and her husband Richard Lai have been living together in this Clinton Street, Lower East Side Manhattan apartmen,t since 2006, after they started dating. At 425sf, it’s all about making every inch usable and enjoyable. However, the condition of this place used to be beyond bad, and Szeki jokes that their friends used to call it “the crack house,” and when Richard first moved in the living room was covered with graffiti like a dive bar bathroom! Over the years they did some minor home improvements, but last year they truly gut renovated the whole apartment to really make it their home. To help make it feel more spacious Szeki used a lot of white, and says that when the sunlight hits the negative space it feels like a breath of fresh air. In terms of furniture, she is drawn to mid-century modern, as something that is both elegant and humble. As a designer, Szeki runs her own [fashion] brand , which has had a lot of success in Japan. She started to design her own line a couple years ago, wanting to create something that was high quality and thoughtfully designed, but friendly to her customer’s pockets. She also owns a little shop, , located down the street from their apartment, and for 2014, will be opening in Williamsburg in the Spring -so, exciting times ahead! Many thanks to Szeki (who also happens to be talented with photography)! –
Image above: l love this side table. We got it from a thrift store in Williamsburg and use it as the coffee table. Most coffee tables are too big for our apartment.
See more of this tiny NYC apartment after the jump!
Image above: These are our favorite vintage pieces. We just recently dug them out from the basement. They belonged to Richard’s dad so they’re extra special and we thought our coffee table would be a good home for them.
Image above: The dining table is CB2. It’s perfect for two and it can fit eight once it’s expended. Finding a small dining table was the hardest thing to find. We found the chairs in our basement. We don’t know where they came from, but the color works so perfectly with the rest of the apartment – a happy accident! The cabinet is from Jonathan Adler’s Happy Chic collection.
Image above: Where we enjoy food!! The picture-frame is a old copy of a newspaper that I wrote and distributed for my thesis project at Parsons in 2006. It was all about me and Richard and the fun things we did together. This very apartment was in it countless times.