In a loft space that dates back to 1885, Homepolish designer Jae Joo partnered with her client to create a space that gives off an effortless sense of modernism meets bohemia.
Photos by Nick Glimenakis.
Liz, we understand that this home has quite the history. How old is the space?
Liz: “The space itself dates all the way back to 1885. My husband Benji and I have owned the loft for five years, and we did an (almost) full gut renovation over a year ago. The only parts we left intact were the original tin ceilings and original brick wall.”
Well, both details definitely give a sense of history. Why did you want to bring in Homepolish after the renovation?
Liz: “I personally love interior design, but between a growing business, The Fhitting Room, and being a busy New Yorker, I didn’t have the bandwidth to take on curating and sourcing all of the décor on my own, which is where Homepolish came in. I needed someone who understood my aesthetic and was open to creative collaboration but would also bring new ideas to the table. Jae turned out to be the perfect fit.”
Jae: “Our aesthetics and personality matched immediately, so the entire process was super easy. Liz is incredible at decorating, and this was very much her vision. She’d give me her overall concept for each room, and I’d find the pieces that would fit. The process felt like friends shopping in a fitting room.”
Liz: “Well, Jae has an infectious personality and a great eye for unique pieces and style pairings. She was extremely easy to work with and was always ready with new ideas if I didn’t love the original ones. She also has impeccable personal style… and my cat loved her!”
Wow, sounds like there is a lot of love coming out of this project! Pre-design-work, what did the loft look like?
Jae: “After the renovation, the apartment was perfectly modern and bright, but it veered more toward feminine and light. Liz wanted something a little darker and bolder.”
It looks like that stronger aesthetic was achieved mostly through colors and finishes. Those kitchen cabinets are a good example.
Liz: “Oh, those were quite a process. The upper cabinets in our kitchen are a custom distressed bronze, which took the fabricator more than 20 samples to finally create the texture and distressed look we were aiming for (a mix of hammering with different sized heads, wire brushing, and sanding).”
Jae: “And Liz pulled those off before we even met!”
Now that everything is completed, what are your favorite parts?
Jae: “I had never tried antique mirror tiles in any project. Not only does it look incredible and moody, but it totally opened up the living and dining space.”
Liz: “And you had never done a hanging chair! That was my idea, and we both love it. I also love the seating banquette in the dining area. It was custom made.”
Jae: “And we can’t forget the office redesign. That dark accent wall with the matching shelves? Done. It was finished in Benjamin Moore’s Abyss. It just SOUNDS moody.”
Sounds like there are a TON of shout-outs throughout the home!
Jae: “Oh yeah, we didn’t even mention the bedroom wallpaper by my favorite source House of Hackney…”
Liz: “Or the vintage mid-century modern patchwork wood buffet, the ‘Oy-Vey’ neon sign in my entry, and the vintage rattan peacock chair in my bedroom.”
You two could probably go on forever!
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Jae’s work in this Brooklyn loft.