For content creators Olivia Rink + John Philp Thompson, a big move from Chicago to New York City was one that they both had their sights set on to further expand their careers. After an extensive apartment search (anyone who’s ever apartment shopped in NYC knows all-too-well about that level of stress!) they were eager to finally move into their new two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan’s Financial District. Since they both work from home, John and Olivia knew that their new apartment needed to be not only functional as a living/work environment, but one that they also found relaxing and inspiring.
The two roommates recently meet with Laura Wilson with West Elm’s Design Crew to plan out the interiors of the sun-filled apartment. Starting with a mood board, Laura mapped out a precise layout of the space that helped to make the most of their square footage, while concepting a color palette that would incorporate both a masculine and feminine aesthetic, and finally making furniture and lighting selections that make the space ultra functional.
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Tour this high-rise space below to see some of Olivia and John’s favorite pieces they found for their new NYC home!
Hello, Olivia + John!
Olivia: I started my career as a fashion and lifestyle blogger in Chicago, which is not far from my hometown in Northwest Indiana. OliviaRink.com is a place for me to write about the things I love while sharing pieces of my every day life along the way. I aim to inspire others through my personal stories, petite fashion advice, decor and design, and to be a positive role model for women. I loved everything about living in Chicago, but had always wondered what it would be like to live in New York City – at least for a little while. I knew NYC was the heart of the fashion industry and that it would be a great career decision to be in the middle of all the action. It also didn’t hurt that my boyfriend already lived there! Plus, the idea of getting to decorate a brand new living space is my dream!
John: I was born and raised in Texas, and I moved to Chicago where I began my career in photography and eventually into content creation. With a background in public relations as well as branding and marketing, I started a menswear and travel blog – RiskyJackal.com – dedicated helping guys feel great in accessible clothing and travel. I’ve found the best ways to grow as a human and photographer are to constantly expose myself to new people, foreign places and comically uncomfortable situations. Traveling to NYC for work over the last few years, I began to develop an itch to move to New York that I just had to scratch. Like so many people, I really became addicted to the electric buzz pulsating through the streets. To me, living in New York was a pipe dream and somewhere that so many icons and trailblazers had once lived. With so much of my industry based here in New York City, it mades sense to make the move.
We had a good idea of what we were looking for, but wanted to explore all of our options since New York City living was new to us. We toured 30+ apartment spaces throughout all of lower Manhattan. We fell in love with this brand new building and all it has to offer – floor to ceiling windows, amenities, prime location — not to mention the incredible view. After the search was over, we knew this apartment was the one.
We loved West Elm’s design aesthetic, especially how easy it is to mix modern + mid-century pieces together seamlessly in one space. It was key that we kept the common living space pretty gender-neutral. Once we decided on a blue, pink, and metallic color scheme, the place kind of evolved from there. We both fell in love with the Andes Sofa the minute we saw it in the store – which became the centerpiece of the apartment. Taking Laura’s design suggestion of placing the sofa in the middle of the open room concept, we were then able create a defined living and dining room space. We love how this really maximizes our real estate, making for an even more functional apartment.
Some of our other favorite pieces include: the Pictograph Media Console for its additional storage and unique textural pattern, the Marble-Topped Coffee + Side Table nestled together creating a multi-level, and the Sunset Lake Rug because it literally pulls our entire color palette together with the blue + pink tones plus the neutrals in it. We’ve been calling the space: cozy, transitional, and polished.
The biggest challenge we ran into was how to work around the large white column in the center of the main living space – it’s a structural element for the building, so it wasn’t going anywhere. Luckily, Laura used her design expertise to find a furniture configuration that optimized the space and created flow to the room.
Lighting seamed to be another roadblock we ran into, as the apartment didn’t come outfitted with any overhead lights – and we couldn’t install our own chandeliers or pendants due to concrete ceilings. Getting creative and figuring out how to illuminate the apartment in the most functional way was key. By using lamps – like the Light Rods LED Floor Lamp, Sphere + Stem Floor Lamp and the Globe Table Lamp among others – we were able to brighten the space, while keeping a modern design approach top priority. We of course love our views and all the natural light that floods the apartment during the day, but being in the space at night with the glow from all the great lighting pieces is a close second.