Anyone who has lived in a rental apartment can attest to the difficulties of decorating a temporary space. As soon as the ink is dry on the lease, questions about how to furnish a new home (without losing the security deposit) abound. Is it better to splurge on that long communal-style dining table at the risk of moving into a new place that it won't quite fit into once the year is up? Or does it make more sense to opt for an affordable find that can be resold when it comes time to move again?
When Nina Faulhaber, the co-founder of the forward-thinking apparel line ADAY, and her boyfriend moved into their TriBeCa apartment, they confronted these questions head-on. "In spite of the place only being a rental, we really wanted to make it as livable as possible," she told MyDomaine. Like most renters, the couple's biggest challenge was sourcing aesthetically pleasing pieces while sticking to a strict budget. However, the well-traveled couple was up to the task and set out to design a space inspired by the calming vibes of Venice, California; the colorful restraint of Mykonos, Greece; and the lush jungles of Tulum, Mexico.
The result? An inspired retreat in the middle of New York City. Keep scrolling to virtually step inside their plant-filled NYC rental. Complete with an indoor hammock, their modern TriBeCa apartment tour will transport you to Tulum.
When it came to the color scheme, Faulhaber was set on versatile, neutral tones. "I wanted the space to feel light and airy, so I chose a lot of white, sand, gray, and cream colors," she explained. "Then I brought in warmth with walnut tones, notably the dining table, and leather, particularly the butterfly chair and ottoman," she added.
Faulhaber, who describes her style as "minimal, white, and light," incorporated inviting accessories into the space to curate an aesthetic that she describes as "simplicity meets surfer vibes meets European chic."
"Visually, I'm very much a minimalist," she explained, "but I'm very into the warm tones and feeling of Mediterranean islands, the Mexican jungle, and French interiors."
Although Faulhaber had a clear vision for the loft, the biggest design challenge was finding furniture that was both affordable and aesthetically pleasing. With budget top of mind, she chose to opt for well-designed and well-priced pieces from retailers like CB2 and Article.
However, the ADAY co-founder's most coveted pieces are also the most personal. "I love the mini Turkish prayer rug, which was a gift from my parents," she told MyDomaine. Another standout piece is the butterfly chair, which she actually built herself after she couldn't find the perfect one.
The couple's curated collection of art and artifacts lends a comfortable, lived-in air to the sun-drenched TriBeCa loft, as exemplified by this windowsill vignette. "In spite of being surrounded by buildings, I love how much natural light the apartment gets and the feeling that it evokes," confessed Faulhaber. "New York city spaces can feel confining—but I would definitely describe my spirit as 'wild and free,' which is how this space feels to me."
With an open-plan design, the loft was also ideal for curating the social space Faulhaber envisioned. "I wanted the space to be social, making it fun and easy for guests or colleagues to come over," she explained. "Hence why I wanted the living room, dining room, and kitchen to be completely open," she added.
To bring textural contrast to the open-plan kitchen, Faulhaber chose a marble-topped island to offset the steel appliances and dark cabinetry. With built-in storage, it's was both a stylish and functional choice for a kitchen that's frequently used for entertaining.
In addition to being a social space, Faulbher also wanted the dining room "to be conducive to a super productive work environment." The couple often spends mornings over a cup of coffee at the long communal dining slash work table answering emails before heading to their respective offices.
Before moving to NYC, the couple previously lived in London. "We really only brought over three pieces of art, a rug, a dresser, a shelf and a chair," divulged Faulhaber. "We brought a rug from my Williamsburg place, and of course all our Buddha statues, the Turkish rug, and other travel artifacts."
As a designer, Faulhaber sees the world through an aesthetic lens. "Design is so close to my heart because I believe that it shapes how we feel, the world around us and the future ahead of us," she mused. As design-enthusiasts ourselves, we can't help but agree.
Next up, step inside a designer's strikingly modern NYC loft.