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On a side street in quiet Queens, Irina, a freelance writer, copy editor and social strategist for Museum of Food and Drink, and Neko, a recording artist and songwriter, have built a cozy, sunshine-filled home together. Inspired by the beauty of tropical nature and the vibrancy of Mexican culture, they pulled pops of orange, blue, yellow, and green into their apartment.
Plants dot the corners of each room and artworks line almost every wall. Loving touches of their relationship, such as a string of polaroids on the fridge, give off a sense of a home-sweet-first-home-together.
Irina, foodie and self-taught chef, prides themselves on a kitchen well-stocked. Neko makes space for their instruments in a home recording studio in the shared office. Beluga, one curious kitten, brings playfulness to the home and rules over all from atop her giant scratching post.
“I think it was major for me to have lots of plants to liven up the apartment while we stayed mostly inside, [especially] to have a piece of nature with us,” comments Irina. “Creating a separated work space, even though [we’re] in the same room, helped us keep important work boundaries and stay productive… much better than working from the couch! It’s helpful to have a dedicated space to feel like ‘it’s time to work.’”
“I think at first when everything was shut down [due to Covid-19] there were some clashes and growing pains,” shares Neko. “Ultimately our relationship got stronger, setting better boundaries for alone time, work time and checking in.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Mid-century modern with vibrant colors
Inspiration: Trips to Mexico, especially the cenotes
Favorite Element: Accent walls and plants
Biggest Challenge: The railroad design of this New York apartment
What Friends Say: “OMGGGG WE LOOOOOVE YOUR APARTMENT”
Proudest DIY: The kitchen chalkboard and kitchen planters
Biggest Embarrassment: Our office chair… yikes! We’ve had this bad boy since college and it is TIME for a new one.
Biggest Indulgence: Our beloved LED “neon” sign and our plants
Best Advice: Sit down and come up with a plan with themes and colors that bring you joy, make a mood board and if you’re on a budget, like us, take your time to work on one room at a time
Dream Sources: Joybird. We also get a lot of inspiration from 1970s designs and traveling.
This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.