli’s father.
backdrop at their nuptials, wax nostalgic for her
Well-built structures decorated with a bit of whimsy?
wedding day, Nelli didn’t start out designing for
Nelli’s interior design aesthetic rings true to how
brides. “I just made what I liked and that happened
she approaches her line of accessories. “I design
to be petite silk clutches,” she says. “The brides
colorful, modern pieces with a dash of panache.
found me and slowly NELLE has evolved into a
I focus on creating a solid foundation then layer
company that makes little pieces of couture you
interesting details on top.” The sweetest detail of
can clutch for the most special of days.”
all? The gown from Nelli’s own recent wedding draws all eyes to the dress form in the corner. “[It]
“I WAS InSPIRED TO cREATE mY OWn OPPORTUnITY AnD nOT TO lET OThERS DETERmInE WhAT mY lIFE cOUlD BE.”
nelli, fresh out of college, turned her attention from collating papers at a copy shop to the “creative streak” nagging at her career conscience. “ten dollars and one used sewing machine from the thrift store and I was in business.” turned out she knew how to make incredibly chic handbags. In 2009 nelli left the Pr world to design full-time. “I was inspired to create my own opportunity and not to let others determine what my life could be.” It paid off. In november nelli teamed up with l’atelier Couture to open a nelle showroom in its couture bridal boutique. nestled amongst the crème de la crème of wedding designers, the 300 square foot showroom features over 100 nelle accessories. out West at rue Mag headquarters, we were feeling a particularly strong affinity towards said accessories. turns out a piece of our fine city, a Japanese fortune cat statue (seen next to ribbon shelf) holds court at nelle headquarters across the great plains. nelli picked it up on a trip to San Francisco in 2008. “I swear it works,” she says. “nelle has experience nothing but good fortune since I brought it home.” For the sake of clutch-less brides everywhere, we’re nothing but glad!
Describe your style in five words. Classic, feminine, and always easygoing. Favorite type of party to throw? I invite friends to grill pizzas in the backyard. Food tastes better when everyone helps make it! What’s your cooking philosophy? Use simple preparations and the best seasonal ingredients you can find. Go-to hostess gift? A big wedge of excellent parmesan. What entrepreneur most inspires your career? I love the way Martha Stewart pursues beauty in all that she does. Favorite piece in your wardrobe? Céline Tote. Guilty pleasure? Rocky road ice cream and weekly manicures. How do you start the interior design process? Scour my favorite blogs and shelter mags for inspiration. Must-have beverage? Lattés in the morning, champers after that. Currently on your wishlist? A lifetime supply of Diptyque candles. Always in your beauty arsenal? Nars lipstick in Pago Pago. Describe Meg in one word. Passionate.
they’ve taken the world of lifestyle blogging by storm, but did you know that camille of camille Styles anD meg of mimi+meG are also college besties? of course, long gone are the days of microwave ramen in the dorm. Describe your style in five words. Edgy. Modern. Global. Classic. Pattern. Favorite type of party to throw? I’m more of a party-goer than a party throw-er, but I love to have a small group of girls over for lots of laughter and drinks. What’s your cooking philosophy? I call Camille with my cooking questions. Go-to hostess gift? A Jo Malone candle. What entrepreneur most inspires your career? Kelly Wearstler. She’s let her aesthetic lead her career and has turned it into a multifaceted business. Favorite piece in your wardrobe? My metallic snakeskin Kate Spade KiKi wedges. Guilty pleasure? Chocolate covered raisins from Whole Foods. How do you start the interior design process? I like to have an inspiration item that sets the tone for the room, like a large piece of art or a rug. Must-have beverage? I’m one of those annoying people who loves water. Currently on your wishlist? A living room overhaul. Always in your beauty arsenal? Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara.
Describe Camille in one word. Classic. ILLUSTRATIONS: KATIE RODGERS
WASHINGTON D.C. with Rebecca Orlov &
Holly E. Thomas PHOTOGRAPHY: KATIE STOOPS PHOTOGRAPHY COPY: REBECCA ORLOV
although Washington, d.C. may be known for it’s powerful political drive, there’s also a burgeoning and incredibly thoughtful creative scene in this town that is full of tastemakers and innovators. Small space dweller and design blogger rebecca orlov of loving. living. small. recently relocated to the d.C area with a new husband and pup in tow. She wasted no time scouting out some of the best resources the city has to offer, and she recently met with longtime resident, refinery29 d.C. editor, and style setter holly e. thomas of design collective Butler + Claypool. together they enjoyed a day of shopping, wine, and design in the nation’s capital.
