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Here at Clever, we’re always on the lookout for funky houses and apartments that embolden us to indulge in our zaniest home design desires. A space doesn’t have to be stuffed to the gills with unusual finds to be sufficiently inspiring—sometimes even the sparest of spaces can inspire just with their surprising layouts, color choices, and art collections. Below we share five of our favorite funky houses that have been featured on Clever.
In Living Room One, the bright orange Bellini sofa pops against the painted floor. Paintings by Stanley Whitney and Andre Butzer hang on the wall, while chairs by the Campana Brothers and Rietveld for Cassina add extra texture and color to the room. The tiger rug was an eBay find. Other fun elements in the space include a Hans Hollein coffee table, a Ettore Sottsass vase, Evan Holloway sculpture, Bellini floor lamp, and Garry Knox Bennett side table.
Over the past few years, changes have been afoot for artist Ethan Cook. Though he still has a studio in Greenpoint and commutes there everyday, Ethan traded his Clinton Hill perch for a SoHo loft. “I really wanted something different when I moved [back] into Manhattan, and this was the first place I saw when I started looking,” says Ethan, who had previously lived in Chinatown for over a decade. “I was happy to move and get a change of pace.”
The new apartment is a fifth floor walk-up in a six-story building. “It’s a pre-skyscraper building with cast iron columns,” Ethan adds. “It was first a factory and then became an artists’ building. It has a history of making, even if [it now] consists of families and retail.”
Although one might be fooled by the color-block floors, Ethan didn’t do any renovating. “I just brought my furniture!” He exclaims. “The people before me had redone the floors, which I first thought was weird, but now I really like what they did and it suits my aesthetic.” As it happens, Ethan is known for his color-block paintings of solid tones.
A full-floor loft of approximately 2,000 square feet was a huge change, especially compared to his previous, much smaller space in Brooklyn. The choice was deliberate for the artist and collector, as more square footage allowed for more collecting. (Ethan often trades work with other artists and friends.) He also created a large site-specific piece to hang on one of the walls, which is 135 inches long. —Gay Gassmann
“I really love the bedroom,” Trish Adersen says. She found the vintage Schumacher wallpaper on eBay—in the perfect amount—for cheap. “That room was originally inspired with the Goodnight Moon palette in mind.” Michael Porten made the headboard for the bedroom. “He has a CNC machine, so he cut out the shape, and I upholstered it with fleece from Joann’s,” she adds. “Nothing fancy, but I love the color pop, and it’s so soft!” The textile art on the bed is called Veronique by Diane Hoffman. The art hanging over the bed is by Kevin Sabo, and Michael created the pieces in the corner. The sconces are from Article, the cat pillow is from Aelfie, and the rugs are from Anthropologie.
When fiber artist Trish Andersen and her partner, painter and sculptor Michael Porten, moved into their home four years ago, the place was caked with good energy. The 2,400-square-foot house in Savannah, Georgia, had previously held artist studios, so layers of paint covered the floors and the walls were crumbling, but it had so much ragged charm. “It was never specifically a home, which was pretty magical to come into,” Trish says. “Our landlord, Marcus, is an artist, and he said: ‘Do whatever you want.’ Tell two artists to do that, and they’ll go wild.”
The couple found the house when Trish was still living in Brooklyn and Michael was living in Savannah, the city where they both attended art school. Trish was toying with the idea of leaving New York City for good, but needed a place to work when she was in town. “The house was the ideal place. I set up my studio on the first floor, and then we set out to transform the upstairs into our first apartment together.” With each space spanning 1,200 square feet, it felt like plenty of room to work and set up a home.
“We were super lucky that Marcus let us do our thing to fix up the apartment,” Trish says. “We both love color and pattern, so the apartment has been a fun and ever involving project to work on together. It had been a minute since either of us had lived in a place [where] we could do our thing.” —Zoë Sessums
“I found this piece at a garage sale in the Perche region of France. It was a unique piece made as a student work by an unknown designer,” Julien Sebban says of the green cabinet. “This piece really sums up the spirit of Uchronia.” The other pieces in this area are a green armchair designed by Uchronia for the Paris museum project, vintage ceramics, Santa and Cole red lamp by André Ricard, carpet by Pedro da Costa Felgueiras, Tahiti lamp by Ettore Sottsass, Vallauris ashtray, white ceramic prototype, and small table by Uchronia.
