Who: Michelle Shekari and Chad Miller
Where: Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York
Style: Simple, functional modern
When Michelle Shekari and Chad Miller left uber-hip Williamsburg, Brooklyn, they headed north to nearby Greenpoint. And not just for the tree-lined streets and low-key vibe — specifically, they came for this apartment.
"The market is saturated with quick-build 'white box' renovations," says Shekari, a creative producer for The Wing, a women's co-working space. "It's rare to find an apartment with this kind of personality."
It was also rare to find a single space that met both of their needs and tastes. Shekari had a penchant for Philadelphia row houses, with their low-slung brick exteriors and three or four-room units. Miller, an art director, was used to living in broad, open industrial warehouse spaces. This particular apartment in Greenpoint had, in many ways, the best of both — a three-story building, with a neighborly feel; new construction where there once was a garage, with remnants of the concrete floors and exposed brick; plus a loft that's not too loft-like. "It's not like you have to climb up a ladder," says Shekari.
Once you're in the loft, there's the other great perk — real outdoor space, with a view of the Manhattan skyline. It's Shekari's favorite place in the home, weather-permitting. They've even grown blueberries there.
Locals Know Best
Favorite piece of design or architecture in your neighborhood, town or city: In the Greenpoint area, there are so many old facades and old signs that get preserved even while new businesses move in. Those are always super inspirational to be around — you see how much history there is where we live.
On a more modern side, the street art is ever-changing. There's a muralist I love — Tony Sjöman, or Ruben415. He has a piece of work by the L-stop. It's super geometric but also has some warmth and color in it.
Best places for thrift store finds, antiques, or flea markets: There's always Awoke Vintage, it's a cult favorite. But nothing compares to upstate New York.
Best Farmers' market: McCarren Park or McGolrick Park — we bounce back and forth.
Best happy hour: My boyfriend doesn't drink, he's straight edge. So it's usually just an occasional bottle of wine at home.
Best cheap and cheerful restaurant: 'Cheap' is a relative term, right? We're fans of Pheasant on Grand. It's a hidden gem.
Best place to experience art and culture: McCarren Park and Bedford Avenue, really. Just walking around that area, you could people-watch forever.