Home Sweet Home

It’s been another two week long absence and I’m feeling more blogger guilt. I should have known that moving would have been more than a two day time commitment. It’s been two weeks since we spent our first night in the new apartment, and we’re still unpacking! But as I regain my bearings, I’m also beginning to lust after new interiors, pinning into the wee hours of the morning and poring through back issues of Domino (oh, how I miss thee).

Excited to finally purchase a sofa (albeit a loveseat) for the first time, all I’ve been doing is scouring sites online and re-imagining my new space. Minimalist, colorful, quirky, cozy, I’m trying to find a way to meld all of my tastes into one stylish apartment. What I have noticed, though, is that the minute our artwork went up and all my little tchotchkes and books were out, the apartment instantly had character. While I don’t advocate clutter in any sense, these accessories and keepsakes give personality and life to a home, and they are an instant way to update a space as well.

Even if you can’t afford a new chair or a brand new rug, you can always shop for little things to spruce up your place. New York has no shortage of mini design emporiums, as I’ve illustrated here, and John Derian is just another go-to for the design savvy. The brand has been in my subconscious for a while,  yet it was always a highly elusive name that I only ever saw in magazine credits or on the bottoms of the decoupage trays that have become the company’s signature. I always meant to check it out, but never made an effort to look into it.

Finally, one day without looking for it, I stumbled upon the store in East Village and was excited to finally see what made John Derian such a renowned design name. Rather than making a big statement, the store lurks behind shady trees, inviting those who know what they’re looking for to step in. Once you’re in, though, there’s an instant sense of being overwhelmed by the density and plethora of collected objects. Trays, paperweights, ceramics, candles, fixtures, linens, there’s so much of everything that it’s better to not even try to take in everything. To be honest, although it feels like an intriguing cabinet of curiosities, it’s a bit much for me, so I prefer to head next door to the sister shop devoted to textiles and furniture, a cozy little home posing as a store with a giant stuffed horse to greet visitors at the entrance (so that’s where I can find one of those…).

Neutral, organic, with a rustic antique charm, the store makes me wonder whether I want to live in a sparse Soho loft or a cottage in Provence, as the goods would look equally good in both places (a girl can dream!). In any case, this is just the type of store where visual interest is created through accessories and layering, and even if you leave with just one of those emblematic trays for your trinkets, I’d still say you’re one step closer to making your house a home.


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