The Eclectic Collector

The Eclectic Collector

The Eclectic Collector


Homepolish designer Jae Joo considers her home more collected than designed, and the expert mix of styles speaks to her eclectic eye. Just don’t ask her to share sources.

Photos by Nick Glimenakis

Designer Jae Joo often describes her personal style as “high-end hoarder” and floats into the office wearing showstopping and enviable caftans and capes, which means pretty much everyone at Homepolish wanted to get a look at her own home.

It didn’t disappoint.

Her designs impeccably blend minimalist lines with statement-making accents, but in her own space, she’s a little more loose.

“If I had to describe my design style in three words they would be eclectic, dramatic, and lived-in,” Jae explains. “I am more about the individual pieces and finishes rather than coming up with an overall, general concept.”

The Tribeca home she shares with her husband, Devin, and two dogs, Jack and Declan, is filled with notice-me-accents, like a trio of classical busts, a scrolling brass chair with crimson upholstery, and more rugs than one could imagine would fit in a 2,200-square-foot space.

“I find designing my own home is completely different than designing for a client,” Jae explains. “I see myself as more of a collector than a designer for my own space. I want to make sure that every piece I have is special to me, whether it’s a plant or chair, functional or not. I take more risks in my own home.”

So she picks pieces as she’s drawn to them (and makes sure they work for her husband as well). Items that have made the cut: a vintage oversized apple, a Tibetan tiger rug, a 1920s sideboard.

“If I have an emotional reaction towards an item, I usually try to find a way to bring it home,” Jae explains. “Since that tends to happen pretty often, I have to take some time to decide whether it’s really special or if I’m just being impulsive.”

Her curatorial restraint and the home’s airy architectural details (those arched windows, the exposed brick) balance the character with clean lines, but of course to a designer, the work is never done.

“It always feels like it can be better,” Jae admits. “I can’t even imagine how obsessive I’ll get when we do a renovation. Decorating my space is easy since I know what I like, and I’m not afraid to try something unusual. Right now, I love the space the way it is.”

Click on the gallery below to fully immerse yourself in Jae’s eclectic space. Ready to get started on your own? Sign up for Homepolish today.

In this tour:
Living Room