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Name: Alexx Duvall, my partner Rob, and our two pets, Ernie (dachshund mix), and Meoweh (cat)
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 800 square feet
Time lived in: 6 months, renting
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: We moved into this apartment in November. We were living in a 450 square foot apartment before this, which was fine — until the lockdowns started. I was already primarily working from home, but having us both home 24/7 for weeks at a time really illustrated our need for a change (aka a bigger space). When we began looking for our new place, the entrance to this building really had me before we even saw the apartment. The courtyard is home to some koi and a turtle I affectionately call “lil buddy.”
My partner and I joke that we styled our living room so that our cat, Meoweh, would look good anywhere in it. Both of our animal’s favorite spots are on our faux fur throw from Stella. It’s a mysteriously hard to photograph piece — but I love the texture it brings to our couch. In planning out this apartment, I really tried to make each little corner feel like a restful space. I got this acrylic chair a few years ago because I like how little visual space it takes up, and I love the Belgian linen pillow from Libeco for the same reason — it’s light, airy… subtle. Above the chair and my giant philodendron selloum is a lightbox my partner made. The shape is steel knockout from another one of his projects, so the fact that it’s my moniker “XX” for Alexx is just a happy coincidence.
For our dining table, I’m using the Pacific Placemats from Libeco. They are easy-care and hide stains well (I drink and often spill red wine, so that’s important for me) and I also love these brass coasters from Stella. I had been eying them for a while, and finally just bought them. Taper candles are a personal favorite item for me. Our candelabra was a housewarming gift for our last apartment from my best friend’s mom. It’s one of my favorite accessories I own. Over the years wax has built upon it, and I love that. It reminds me of all the memories shared with friends and family over the ambiance of candles. Beeswax tapers are my go-to.
Our credenza was a side-of-the-road treasure that my partner found and refinished. It was missing the top drawer so we retrofitted it to be a wine rack. And by we I mean he, I’m not handy at all. A few other favorites in our living/dining room: my collection of candles in various fun shapes (Sitting Goddess candle from Genara, Baby Won’t You Light My Fingers? Candle from DadaDaily), our record playing set up (between the two of us, we have a fairly large record collection), and my authentic sake set that my friend had her mom find and send me from where she lives in Japan!
My coffee machine was a gift to myself this past year for my birthday, and it’s probably the best purchase I’ve ever made. Since standing here making coffee is how I spend the first moments of my day, every day, I’ve taken extra care to make it a place that I feel happy being. Something I love about plants is how they make themselves at home. This jade plant was rehomed to me when my best friend moved to LA. It’s quite happy growing over the machine toward the window.
What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is the kitchen. I spend a lot of my time there, tending to my plants, making coffee, and preparing food. It tends to stay the tidiest space in the house — which is also a plus.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: A colorful, vintage, eclectic jungle.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I just recently bought a philodendron Birkin that I’m really excited about from little shop of soil in Brooklyn! I’m big into thrifting — there’s an old church on my block that’s renovated into a thrift store. They always have fun treasures — I recently bought a Sothebys photography catalog of photography from 1999.
Any advice for creating a home you love? I love the quote from William Morris that says, “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” I’ve applied that standard to everything in my home: beautiful or useful, but hopefully both.
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.