A perfect mix of beautiful vintage items and exquisite contemporary style has turned Gabriel and Jeremy’s New York apartment into an ultra-relaxing haven
We love living somewhere that tells a bit of a story – a place that might make you scratch your head a little,’ says Gabriel Hendifar of the lightfilled brownstone apartment that he shares with partner Jeremy Anderson. ‘Everything here has been collected over time, so there’s no overarching style. Instead our home’s about elements that may not immediately make sense together,’ he adds.
It took almost two years for them to get the interior to where it is now and the interesting layers and juxtapositions are a result of just letting it evolve, they say. In 2012, they founded the New York-based design studio Apparatus, specialising in beautiful lighting, furniture and objets d’art. As well as being packed with unusual vintage treasures, the generously proportioned rooms of the Brooklyn apartment have now become a place to experiment with their own sculptural lighting designs and the result is a perfectly executed lesson in how to style a rental property.
Gabriel was working in womenswear and Jeremy in PR when they met in Los Angeles in 2010. Having moved in together on the West Coast, the pair relocated to New York a year later because of Jeremy’s work. ‘We’d seen this place four or five months before, in the New York Times real-estate pages and assumed it had gone,’ says Gabriel. After an online listing appeared and then mysteriously vanished, they convinced their estate agent to call every building owner on the block until he tracked it down. ‘It was more than we could afford at the time, but we had to have it,’ admits Gabriel.
Built in 1892, the end-of-block apartment is a rare find, with soaring ceilings, vast windows and a wealth of original plasterwork. ‘It’s a fantastic shell, but as it’s a rental, we didn’t want to spend a lot of money redesigning it, so much of what we did is about surfaces: making something interesting with wallpaper and paint,’ Gabriel says. Paint shades of varying depths create contrast throughout the apartment, with the big, bright living area decorated in a neutral palette and the bedrooms in darker tones. ‘It’s about stages – about how it feels to be standing in one room, and what makes you want to walk to the space beyond,’ explains Gabriel.
What really gives the home its unique style, however, is the collection of furniture and objects the duo have curated. From mid-century seating and vintage textiles to curios such as a brass ram’s head and an antique turtle shell, the apartment is a mini museum of original pieces. ‘We are really big on vintage,’ says Gabriel. ‘Jeremy is great at scouring the internet and we find a lot of bits and bobs upstate in a town called Hudson. The primitive figures in the dining room are from The Hudson Mercantile – they’re hand-carved liquor cabinets salvaged from a hunting lodge in Maine. Something humorous like that can just take the edge off a formal room.’ The antique pieces are layered up with items found on their travels, such as the sumptuous Moroccan wool rug in the living room. ‘We picked it up in Marrakech a few years ago, and it instantly changed the feeling of that space,’ says Gabriel. ‘Now almost nobody sits on the couch – we all end up on the rug around the marble cube coffee tables with a stack of cushions.’
The couple are also renovating a farmhouse in upstate Rhinebeck, where they spend weekends, but the apartment remains important to them both. ‘This is where we come to decompress, to read, listen to music and be inspired,’ says Gabriel. ‘It’s a serene environment, which is what makes it all the more special.’ See more of Gabriel and Jeremy’s work at apparatusstudio.com