photo: william abranowicz

In this Sunday’s NY Times T magazine, we were happy to see the cover story on John Derian’s East Village apartment photographed by our old friend Bill Abranowicz (whose beauty of a book on Greece we featured some time ago.)It starts with a photo of the naked, as-is space, rife with possibilities. We realized we were relieved we were to see an undone, unslick, unmodern, messy space, tired as we are of clinically modern interiors-porn that are everywhere. Derian had the courage and vision to leave the essentials be.

We loved imagining how we would handle the space were it ours, and then looking at the photos of what Derian did (swell befores-and-afters here), and seeing how our sensibilities differed or grooved with his (we’d nix the dark armoire between the windows blocking all that light and sense of space…but yeah, what about storage?)

It’s a fun lesson on REALLY seeing what’s there and then imagining possibilities.

What would you do?

Related posts: stones and pebbles to fill an odd space
reno planning: bust holes in walls to find out what’s there!
harlem reno: first hang out in the raw space + dream
ellen silverman photographs: inside cuba’s kitchens pt.1
what helps you see things differently?
greece for $31

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3 replies on “how would your decorate this blank slate space?

  1. I myself read this article with pleasure.

    Derian’s solutions seem so perfect, I am not sure I could do any better. But if it were my house, I would have books everywhere. It couldn’t be helped.

  2. I also pored over the NYT make-over article! Abranowitz has a perfect touch with these kind of projects, doesn’t he? Derian really stayed true to the original space, even with the “new” bath and kitchen areas. I love the rustic but sophisticated vibe of the decor. Looks like a place one could live comfortably. Maybe the only thing I would have liked to see is some floor covering — sure, wood floors are wonderful, but without any rugs or window coverings it seems a tad cold and perhaps clattery without any textile to absorb sound.

  3. Sorry but I’m tired of the white white white whether shabby chic or romantic or tres moderne. I need color and texture–something to feel besides hard, peeling surfaces–rugs, curtains, pillows, quilts, weavings. I do like some of the things he did but I agree, the wardrobe is too dark (paint it, um, hot pink?) not my color but this needs some life breathed into it.

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