APARTMENT THERAPY | A DESIGNER'S MINIMAL NYC HOME IS INSPIRED BY DONALD JUDD'S
Jewelry designer Bliss Lau's wearable creations are minimal—simple forms that are elegant and architectural—but they aren't plain. Her necklaces, bracelets, body chains, and rings feature luxurious details. It's a style combination seen in the minimal and modern home she shares with her husband Evan and their new baby Soa. Having only recently settled into their Lower East Side apartment—between managing a fine jewelry company and adjusting to life as a parent—Bliss' family's apartment is miraculously pristine and lovely.
The space was intentionally designed to feel calm with natural elements and neutral tones, with a focus on sustainable materials. Inspired by Donald Judd's Soho home—and the smart storage solutions found inside—the home's renovation (and budget) focused on custom closets and other ways to create a clean, uncluttered environment. They deftly mixed together affordable materials (like an IKEA kitchen) with personal items. From working with a plant artist to investing in functional storage, what results is a purposeful space for living and relaxing.
Name: Bliss Lau
Location: Lower East Side —New York, NY
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: Less than a year, owned
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Visually relaxing. Modern, sustainable, with touches of minimalism, a mixture of matte, shine and soft elements to bring in the feminine.
Inspiration: I recently took a tour of Donald Judd's home in Soho and felt inspired by his genius use of space and the overall neutrality of the elements within the apartment. I fell in love with the way he organized his things using shelves so that you can see everything but yet it was not obtrusive and cluttered due to the homogeneity of the colors he chose. With a baby I could never be as minimal as him but I decided to try!
Favorite Element: The open kitchen and oversized kitchen peninsula. My favorite time of day in the apartment is the afternoon because of our south-west facing windows; the light brightens everything with a golden hue in the afternoon and then transitions into a beautiful city-view sunset.
Biggest Challenge: Deciding how to renovate within my budget and retain the aesthetic that I love, while pregnant! We had a serious deadline.
What Friends Say: "The energy feels amazing." "I love the light." "It feels so open."
Biggest Embarrassment: My Space Bags, I just can't seem to part with my clothing. I love all of it and swear by the pieces that are out of season because I will keep them until they come back in! Hence the Space Bags.
Proudest DIY: Our IKEA-hack kitchen for sure. Because of the semi-handmade fronts and "real" hardware we made the kitchen look much more elegant than I thought we could. It took a bit more time to source good hardware but that detail refines the room perfectly.
Biggest Indulgence: Two things, custom closets and my plant artist. Choosing to install custom closets and pantry was the best decision; space in the city is the ultimate challenge and I wanted a minimal looking apartment, which means I must find a way to hide all my stuff.
I had acquired a ton of random little plants but wanted something more curated, Mihalis came over and repotted my little plants and combined them with some cooler plants then brought in some trees and bamboo to add life into the room. It really was the cherry on top for us in the space.
Best Advice: Make sure that you love your contractor; they could be your best friend or worst enemy. In our case they were wonderful; I felt really fortunate. I also showed up with cookies and gifts for them occasionally… maybe that helped!
Dream Sources: I spent an exorbitant amount of time on Apartment Therapy actually! Two of my good friends are interior designers and kept referencing it as a base. I consulted my friend Judy who owns Butter and Eggs Interiors, and it was her who helped me with the Carrara Marble backsplash that I swear makes the apartment. My sister is also an interior designer and she sent me so many links, her suggestion to keep everything light—white and gray in the living room and master bedroom really helped open up the space. I was used to having everything dark and black so this is a huge change for me!
PAINT & COLORS
All paint by Sherwin-Williams
Living Room, Hallways, Kitchen are all — Marshmallow
Baby's Room — Light French Gray
Bedroom — Evening Shadow
We painted the ceiling 50% strong
Table — Restoration Hardware
Eames Molded Plastic Chairs — DWR
Bamboo and Narrow Vase — Mihalis
Glass Table — From a random sale
Stone handmade arrow — Solid steel custom mounting by Amyas Naegele
Artwork — A project by my husband Evan. A roll of film discovered by his late father of a walk he took in 1969 through Tribeca. He scanned the negatives and printed three images, two of Staple street and one of the Manhattan bridge just outside of where we live.
Coffee table — Vena Rectangular Marble Coffee Table by Article
Carpet — Weaved Wool Rug by West Elm
Grey Swivel Glider — Overstock
Vintage Couch — Covered with two King Sized Sheets from Parachute
Flax Linen King Sized Sheets in Fog — Parachute
Flax Linen Pillows in Fog — Parachute
Black Chambray Linen Lumbar Pillows — Parachute
Shelf — Sustainable upcycled wood shelf handmade from baseboards of a barn from Etsy
Plant design — Mihalis
Closet Design and Curation — Angela Holmes
Towels — Silver Organic Cotton Sustainable Towels from Under the Canopy
Sink — Kraus Sink
KWC stainless steel pull out faucet — Decor Glamour
Carbon Water Filter — Aqualuxe
Neutral White Compost Bin — Amazon
Savon Siquide Marseille Extra Pur Soap — Compagnie de Provence
Wine Fridge — Amazon
Washing Machine — LG front load electric washer and dryer in one
Kitchen base and drawers — IKEA
Cabinet doors — Semi Handmade White Supermatte
Cabinet handles — Zen Design Phoenix Stainless Steel Cabinet Handles:
Kitchen pendant lights — Woud Annular Pendant Lamp by M S D S
Backsplash — Carrara Marble Fan Shaped
Countertop — Caesarstone Blizzard
Kitchen renovation — Lower East Side Construction
Sound system — Sonos
Appliances — GE
Minimal white closet — PAX from IKEA
Low muslin box — Muji
Tall muslin box — Muji
Closet shelving design — Angela Holmes
Modular shelving — Brick Box Mod Mobili
Bed frame — Crate and Barrel, but no longer available online
Organic Percal Sustainable sheets from Under the Canopy
Overdyed Wool and Silk Rug — ABC Carpet and Home
Artwork over the bed — Gyu Kaku fish painting by Debra Lumpkins
Hand-Drawn Black and White — Mike Skinner
1970s De Sede Leather Accent Chair — Objects in General
Handmade Wool Hat — Heather Huey
Mobile — Triple Circle Brass and Crystal Quartz Mobile made by me in collaboration with April Calahan
Crib — Hand-me-down from my sister
Artwork above black chair — Lyle Owerko boombox art from Clic Gallery
Watercolors above Crib — By my mother Cathryn Lau and father Edson Lau
Soa Illustration by Molly Ebinger
Italy Painting above changing table — By George Wollard
Rug — Aelfie, Loise Flatweave Rug
Chair — Black Saddle Leather and Steel Chair by Taylor Forrest
Late to the Party Pillow — Aelfie
Night Moves Pillow — Aelfie
Giant Bunny by Jellycat
Vintage Snoopy Stuffed animal with crown — From Evan's childhood
Convertible Couch-Bed — Couchbed
White Hudson Changing table — Babyletto
Grey Peanut Changing Pad — Pottery Barn Kids
Image Credits and Article written by Melanie Rieders