How does a young It architect on the Parisian scene weather a year of ups and downs? By getting creative, of course. Julien Sebban is the the founder of the creative collective Uchronia, where he has his fingers in everything from art to fashion to architecture and whatever might fall in between. Naturally, his home is not only a reflection of his interests but of a new and evolving approach to what it means to work too.
Located on the first floor of a classic Haussmannian building in Montmartre, Julien’s 1,011-square-foot apartment is anything but traditional. After returning to Paris from London a couple years ago, Julien and his partner, Jonathan Wray, also a creative director, decided to completely rethink the classic Parisian floor plan. What was originally a traditional three-bedroom became one big room with six windows facing a beautiful garden.
The idea was to keep the majority of the apartment as the public areas, with the living room, office, library, showroom, dining room, and kitchen on one side and the private quarters on the other. “We now have just one big room of 70 square meters, which is unusual for Paris,” Julien explains. “We removed everything and separated the public areas from the private ones. We did a lot of work when we moved in, but kept the kitchen and bathroom in their original places.”
The entire space is full of Uchronia designs and productions. “My office is here and my showroom,” Julien continues. “All the pieces we develop, like furniture and lighting […] and also a selection of curated items we offer [are here], like purchases from the flea market.” And though the space is eclectic, there is one recurring visual inspiration: waves. Julien admits with a giggle, “I am obsessed with waves. This flat is an ode to the wave. The entire flat!” —Gay Gassmann
An original stained glass transom was restored in the entryway.
Nearly a decade ago, scientist Teresa Williams was looking to purchase a San Francisco home with her then new husband, tennis pro turned exercise therapist David Starbuck Smith. The duo fell in love with a vibrant condo in Duboce Triangle, but their offer was outbid. Instead of accepting defeat, they researched the property’s seller and discovered that he could help them achieve a dazzling space of their own.
The aforementioned seller was interior designer Kevin Sawyers, who worked with Teresa and David to create an energetic oasis when they eventually found a place to buy. The three have remained friends ever since, so it was only natural that Kevin was the couple’s first call once they decided to move across the country. Even over Zoom, he was the only person they considered to reimagine their historic Washington, DC, town house.
Located in Dupont Circle, the 1870 dwelling was full of original details like elaborate moldings, tall windows, and a sturdy staircase. But the beautiful 152-year-old features were dulled by a basic black-and-white palette. Teresa and David wanted Kevin to infuse the home with his signature colorful vitality. “There was a lot of potential, and it took Kevin and [his employee] Brice [Stanek] to realize the vision,” shares David. “We trusted that they could knock it out of the park, and they did.” —Morgan Goldberg
The vibrant living room in all its glory: Paintings by up-and-coming artists from both Zoe Schlacter’s and Buzz Slutzky’s personal collections (the two central portraits of women’s faces are by Brooklyn-based painter Anthony Cudahy) sit alongside their beloved childhood art. The sequin pillows are by Zoe.
Simply following Zoe Schlacter’s Instagram feed is a visual lesson in extravagant joy. That’s why getting a peek into their New York space is such a special treat. Walking into Zoe and Buzz Slutzky’s apartment in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park South neighborhood feels like walking into their combined brain. Zoe is an installation artist and textile designer, Buzz is an artist and educator, and their home serves as a large-scale mood board—displaying their merged references, inspirations, memories, and collections. “Unapologetic maximalism” is Zoe’s personal mantra, a distinctive artistic approach that comes through in all they create. Vibrant colors and effervescent prints abound.
A designer for Todd Oldham Studio by day, Zoe has gained recognition for their original style and recently launched their own home textile line to immediate success. The inaugural product—the Peaks & Valleys Blanket—sold out in under five minutes. Next came three sequined pillows, more throw blankets, a collab with fashion designer Tyler McGillivary, and now a larger collection with rugs and more home accessories.
In the couple’s living room, Zoe’s patterned throw and sparkly pillows mix seamlessly with Buzz’s charcoal drawings. “It feels really special to be able to mix all our art and hang it together; it’s a representation of our relationship,” says Zoe. “Buzz and I have put so much effort into our space throughout the past year, it’s nice to reach a point where we’re like, this is our home.” —Linne Halpern
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