When a free-spirited couple in Williamsburg hired Homepolish's Jae Joo, she had 2 months to take their loft from bare bones to a creative haven.
Photos by Julia Robbs.
There’s nothing as exciting (and simultaneously intimidating) as a blank slate. And when it came to Brooke Hammel and Jose Alvarez, a trendy and free-spirited couple in Williamsburg, their “slate” was a big one. Recently moving into a sprawling loft, they thought they might take a stab at the design themselves. The apartment, formerly an Esquire Shoe Polish Factory with its aged brick, concrete floors, and exposed beams and HVAC system, started looking less like an opportunity and more like a task. They quickly came to realize that they needed to call in a pro, not only for the design but also to mediate their tastes.
From the recommendation of several friends, they came to Homepolish and were matched with our designer Jae Joo. Taking on the project, they informed Jae that she only had 2 months to complete the space, since Jose hoped to host the launch of his scent company, Abbott NYC, in the apartment. They immediately hit the ground running.
Jae quickly found that Brooke and Jose are a couple with eclectic taste (to say the least). From a print by the renowned artist JR, Santa Maria Novella toiletries, Yeezys, a Darth Vader mask, and multiple surfboards, she had to find a place for everything. They also draw inspiration from multiple sources whether it’s far-off destinations like Morocco or simply the Edition Hotel in New York.
Jae tackled those 20-foot ceilings first. In the living area, a custom bookshelf was built out by Brooklyn Bookcasing and styled with vintage finds and souvenirs from the couple’s travels. Opposite the shelving unit, the wall gallery to end all wall galleries incorporates beautiful photography and taxidermy. (Both the shelves and the gallery required special scaffolding to install.) Since the couple loves entertaining, both the sectional and dining table are sprawling, and the kitchen sports a black marble island fit for a restaurant-grade space. In the end, we’re not quite sure what’s more impressive: the design or the fact that they completed everything in only 2 months.
See even more in the slideshow, or check out the feature on Business Insider!
Upon meeting Jae, it was no question that we wanted to work with her. She was able to take our tastes and personalities and transform our space into a home that truly reflects us both as individuals, ultimately turning our blank space into an oasis that we love. It’s comfortable yet elegant, clean and yet tastefully kitschy, simple and yet imaginative. It is a home we can enjoy now and grow into in the years to come.- Brooke Hammel, Homepolish client