1511 King Street Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314 Fifteen/eleven is a curated paper shop owned by stationery master Suann Song (you likely know her wildly popular blog Simple Song!) “Visiting the shop,” says rebecca, “is like stepping into one of Suann’s cards; it’s pretty, it’s well-designed, and it just makes you feel happy.”
232 Carroll Street NW
trohv is the perfect name for this newly opened takoma Park gift shop, as there are treasures to discover around every corner. the owners smartly curate their space with purposeful goods that provide the finishing touch for every room in your home, or unique little gifts.
1831 14th Street NorthwestÂ rebecca visited MulĂŠh one week after moving to d.C. last august and has since returned countless times. the boutique features wellknown fashion designers like Philip lim and up-andcomers such as Sea and Cavage. Stylized furniture vignettes punctuate the pretty showroom, making for perfect inspiration file fodder.
1428 U Street, NW
LEGENDARY BEAST 1520 U Street Northwest
d.C.’s design lovers can’t help but immerse themselves in the rich visual moments throughout this ever-popular furniture shop. run by one of Washington dC’s most charming couples, the store carries unique home finds that include a mix of american Contemporary, arts and Crafts, and vintage galore.
holly describes this jewelry shop on the top floor of a Victorian house as “your grandma’s attic, if your grandma had the wildest taste in jewelry.” there’s something here for everyone—just pick your poison.
Stepping into Cork is like entering a modern enoteca in Florence, with its brick walls, industrial tables, coffee goods, and awe-inspiring display of wine bottles. don’t miss the cheese counter where a fromagier passionately guides you in the selections of the day. a warm—and delicious!—refuge in the city.
1805 14th Street Northwest
THE RUE 2012
VALENTINE’S DAY survival guide
PhOTOGRAPhY: MOLLy DECOuDREAuX PHOTOgRAPHy
STYlInG & cOPY: ANNE SAgE
WOOD PROPS: DAVID STARK DESIgN
Early spring blooms are a welcome alternative to the same old roses. We chose fragrant paperwhites, ruffled narcissus, and blushing tulips.
From the fun new â€˜Woodshopâ€™ collaboration between designers David Stark and Nina Freundenberger!
WHIPPINg uP A LAyERED DRINK IS ONE OF THE PRETTIEST WAyS TO MAKE A COCKTAIL IMPRESSION—AND IT’S EASIER THAN IT LOOKS!
• generous blob oF hot Fudge • 1 oZ irish creme liQueur • 1 oZ heavy cream • 1 oZ vodka • in a glass, layer ingredients in the order listed.
The Sweet &Sultry Chocolate Flirt
the back oF a spoon creates the slow, steady pour needed to ‘Float’ the layers.
CLEANER EATING IN 2012 PHOTOGRAPHY: JEN ALTMAN COPY & RECIPES: MARISSA LIPPERT
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE RECIPES!
January is notorious for being a month of fresh
AGUA: Start guzzling. Water keeps digestion
starts, particularly when it comes to cleaning
running smoothly and squeezes out toxins. For
up eating habits after the whirlwind of holiday
an extra detox sweep, start each morning with a
indulgences has finally fizzled. Resolutions aside
cup of hot water and lemon. Works like a charm!
(we all know those are out of mind by March anyway), itâ€™s fair to say that most of us are ready
BREAD & PASTA: Challenge yourself. Look
for a bit of a detox, or clean up if you will. Focusing
to other sources of nutrient-packed carbs like
in on cleansing ingredients and targeting simple
sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, farro, oats,
strategies will have you back to feeling your best
winter squashes, lentils, and beans, just to name
in no time. Of course, they can be employed all
year-long, but we figured calling them out loud and clear now wouldnâ€™t hurt.
goodbye. Fill your fridge with ingredients like citrus, avocado, fennel, beets, celery root, dark
FRUITS & VEG: Up your fruit and vegetable intake in any way possible. Highlight seasonal produce, which boast higher amounts of vitamins and has even more flavor.
leafy greens, wild salmon, and chili peppers. *Oh yeah, and curb the alcohol for a few weeks. Painful maybe, but your liver and your waistline will thank you in the long run.
