This converted warehouse in Williamsburg is Jess’s jewellery workspace, Simon’s photography studio, and a day-care centre for their son, Lakota (2). ‘We work to live, not live to work,’ they say. Their home reflects their approach to life – lots of time together, an eclectic mix of styles and sustainable choices. Step inside...
Pick a hardworking table In Jess and Simon’s open-plan space, their large dining table fulfils lots of different functions between mealtimes – as a desk, a sideboard and a play area. With wear and tear, the surface can be sanded back and treated, to make it as good as new, or left as is for a more lived-in look.
Make do with awkward spaces When room is limited, it’s time to rethink how you use it. Jess and Simon’s kitchen is only big enough for one person, so they do all their chopping and preparation at the table. Under the stairs, there’s space for foldaway dining chairs, while adding hooks to the banister creates a coat rack.
Choose a sofa for family Adding a new sofa was a big decision. ‘The old light- grey one we started out with had been through the wars,’ says Simon. ‘Our cats and baby had pretty much destroyed it.’ They chose one with dark-grey, washable covers that would stand up to family life and last for years to come.
Screen off your workspace Find ways to divide an open-plan space without building walls. Jess and Simon embraced DIY and separated their studio from the living area with window frames that Simon made from recycled wood. ‘Now we get privacy in the studio without losing daylight.’
Design a home office for two Make your workspace a place to encourage working separately and together. Jess and Simon set up their desks so they can work back-to-back on their jewellery and photography. ‘Our swivel chairs make it easy to spin around and debate the latest design for our joint woolly-hat business too.’
Take the indoors out Jess and Simon don’t have a garden, so when they crave time outdoors they head out on to their small roof space, making it feel like an extension of their home by adding a few chairs and a rug. ‘Having a child makes it especially important to get outside every day – we love the view out here.’
A live-work home for three Jess and Simon started living in their Brooklyn loft in their twenties, back when it was a shared apartment. ‘Now it’s just us and Lakota, we can focus on having distinct work and home areas to suit all our needs. We’ve finally had the chance to make it our own,’ says Jess.
We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.
Interior stylist: Martin Bourne
Photographer: Dan Duchars