Two blocks away from the water in New York City’s historic West Village, on a quiet block surrounded by luscious green foliage, you might almost forget that you’re in one of the busiest cities in the world. If you happen to be making your way through this beautiful neighborhood on a summer evening, you may overhear the faint beat of old school disco tunes floating on the breeze, or the twang of a Steppenwolf guitar solo ringing from the open window of a fifth floor walkup.
This is the home of Joe Addeo. He works in commercial real estate in Miami, New York, and Los Angeles, living his bicoastal dream. He masterly evaluates and appraises real estate. Seeing the hidden potential of these spaces that others might miss.
After a moment in his apartment, you can see that he has a wonderful ability to take a space and beautify it. His modest New York City residence is immaculately designed with vibrant colors, clean lines, and beautiful lighting.
We wanted to chat with Joe and get his professional insight on how he designs, styles, and enhances space.
What are your current sources of inspiration?
It's funny as I'm sitting in front of this Slim Aaron's poster here, I feel like this is a lot of my aesthetic. I really think lighting is super important. I love the way that he has really vibrant colors. And there's a lot of contrast, but everything is always super clean and simple. Which is what I tried to emulate across my apartment, and just in my lifestyle in general. I love vibrant colors, but I like it to be clean. But I also, you know, I like to balance it between being a hospital room and like a club. So somewhere in between. What's the quote? It's like, taking pictures of attractive people and attractive places doing attractive things. I probably butchered that. To be honest, it's probably not correct. That's how I like to think.
How do you see elements of design integrated with your everyday life?
Unfortunately, I don't think my brain is quick enough to pinpoint where I think my design aesthetic is coming from. But I think I often know what I like from movies and images like when I think of movies I like from a visual standpoint, I think of Tarantino movies. Like I love the way he does things. I love the lighting that he has in a lot of, his films... I’m a Big Kill Bill fan, I can watch that all day. But yeah, I think it's like, deep in my brain. I know what I'm looking for. Yeah, but it's hard for me to really pinpoint what it is. Photography, movies. Nature. Like I love incorporating nature into my space.
How do you incorporate your inspiration into designing a room or space? Just in general how did you approach this? The design of this space I think is fantastic.
When I first got here. I knew what I wanted it to be. I saw the potential in the space. I love the lighting of the windows. I love the neighborhood. So we basically took it down to the bricks and then just kind of had this open canvas. And went from there.
Yeah, the lighting is super nice. I love the up-lighters on top of the windows.
Yeah, so that came about because basically, we took everything down and I was like, Oh, that's really interesting with the brick-like arches above the windows, let's keep that.
Yes. Beautiful. It’s very clean. Almost a Scandinavian aesthetic?
Yeah, I'm sure if you look at my Pinterest, it’s a lot of that. I think I use a nice combination of different materials too. So you have linen, leather. The stone is all soapstone. A lot of natural woods.
How did you begin to design your studio apartment?
So what I did try to do is create different spaces in an open room. Creating a dining area, a sitting area with friends, and then having a workstation as well. All incorporated around my bed, so it doesn’t feel like you're necessarily sitting in my bedroom. Because I think that's the last thing you want in a studio. So I really tried to create different spaces, which hopefully I accomplished. I mean, when you only have 400 square feet you kind of have to maximize the space. And we somehow fit people in here.
What are the ways that you marry together items? How do you choose an item-- down to the most granular details?
I guess it’s more of a feeling, but I think it's a feeling to a point. Then I finally find something that I use as my inspiration. And I just kind of create a palette. Really from that. I think for this room, it really was that Slim Aaron's picture. I just loved the colors, and I worked around that and then I found this rug.
So you had that image before you really designed the space?
I had a Slim Aarons. But this one, I was like, I like skiing, it’s cool. I like the colors. I knew that I have a lot of white so I loved that. It was almost kind of a white background with the snow scene. And then there are so many pops of color in there. I could really pull that throughout the rest of the apartment. And then when I saw this rug, I was like, I need this.
How do you choose what to buy?
I do a lot of research on anything I buy. Or I convince myself I like it so much that I just know it's gonna work. And I'm like, I love this. I don't really find myself dwelling too much. And I can oftentimes get frustrated if I'm researching too much, and I can't get what I need. And then if there are too many options, it's a bit overwhelming. So when I found Hoek, I knew it was gonna fit. I love the desk.
I knew that there was the functionality that I can break it down and store it away. Unfortunately, I was working 24 hours a day. So that wasn't really possible. But in an ideal setting, I would store it away at 5pm. And it would be lovely. And I would have a little more space in my apartment. Fingers crossed that happens going forward. But I thought that the desk fit into the aesthetic too. I love the clean lines of it. The size was perfect. Trying to find a desk online that met what I needed was a challenge, to say the least. So it was nice to have something that I knew I could fit everything on and was also gonna be really functional…. And it's so cute.