JANUARY ISSUE 2011
STYLE IT’S MAXIMALISM IN MINIATURE
AS THREE MANIACALLY TALENTED ARTISTS, TWO THIMBLE-SIZED BIRD CAGES, AND ONE VERY TINY VODKA MARTINI BRING A HOST OF DOLLHOUSE FANTASIES TO LIFE.
PHOTOgRAPHy: JEN gOTCH CONCEPT, STyLINg, ORIgINAL RECIPES: DIANA PERRIN STyLINg, CONSTRuCTION, RECIPE ILLuSTRATIONS:: ALICIA BuSZCZAK
min路i路a路ture a thing that is much smaller than normal.
BUTTER E BUnDT cAK
‘CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE RECIPES AND MAKE FULL-SIZE VERSIONS!’
S.W. mIllER VODKA mA RTIn
U I n OA Q D E I R cU R cRAnBERRY cASSEROlE
IN THE WORKS
A Seattle designer creates a pictureperfect home & office. Photography: We Are The Rhoads Copy: Julia Walsh Interior Design: Brian Paquette
“My dorm in boarding school was larger,” recalls interior designer Brian Paquette. Oddly enough, Paquette’s 220-square-foot, Capitol Hill, Seattle studio has one major element in common with his prep school home: it doubles as a live/work space. When he’s not visiting clients, Paquette is at home doing the nitty-gritty of a self-employed designer: paperwork. Not surprisingly, what he loves most about his home is his desk, a repurposed mid-century dining room table.
client binders, oFFice supplies, and wallpaper samples are tucked away in a vintage locker that moonlights as a bench.
a large Floor mirror leans against the wall:
A CLASSIC VISUAL TRICK For making a space seem twice the siZe.
“It’s where I spend the most time, searching on the computer, working on a project, posting on my blog, or writing emails. It keeps me working hard,” he says. The workspace is styled to perfection with antique metal boxes, a demijohn lamp he designed, and a jieldé-inspired task lamp from restoration hardware. A black and white bertoia chair with an army-green seat pad, “practically made” for him, completes the scene. Functionality was a reigning goal for the studio, so paquette acquired dual-purpose décor that works just as hard as he does. Client binders, office supplies, and wallpaper samples are tucked away in a vintage locker that moonlights as a bench. A fabric library is stored in an entrance dumbwaiter (the historic building is a former hotel), and pantry shelves hold decorating books by idols like billy baldwin.
“STORAGE IS AND WILL ALWAYS BE AN ISSUE,” he concedes,
“but what it teaches you is to purge what you don’t use.”
“THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE FOR CLEANLINESS
LIVING IN A SMALL HOME. says brian,
IT TEACHES YOU IS TO PURGE WHAT YOU DON’T USE.”
Although utilitarian, the compact quarters also rank high on the statement-making scale. It’s hard not to lose yourself in the reef of vintage photographs above the bed, amassed over time at flea markets and antique dealers. “I have upwards of 7,000 of them,” he notes. “None of them are family, I keep most in boxes, and the layout just kind of happens organically. I see something that moves me in every single one.” It’s clear that Paquette has an affinity for nostalgia. He describes his aesthetic as
“sense memory,” or the experience of “walking into a space and feeling a connection on a deeper level than just surface comfort or visual pleasure.” This echos in accessories throughout, such as the driftwood he discovered on a Seattle beach, the TIME magazine issues dated with his parents’ birth years, the 48-star flag he hand-dyed and framed, and the Diptyque Feu de Bois candles, which evoke the scent of a working fireplace.
THERE’S EVEN A YEARNING FOR THE PAST in Paquette’s logo, which is tattooed on his hand and printed on the button that adorns his desk; the shape, which, when inverted, resembles a house with a staircase in it, was the crest of his boarding school dorm. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Paquette moved into this dormitory-esque address: it’s like living on memory lane.
