Laura Chautin and Masami Hosono never thought they would move to Stuyvesant Town, a residential area in Manhattan, last April. The newly married couple had a nice apartment next to the railroad, located right above Masami’s East Village barbershop, which has become their second home, especially during the pandemic. The feeling was mutual for Laura, who returned to New York from Chicago to work as an interior decorator: “I felt like I missed my job,” she says, returning to screen printing and painting and using her home as an office. During isolation, his attention turned to illustrations and ceramics; she even illustrated a book for her childhood friend Rio Viera-Newton.
“At some point we got a call, the owners were selling the building, and we had to urgently move; we were very sad,” says Laura, recalling the frantic search for a place at the end of Covid, when I prices skyrocketed and there were few apartments. The house they finally found was in Stuyvesant Town, an area we didn’t really feel connected to, but it was affordable and bigger.” So the couple immediately entered the new home, bringing with them a lot of furniture from the previous home to make it feel “at home”.
“Most things we bought during lockdown to keep us busy,” says Laura, who put her little experience in interior design to good use, highlighting how useful the extra space was: “Given that our old apartment was very cramped, it was fun have more space for real dining table, for colors and for much more. In addition, there is plenty of space for his new art projects focused on ceramics.
However, the word “things” is a double-edged sword for a couple. While Laura is a self-proclaimed eclectic color lover, Masami favors a minimalist Japanese style and “likes to keep things very clean and simple.” Laura remembers how she once put several stacks of funny books on the floor for decoration and saw Masami’s surprise. “In the end, it’s all right; we balance each other out,” he adds.
In addition, they have amassed a whole collection traditional japanese potteryduring a trip to Japan to visit the Masami family and return with an “absurd” amount of items: a tribute to Masami for style and Laura… for her maximalist taste.
But ultimately it is the personal touches that give character to a space filled with art. As Laura explains, there are a lot of things handed down by the family, made by friends of the op artists.unique vintage items to restore. An old blanket hanging in their bedroom is one of their favorite items, originally purchased from the Shark Tooth Antique Fabric Store in Williamsburg. “When we found her, she was very worn. Usually things that are too worn are not sold, but she was on sale, and we did not want her to be repaired, ”says Laura.
Even the smallest details have sentimental meaning: A series of ceramic puppies on a floating shelf in the living room depict their dog Bento in cartoonish poses. This is a wedding gift from Laura’s best friend, Kathy Kimmel. Another friend of the artist, Yuri Shimojo, gave them a painting that hung over the bed.
Laura notes that the house is “still a work in progress,” referring in particular to the bedroom, which is simple and provides a sort of nice visual “break” from all the other colorful rooms, she realized. It is also one of the places that brought her closer to the area: “The most beautiful thing about the apartment is that our bedroom window he goes to the pickleball field, so every morning at 7 I wake up and see the community of older people playing on the fields. They cheered me up right away.”
The original article was published on US ADadapted by Paola Corazza.