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“If we love it, we make it work,” says designer William Cullum.
Five hundred square feet is tiny by any standard, but it’s a particularly cozy canvas for a creative duo with an unabashed object lust. “Everything we have is personal,” says William Cullum, the senior designer at Jayne Design Studio, who shares this prewar Greenwich Village apartment with his partner, Jeffery Rhodes, who works in fashion and brand development. The result is a fearless composition of their favorite things, enlivened by a shared penchant for pattern and color. From family heirlooms to Victorian antiques and auction finds, Cullum says, “if we love it, we make it work.”
Bold color choices can unify a wide-ranging collection of artworks and objects. For the living area, designer Cullum and Rhodes chose a purple (Beach Plum by Benjamin Moore) inspired by a shade in editor Leo Lerman and artist Gray Foy’s New York City apartment. “Their living room was a beautiful frothy lilac, and I always loved it,” Cullum says. The hue also plays off the color of the rug, which is Chinese Art Deco. The entry is in a custom paint, a combination of emerald green and a dark blue. “I had the two cans of paint and just thought, It’s between the two colors—let’s go for it,” the designer says. The 19th-century cabinet is Japanese, and the artwork above it is by Fotini Christophillis.
Cullum and Rhodes didn’t let their home’s tiny footprint hold them back from piling it on. Their bed is dressed in a Saffron Marigold duvet, Cullum’s childhood quilt, and pillows in fabric repurposed from dresses by Dries van Noten. The couple’s interest in Victoriana is reflected in a Minton majolica garden stool and papier-mâché cocktail table. In the kitchen, the hot-pink pie safe came from Cullum’s great-great-grandparents’ home in South Carolina.
Cullum and Rhodes have a strict rule for anything on display: It has to be something they couldn’t do without. In the living area, a vintage rosewood chest is topped with artworks by Paul Richard and Wilfried Van Bauwel and a sunburst wall piece by Studio Mike Diaz. The Italian side chair is from the early 19th century, and the ceramic shell bowl (which holds toys for Bash, the couple’s cat) is from Rhodes’s collection of pottery from Mississippi.
This story originally appeared in the March 2022 issue of ELLE DECOR. SUBSCRIBE
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