EVERygIRL GRAPhIc DESIGn & PhOTOGRAPhY mAVEn danielle moss InVITES RUE InTO hER chicago home. PHOTOgRAPHy: JOHN STOFFER COPy: JENNA FAIN STyLINg: ALAINA KACZMARSKI WARDROBE STyLINg: LIZ SCHNEIDER HAIR: REVA gORBATy
is gearing up to be a colorful year for Danielle Moss. Her signature spirited point of view on Breakfast at Toast has drawn over 1,500 bloggers to seek her design consultation. In February, Danielle will unveil The Everygirl with friend and business partner Alaina Kaczmarski: a resource to equip women with the career and life advice they need to flourish. A native Angeleno, Danielle began blogging in 2007. Her clean yet punchy aesthetic quickly garnered her an impressive clientele
in graphic design, with a specialty in custom and pre-made blog design. In 2010, she boldly chopped her hair off, packed up, and moved from LA to Chicago with her perky pup, Buddy. â€œI grew tired of LA and decided that I needed a change. I love Chicago because you get all the benefits of living in a city, combined with the friendliness of the Midwest,â€? Danielle says. She sold most of her belongings, thereby creating a blank canvas that she could fill along the journey.
Floating shelves create the illusion of an airier, loftier space while adding muchneeded extra storage.
An eat-in counter takes the place of a table when no dining room exists, HAVING cute stools a must!
With only three days to apartment hunt, Danielle had to be most conscious of how she could combine an inspiring living space. “I created a little office between my living room and kitchen. I’m almost always my computer, so I included some pretty details that make me smile throughout the day.” A quirky pinboard, vibrant floral arrangements, and shimmery candles add warmth to her work zone. Danielle’s approach to home design is rooted in an understated yet effervescent glamour. An art-deco bedroom mirror, metallic accents, and vintage bar stools stand out against a whitewashed palette and rustic natural undertones. “I tend to keep things pretty neutral but am getting more into pops of color, touches of leopard, and a little sparkle,” she says.
Carve functional areas out of transition zones; Danielleâ€™s office is in the walkway between the kitchen and the living room.
PERSONAL MEMENTOS ADD A DASH OF ROMANCE to Danielle’s abode and keep her connected to home. She recalls, “My sister met Christian Louboutin at a shoe signing and had him write a note to me on a shoebox. She knew I would appreciate it, so I keep it where I can see it everyday.” Old photographs of her grandparents and snapshots of Buddy line the walls. Nods to her roots help Danielle stay empowered and motivated while she crafts content for The Everygirl. Beyond running an in-demand design studio and being a burgeoning web entrepreneur, what’s next for Danielle? She laughs, “Next on my list is a slate gray tufted headboard for my bedroom!” Compared to what she’s accomplished so far, that should be a piece of cake.
THIS PAGE: dress: Isabel Marant indian bone bracelet: Jacquie Aiche
E MBR ACE t o F e n d o F F t h e a r C t I C a I r , C r e at e a h aV e n o F W a r M t h I n S I d e . l ay e r h U e S oF IVory and CreaM WIth KnItS and S I l K S F o r a n I n t I M at e M o o d t h at W I l l thaW eVen the deePeSt ChIll. PhOTOGRAPhY & hAIR & mAKEUP: chElSEA mIllUnchIcK WARDROBE STYlInG: lISA mOIR VIDEOGRAPhY: KARA BRODGESEll
LEFT: sweater: Isabel Marant tarnished rose cuFF: Free People wide brim hat with Feather: Eugenia Kim RIGHT: dress: Shakuhachi silk and crystal bracelet: Chan Luu
vest: SuperFine white sleeveless tank: Alexander Wang embellished lace pant: FreePeople
CLICK TO PLAY VIDEO
LEFT: sweater: Isabel Marant tarnished rose cuFF: Free People wide brim hat with Feather: Eugenia Kim RIGHT: dress: Shakuhachi silk and crystal bracelet: Chan Luu
C H A R L OT T E
E LANDING A H I G H - P O I N T- B A S E D DESIGNER DEVISES A HOME A W AY F R O M H O M E . photography: ron royals copy: Julia walsh interior design: lisa sherry
A FULL WALL OF WINDOWS OPENS UP A CONFINED SPACE, MAKING IT APPEAR LARGER THAN IT IS.
The expression “hard work pays off” brings to mind a number of results, but for interior designer Lisa Sherry, a former set designer and photo stylist, years of effort and sheer talent led to more inquiries from Charlotte, North Carolina residents and to “the perfect excuse to create a crash pad in a great town.” Now Sherry travels between her Charlotte loft, where she works two or three days per week, and her High Point, North Carolina home. The two-bedroom, two-story, 1,000-square-foot loft, which the designer describes as “mini and smart,” was move-in ready from the start. Sherry wanted the loft to be “a real, in-person example” of her team’s work, which has been labeled “casual luxe,”—“beautiful, but not precious,” “sophisticated, but lived in.” Given the spatial limitations, each piece had “to carry its own weight and more.” Her champagne hued Parsons desk cozies up against a custom sectional, doubling as an end table. With its stone top and show-stopping cast-aluminum base, her round Oly Studio dining table gets the most use as a desk. The den (or second bedroom), with its daybed, gold garden stool, and rattan ottoman, can easily transform for sleep or work.
