Name: Marlon and Jace
Home then: 450 sqft. 1-bdrm in Chelsea (check out Marlon's apartment, 2 incarnations ago)
Home now: 650 sqft. 1-bdrm, Upper East Side (Jace, 8 years. Marlon, 1 year)
Marlon's Chelsea bachelor pad is featured in our latest bookApartment Therapy Presents: Real Homes, Real People, Hundreds of Design Solutions. He has since moved into his boyfriend Jace's apartment on the Upper East Side and brought along most of his furniture and art, and all of his design skills.
Marlon and Jace moved in together a year ago. The classic challenge was how to combine their existing worlds. To create a 'blending' situation, they moved into Jace's longstanding home, but filled it with Marlon's furniture. According to both of them, Jace's apartment before Marlon was a home that never transitioned out of the 'college phase.' While Jace initially put time into his apartment--choosing an array of paint colors for the bedroom and taking on a complicated tiling pattern in the kitchen--the following 6 years saw very little investment from its owner.
In the past year, Jace and Marlon did a lot of negotiating. Jace loves plants. Marlon says he "doesn't know how to incorporate living things into his decor." The compromise was to buy fake bonsai trees for throughout the apartment, and to keep two of Jace's oldest plants--the orange tree on the balcony (Jace warns that its demise marks the end of their relationship), and the huge cactus in the kitchen that Jace acquired when it was 3-inches tall.
Marlon showed Jace that it was possible to achieve a major transformation through small and inexpensive interventions. Painting the entire apartment, swapping out all the light switches, putting in a new fire alarm, and changing the kitchen cabinet knobs was all it took. Jace was impressed, so much so that he trusted all of Marlon's design solutions from then on. In fact, Jace's mother has had Marlon pick all the colors for her home!
There are always little changes taking place, a new piece of art on the wall, new acquisitions put in place. Jace and Marlon enjoy the challenge of creating a home together and the work in progress that it must be.
Style: Modern Masculine with a Sense of Humor
Inspiration: Provocative Serenity
Favorite Element: Marlon- The art / Jason- The layout
Biggest Challenge: Combining lives
What friends say: "Where'd you get that?"
Biggest embarrassment: Our 1980's kitchen cabinets
Proudest DIY: New electrical outlets and light switches
Biggest indulgence: Eco-friendly air-conditioning
Best advice: Design your apartment for you, not for guests.
Dream source: Graduating class of Parson's Design School- 2050
Links to Marlon and his home over the years:
Small Cool Contest 2005: Marlon's Green Pad
Book Party: Marlon's Latest! (video of Marlon describing his and Jace's new apartment)