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Johanna's Rare Find




New York, New York



Square Feet:


What I Love About My Home

We love the open feeling, clean lines, and natural light from windows on both sides and a skylight over the kitchen. We're on the top floor which means it's incredibly quiet and we hear far more birds than traffic. We also spent a lot of time thinking about storage so that our space didn't feel too cluttered. The result is twenty feet of floor-to-ceiling hallway cabinets and a significant walk-in closet -- rare finds in NYC.

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home

The biggest challenge was reconciling my obsession with minimalism with my boyfriend's need to have his entire collection of vintage instruments (20 and growing) within arm's reach. Needless to say, our relationship was saved by the discovery of a 'mini' piano with only 61 keys.

Favoriting and voting have ended.

Comments (24)

your kitchen... everything about it... SWOON. also love the bedroom with the floating nightstands and the shelf + cabinets above the bed.

posted by heysandybell on April 21, 2011 at 9:39am
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What a wonderful space. Amazing storage, can't believe it. Sounds like you are in an amazing brownstone :)

posted by arnold on April 21, 2011 at 11:08am
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You're lucky yo have a place with good bones to begin with and let's be honest, this is a decent size for a NYC apartment. Still, I love many things about it: the dark parquet floors, the giant mirror over the fireplace, the yummy kitchen. You're living the dream!

posted by cvgmiami on April 21, 2011 at 1:48pm
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Can you/anyone tell me more about the stools in the kitchen? I just found one in the trash the other day, pretty good condition, I want to know who makes them? and get more! Lovely apt! :-) I do see urban/industrial chic on one end and a vintage/hipster kind on the other. Being more eclectic in the kitchen/bathroom and a little more clean/streamlined in the other areas would definitely make this apt even better!

posted by mizzlola_07 on April 21, 2011 at 2:19pm
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The boyfriend's music room could be home for me. The rest feels cold.

But I'ma favorite this home, not simply for the accordion, wood blocks, pipe shelves, and red desk with phone.... but for the spirit of harmony and compromise. La la la-la la.

posted by Splomo on April 21, 2011 at 5:52pm
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mizzola_07 - you can get two stools for $90 at Overstock.
Tabouret 24-inch Metal Counter Stools (Set of 2)

posted by ElaneB on April 21, 2011 at 5:55pm
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I'm not seeing the photos....

posted by junklover on April 21, 2011 at 7:15pm
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EPIC! That is an awesome space. I think many people could do wonders with that layout and you guys certainly did!

posted by Arnold G on April 21, 2011 at 8:47pm
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That should be fewer but bigger pieces.

posted by mauishopgirl on April 21, 2011 at 9:33pm
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Love your kitchen and your bedroom!! I'm so jealous of your great storage units, I wanted something similar when I built my space but it didn't quite work out. Isn't it great to be able to put everything away?

For your living area, seems like you have tall ceilings? I think that space would also look fantastic with fewer bigger pieces. For instance, just a sectional and a coffee table (instead of the loveseat & two chairs). I think a round dining table would also be very pretty in that space. And also some larger colorful art on the wall and a larger light fixture.

posted by mauishopgirl on April 21, 2011 at 9:32pm
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really like this one!!

posted by mahoganymoon on April 21, 2011 at 11:26pm
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I love the raw, modern look of the kitchen and the bathroom. So chic!

posted by rajaune on April 22, 2011 at 12:02am
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I agree that on first look this could seem cold, but is luxuriously calm and clean. I'm guessing that with all the instruments, also come a lot of musicians gathering to play music and consume food. This austerity is exactly what you need in a place that fills with active people. I love this place designed for an exciting city life and not for the showing off of a lot of fussy stuff.
And I do love stuff, but this is better.

posted by Kate (NC) on April 22, 2011 at 6:59am
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Why can't someone have different styles in one room than the other. The living room is about her hobbies and interests. Her bedroom is about calm and relaxing. I missed the memo that each room has to be tied to the next. If each room looks good, who cares.

posted by delg23 on April 22, 2011 at 9:14am
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I like this! Love the wall of storage. Agree with Kate (NC) that with all that music around, the space will be somewhere that you need to experience to really know how it 'feels' :)

posted by lei on April 22, 2011 at 11:48am
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I think that the area dedicated to the musical instruments — it's really just one room — are is probably the one that seems different from the rest of the apartment.

I really give her a lot of props: Johanna managed to create an orderly, beautiful home and still let her man indulge his love for music.

It speaks to Johanna's skill — not only as a designer but as a girlfriend — that she managed to allow for her boyfriend's passion and still create an orderly environment in the other spaces. It's an astonishing compromise.

I know I wouldn't be able to pull it off.

posted by Terry3 on April 22, 2011 at 9:16pm
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Loosen up. Too clean. Too cold. You need to give in more to the dark, boyfriend side.

posted by digger61 on April 23, 2011 at 7:37am
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such an amazing space.. i could do so much with it. Highlight is the hallway of storage... i swoon over that! and the kitchen! just devine!!!!

posted by mattNmags on April 23, 2011 at 3:09pm
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Johanna, I especially love the bedroom. We also have a petite master and the floating side tables are a great idea. Where did you find yours? Thanks so much!

posted by modernmonkey on April 23, 2011 at 6:10pm
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Love the concrete countertops!

posted by brabecova on April 23, 2011 at 10:02pm
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The kitchen is amazing, as the Barcelona chair. Love the layout.

posted by Ofelia on April 25, 2011 at 8:21pm
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Great look! Love how you were able to incorporate the music room without making things look cluttered!

posted by CRYSTAL24K on May 1, 2011 at 8:22am
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Thanks all for the kind and thoughtful comments! I just learned our apartment made the contest yesterday so am a little late...

stools: I got them on Overstock -- as ElaneB suggested -- but the Overstock version is a copy of the Tolix Marais stool. If the one you found says Tolix, it is likely worth more.

bedside tables: I love them, too! They are actually from from the original apartment so I owe many thanks to the previous owner. I believe he had them custom-made at Knossos in Chelsea.

posted by johannasnyc on May 5, 2011 at 7:28am
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Johanna: "The biggest challenge was reconciling my obsession with minimalism with my boyfriend's need to have his entire collection......within arm's reach."

Me, too. We are about to add 20 feet of extra storage space!

I wish someone would write a book on apartment therapy for "clashing styles."

posted by Lilly3 on May 6, 2011 at 9:57am
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