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Name: Meagan Jain, Kitty Jain, and partner, Nikolas
Location: Brooklyn — New York City, New York
Size: 1500 square feet
Type of Home: We live in the upstairs of a duplex
Years Lived In: 2 years, renting
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After looking at over 40 apartments (no joke), we found our apartment from the ListingsProject. We fell in love with the skylights and the south-facing windows in the bedroom. We were also in love with the amount of space. There is enough room for my studio and more since we have two full bedrooms and a smaller room, which works as our apothecary/tea room/guest room.
I’ve been a professional artist for over a decade and my studio has always been in the living room. My studio would always overtake my apartments and it always felt as though I lived in a studio because for all intents and purposes, I did! This is the first place I’ve lived where my studio has its own space and I can actually decorate! It’s been so fun to curate a happy and artsy space, while also having a separate space to work in as a studio. I’ve loved being able to paint all over the walls and furniture. If something feels boring and bland, it’s amazing what paint can do!
This apartment feels like my personal gallery and I am its curator. I’ve decorated this space as a gallerist would decorate a space for a show — with intentionality and the pursuit of artful beauty. I want everything to feel beautiful all the time. I want it to inspire people, to ignite their own creative curiosities, and to create space that simply feels good.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: A lot of people might define it as “artsy,” which is true, but I like to say “high class bohemian with some avant garde sprinkled in.” Even though I veer towards artsy and bohemian, I like to have statement pieces that bring in a sense of luxury and elegance. My style is experimental, fresh, fun, and colorful. I love playing with color, texture, and pattern. I’m a true aesthete and love to have everything look and feel good at all times so when I am decorating, I try to think about how the space will be used, and how I can decorate in a way that allows for people to relax yet allows the space to feel beautiful.
Inspiration: My art inspires me. I create a lot of paintings and am currently working with sculptural designs. I like to see how my art looks in an environment so our space is really centered around things I have made. I’m also endlessly inspired by nature and feel there is a jubilant happy feeling in our apartment, similar to how one feels in nature.
Favorite Element: We have these tremendously beautiful bay windows in the living room that only get to experience the sunset during the spring and summer. I love how the sun pours in through these windows and hits the room — and I extra love how it only happens during certain times of the year. Because we get so much sun, I put rainbow stickers on our windows so we get these incredible rainbows in our apartment everyday. One is never too old to enjoy a rainbow.
Biggest Challenge: We are renters, which comes with its own challenges when decorating — there is only so much you can change. Thankfully, our landlords are pretty open to ideas. I really hated our bathroom and while I couldn’t change anything structurally, with our landlord’s permission, I was able to completely transform the space with paint. I painted the tiles, walls, and ceiling — added new shelves and a mirror and the space was completely transformed. Are there things I would have done totally differently if I owned the place — OMG, YES! But for being renters, we’re pretty lucky to be able to change things.
Proudest DIY: This one is so hard because I feel our whole apartment is my proudest DIY, but more specifically I love the bedroom mural and living room table. It always feels really satisfying to see a vision IRL when you’ve been dreaming about it for a while and both the table and bedroom mural are ideas I had in my head forever that once executed surpassed my original vision!
Biggest Indulgence: I totally fell for the influencer push Samsung did for their Frame TV. It feels so worth it though because I can have my art showcased digitally while we’re not using the television, and it looks like a regular piece of art!
Our circle bookcase was pretty pricey too but I wanted to get as much round and womb-like furniture as possible, so yes! It was worth it as well. It’s not nearly as expensive as my dream chair, which we haven’t been able to get yet, but one day we will have a Knoll Womb Chair in our home. Until then, I like to get creative with what we have. We have this plain IKEA chair I bought from Facebook Marketplace that I painted daisies on and even though it wasn’t expensive, painting the daisies on it made it one of my favorite pieces.
Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? There are so many layers of my art in our apartment that makes it unique. I’ve painted the murals, made the furniture, designed the furniture I couldn’t make, decorated with my own art and the art of my friends. Our apartment feels like my favorite gallery curated with all of my favorite things.
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? I’m pretty obsessed with our Gardyn and Fellow. The Fellow is a very aesthetic kettle and the Gardyn is a hydroponic garden where I’m growing 30 different varieties of vegetables. I also love the neon light I had made with my art by a neon artist in New Jersey. It’s a VIBE.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Making bad art is better than making no art. I’d rather people make something horrendous than not make anything at all, because when you do it once, you learn how to do it better the next time. All of art and design is experimental — the whole point is to indulge in your creative curiosities. I find people have ideas and visions, they’re just afraid to do them — fear of failure, fear of it not working, being ugly, or not liked by other people. Design is so personal and so unique to our tastes, I really don’t think you can “fail.” You might have a vision and the execution of it is a failure, but that just informs the next iteration of the experiment. There are no failures in art!
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? JUST DO IT. Don’t wait for your next place or your next move or tomorrow or next week. Do it now. Even if you “only have three months left” on your lease, decorate for those next three months — it’s ALWAYS worth it — you will feel so much happier in your space and a happy home informs the rest of your life. This is your life! Curate it as you wish, no one else is going to and no one else has your vision; and you do have a vision — you just have to believe in it and trust it.