Sherry also used large-scale décor to give the modest space a capacious appearance. A grand, antique portrait of a dapper gentleman, “Mr. Richmond,” as he’s been dubbed, canvases most of the wall above the sofa, unifying the room. “Too many small pieces,” can break up the interior, she points out. The den was painted with wide, vertical stripes of Benjamin Moore Polo Blue to visually raise the ceiling. And as an added perk, floor-to-ceiling windows instill a sense of openness. Yet character didn’t surrender to function. The loft exudes character in every corner. “It’s all about the mix,” she proclaims. “It’s the unexpected element, the break from the norm,” such as the antique French bergère chairs in the decidedly modern living room, “that gives space personality.” And design charisma doesn’t stop at the interior: the balcony is framed with faux boxwoods and a striped Sunbrella panel for privacy. The finishing touch? An antique, round, gilded mirror hangs gracefully from the evergreen shrub. Ever the stylist, Sherry has each detail perfectly placed—in her homes, in her work, in her life.
THE DEN WAS PAINTED WITH WIDE, VERTICAL STRIPES TO VISUALLY RAISE THE CEILING.
2 StyliSh manhattaniteS Share Small Space SecretS PHOTOgRAPHy: EMILy JOHNSTON ANDERSON COPy: SHOKO WANgER
Sam & Stefanie Wessner’s Manhattan apartment may be small, but it’s chock-full of
conversation starters. 102
Take, for instance, the post-WWII watchmaker’s workbench, rare for its metal framework; the striking Danish coffee set, salvaged from an antiques store in Nashville; the pair of upturned hooves – a high school gag gift that now holds an assortment of delicate jewelry; and the shouldermounted fox—impossible to miss—orange-eyed, face fixed in a permanent snarl. “His name is Red,” Stefanie says with affection. “He’s like our pet.” The Wessners, married for three years after meeting in college, have called New York—and their top-floor East Village apartment—home since the summer of 2011. Relocating to the city after six months in Paris, the couple had just a week and a half to find housing. “Sam came back to New York
early to look for an apartment,” Stefanie, a Master’s student in urban planning and design, recalls. “He saw about a dozen before he called me and said, ‘I found this place; you have to trust me. I’m going to get it.’” His instincts were on-point. “It’s pretty incredible,” she continues. “We have this big open space—the living room, dining area, and kitchen together—but we also have a separate bedroom.” Another plus? Light: the Holy Grail of New York apartment living. “We have big windows in every room. It’s so
“It’s like a puzzle: how can we fit everything into this space? We wanted something that felt simple and clean, so we really had to pare down to our favorite pieces. We had to get creative.”
bright.” However, moving in was not without its challenges. “The apartment is about 450 square feet,” says Sam, who’s in the process of opening a bar. “In New York, you don’t have the luxury of an unused dining room or TV room. We have to use all the space we have.” “It’s like a puzzle: how can we fit everything into this space?” says Stefanie. “We wanted something that felt simple and clean, so we really had to pare down to our favorite pieces. We had to get creative.” They also had to get used to one rather peculiar quirk: a Murphy bed, built by a former tenant. “Our room would be too narrow to walk through otherwise,” explains Stefanie. “It’s kind of fun. I remember when I was little, I wanted a Murphy bed so badly.” To maximize space, the top of the bed does double duty as a shelf. Similarly, the watchmaker’s bench—the couple’s first furniture purchase together—functions as counter space at mealtimes. “To make the space feel fresh, we rotate what we have, so it always feels new,” says Stefanie. “Moving the furniture around helps, too. It’s easy for a small place to feel cluttered.” Still, regardless of its complexities, it’s home. “We both feel good in the space,” says Sam. “We have everything we need.” Adds Stefanie, “We also really like our neighborhood. At this time in our lives, it feels like the right place to be.” And Red? Despite his snarl, he seems pretty at home here, too.
Take advantage of every spare surface. An overthe-door shoe unit is a no-brainer.
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