Our friends Matt and Megan (and their twin baby girls) have the kind of New York apartment that makes you want to put on a record, pour a cocktail and just relaaaaax. They've created a calming yet inspired space, which looks perfectly suited for Don Draper. The apartment is in Queens, four minutes from Manhattan, and they tempt us out there with a hidden speakeasy and the most authentic Parisian restaurant ever. Just for fun, I thought I'd share a few photos...
What brought you to Queens?
Matt: A few years ago, we were living in Brooklyn and found ourselves craving more space. Since we weren't quite ready for Palm Springs or an escape to a Vermont farmhouse, we opted for an old industrial building in Long Island City, Queens. Our home in Queens overlooking Brooklyn and the trains has been very kind to us. With twin baby girls, though, we're in need of more space once again and will be moving to Austin this winter.
Many people find it hard to shop for houseplants. What's your trick?
Matt: Since we have big windows and southern exposure, we decided to try our luck with a giant ficus plant, which has thankfully flourished! Megan also has a hard time saying no to the two-dollar Ikea houseplant, and our cactus is no exception. It was eight inches tall when we brought it home, and now it runs the living room. Frankly, it's intimidating.
The lamp with all the bulbs is incredible! Do people comment on it all the time?
Matt: Yes, they do. We don't have a lot of dramatic items in our home, so that ceiling lamp was an odd moment of adventurousness. We love it but it's going to stay in the apartment when we leave. Moving something so massive and delicate isn't a task we want to take on.
Is there anything you guys have argued about in your home (like the wagon wheel coffee table in When Harry Met Sally)?
Matt: Totally! I remember a hideous concrete coffee table I bought online. Megan's also irrationally attached to an Ikea floor lamp left over from college.
(This gorgeous abstract painting is by our good friend Elizabeth Schuppe.)
Your bathtub makes me want to take a bubble bath with a glass of wine.
Megan: I have TOTALLY taken a glass of wine in there. Honestly, it's the thing I'm going to miss most about this apartment.
What rad music posters!
Most are by Jason Munn. I think Jason's style is the most defined and beautiful of all the music poster artists working today...and that's saying something because there's a lot of amazing poster work happening right now.
What do you like to do when you're all home?
Matt: As new parents, we always have a baby in our arms. Our days consist of feeding, cleaning up, playing, reading, talking to the girls, talking to our dog, imagining what our dog is thinking, listening to music, taking walks around the 'hood, taking pictures and occasionally sneaking in the odd Netflix movie.
Where do you find your incredible art?
Matt: The art we have was mostly done by friends. The painting over the bed is from a Vancouver artist named Andy Dixon, who also illustrated our wedding invitations. Just to the right is an original embossed etching from my favorite artist, Antoni Tapies. And the white-on-white painting is by Jaime Barbato, another dear friend.
Where do you shop for home goods?
Matt: Most of our vintage items are from the usual suspects: eBay, estate sales, thrift shops and flea markets. Since Megan runs 13bees Vintage, she spends a lot of time on etsy, too. Over the past year, we've started to dip our toes into (non-eBay) auctions, and the modern auctions at Rago Arts are fun. Other go-tos are Modernlink and Two Jakes in New York, and Amsterdam Modern in L.A.
Who did the adorable painting of your dog Weezie?
Matt: Ashley G., who offers custom portraits on Etsy. It was a birthday gift from me to Megan.
What feeling did you want for the nursery?
Megan: The idea was to create a peaceful space that could transition along with the girls as they got a bit older. We thought the sweet illustrations and photos, along with the vintage toys and books, could be the focus of the room rather than a specific theme we might feel stuck with later on. The family photos remind us how much love has come before us and how much love we now have around us, and I hope they're something the girls will treasure later on. And what a surprise it was to discover that Greta is the spitting image of my mom as a baby!
(Shelves: Vitsoe; dresser: Ikea; crib: Oeuf, via Craiglist; rug: cb2; chair: Room & Board)
How cute that the twins sleep in the same crib! How long will that last?
Megan: Actually, those days just ended. They shared a crib for the first four months, and it was completely adorable. But Iris started to kick and turn at night so we found a matching crib on Craigslist.
What's your favorite part of the nursery?
Megan: My grandfather passed away when I was too young to really know him, but my grandmother is one of my favorite people on the planet. This photo was taken on a high school senior class trip when they were just dating that's set up to look like they're on their honeymoon (the sign reads "Just Married 1941!"). Needless to say, this did not go over well with my great-grandmother. I love it not only because my grandparents look so young and in love, but also that my grandmother, Lucille, posed for the photo knowing that it would probably create some ripples with her parents and did it anyway.
Now that the twins are here, have you learned anything about decorating for babies?
Megan: A rocking chair would have been amazing. Amazing. We're finally going to get one for the new house. Better late than never!
Thank you again, Matt and Megan. xoxo
(Photos by Oh, Darling! Photography for Cup of Jo)