After Homepolish's Casey DeBois designed a Brooklyn loft for Uprise Art founder Tze Chun, we caught up with Chun to talk design, New York living, and, of course, art.
Photos by Claire Esparros.
Uprise Art and Homepolish actually have quite a history together, and we’ve used your company in so many of our projects. How did that relationship start?
“Noa and I met in 2012, and we hit it off immediately. His vision for Homepolish was very much aligned with my vision for Uprise Art. Homepolish makes it easy for people to live in spaces they love, and similarly, Uprise Art makes it easy for people to find original artwork they love. Over the last four years, we have collaborated with Homepolish on tons of projects.”
Homepolish makes it easy for people to live in spaces they love, and similarly, Uprise Art makes it easy for people to find original artwork they love.
So when you moved into this apartment, you decided it was finally time to work with us on your OWN space?
“When my husband Geoff and I found this Prospect Park loft, I reached out to designer Casey DeBois right away. Casey and I often collaborate on artwork for her projects, and her clients are always so happy working with her and love the design of their homes.”
Then compared to working on a client’s space, what was it like to work with Casey on your home?
“From beginning to end, Casey was super positive and an amazing problem solver. She understands my style and she would find several options that she knew I’d like, as well as a few wild cards. I ended up loving pieces that I would have never thought to look for. Plus, she completely embraced the fact that I wanted the apartment to feel eclectic. We worked off of each others’ ideas to create something unique.”
Casey completely embraced the fact that I wanted to apartment to feel eclectic. We worked off of each others’ ideas to create something unique.
What did the space have going for it initially?
“Geoff is 6′ 5″, so finding an apartment where he could stretch was at the top of our list. The apartment has high ceilings, a kitchen where we could both cook together, and space to entertain. That said, when we first found it, it was a 3-bedroom with built-in hallways, a painted green kitchen, and tapestries over the skylights. I love spaces with a lot of unrealized potential, and this definitely fit the bill.”
So beyond the architectural challenges, were there other issues you had to deal with?
“An open loft is an interesting challenge because there are no restrictions (or rooms!). In that initial visit, Casey helped me conceptualize how to define different living spaces within the loft and, more importantly, she shared in my excitement for the project. The loft also has no closets or storage space, which concerned me, but Casey had lots of suggestions and pulled together resources to make it functional.”
The wonders of making New York apartments functional! Now that everything is done, what are your favorite design features?
“Oh, when Casey saw our set of uneven stairs, she had the idea to wallpaper them to create a little surprise you can see from the lower level. She took a lot of the aspects of loft living that are difficult, and not only found a silver lining but thought of ways to make them features that we love.”
“I also wanted parts of the apartment to feel a bit retro, like 1960s Hong Kong and Singapore, the two places where my family is from and where I used to spend summers growing up. Casey helped bring in bamboo, rattan, and vintage elements, and make the apartment feel warm and lived in.”
And since you’re in the art world, there must be a TON of art!
“I work with incredible artists all day, and it’s rewarding to come home and experience first-hand what a difference it is to live with art, surrounded by beautiful things. It might not be a huge space, but we are surrounded by some of my favorite pieces from Uprise, including works from Erin Lynn Welsh, Adam Ryder, Anthony Cudahy, Chad Kouri, Jesse Weiss, Ryan James MacFarland, Jen Wink Hays, Xochi Solis, Kyle Simon, Eric LoPresti, Dolly Faibyshev, and Rebeca Raney.”
It’s rewarding to come home and experience first-hand what a difference it is to live with art, surrounded by beautiful things.
That’s 12 artists! You might as well charge admission for visitors!
To see the full featured space, check out Tze’s home tour!