Any NYC resident knows how necessary it is to make sacrifices when apartment hunting. A potential home may be a twenty-minute hike from the nearest subway station and lack any storage space, but those drawbacks are easily overshadowed by original hardwood floors or vaulted ceilings. But for Angie Venezia and Reed Loar, no sacrifices were required when they found their loft in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Go ahead, embrace the jealousy.
There's something satisfyingly indulgent about getting to look behind the normally closed doors of someone else's home. That's why, with the help of Dyson and its commitment to design and technology, we created this series of guided tours of some of New York's artfully articulated apartments and the people who live there.
"When we first walked in, we both had the same instantaneous reaction," Venezia says. "It was exactly what we were looking for: open space, lots of sunlight, and in our price range. It was too good to be true."
The couple moved into the three-bedroom, 1,250-square-foot apartment in September. Since then they've been working together to turn it into a home, which has entailed hanging a set of Edison light bulbs (found at NYC-based Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.) from the kitchen's elevated ceiling and decorating the space with original pieces. Some of the artwork and furnishings were made by their relatives: the space is decorated with paintings by Angie's grandmother and sculptures made by Reed's father, a cabinetmaker, including a smooth, egg-shaped Shiva lingam and a maple wood mirror.
Woodworking skills run in the family, as evidenced by the towering wood-and-metal bookcase that Reed constructed. The massive piece serves as the living room's focal point and houses Venezia's extensive collection of books, acquired in her work as a book publicist. This creation is the product of Angie and Reed's fruitless search through local stores and websites for their ideal shelving, which left them empty-handed. "I'll get design inspiration from a particular piece of furniture I see in a store or online," Loar says. "If I find something I like but I can't buy it then I'll just build it myself."
The couple used the steel-grey color of the metal on the bookcase as a jumping-off point for the rest of the room, which is decorated in muted tones. A Native American-inspired rug from the Joinery, a boutique in Williamsburg, lends a splash of color to the room.
"We both have a clean design aesthetic," says Venezia. "You just can't have a lot of knickknacks in a New York apartment."
A few inherited pieces hold sentimental value, including a steamer trunk brought by a great-great grandmother when she emigrated to the United States from Germany, and a mustard-yellow blanket from Venezia's childhood home that is draped over their sofa.
If they were unable to build a piece they envisioned, or acquire it from family, Angie and Reed scoured design blogs, Pinterest, and local shops for inspiration. They also relied on design-focused mass retailers like Crate & Barrel and West Elm for basics, like a pair of midcentury modern-inspired grey sofas.
The bedroom receives ample sunlight thanks to its southeastern exposure. But this perk also has a drawback: dust. "We dust regularly, but once a month we do a deep cleaning of the whole place," Venezia says. "This building used to be a knitting factory, so it still has the original hardwood floors and white brick walls. You can easily see when they get dusty."
Luckily, dust accumulation is one of the few—maybe only—drawbacks of the open space. The couple turned what was the apartment's original master bedroom into a storage space, which contains a ladder leading to a loft where they store racks of their clothing. The ample space is enough to make any New Yorker jealous.
"We have the perfect amount of space to stash stuff," Venezia says. "It's nice to get everything out of sight and out of the way."
Once you've found the apartment of your dreams, team up with the Dyson DC59 Animal to keep your space immaculate while maintaining high standards of design and technology.
Images by Marlene Rounds.
Jennifer Nalewicki is a travel writer based in Brooklyn, New York. Her writing has been featured in Interior Design, Wine Enthusiast, Hemispheres, Esquire.com, and more.