sneak peek: nina of dwellstudio


our second dwellstudio sneak peek (don’t miss rachel’s brooklyn apartment!)  is from textile designer nina shen. nina lives in an 1930s art deco apartment in new york city’s lower east side with her two boys – boyfriend photographer jason gould and cat frank. as a textile designer, nina researches and draws patterns for dwell. even though she lives in a city, nina finds much of her inspiration in nature and has managed to find little ways to bring some of the outdoors in!  {thanks, nina, jason & frank!} -amy a.

[My decorating style is simple, unfussy, and modern. I am lucky that Jason and I share similar tastes. We are drawn to items with a clean, streamlined, classic look, but soften the look with organic items like plants and textiles.]

[photo above: I have the Dwell Studio Hedgerow duvet set on the bed here. This bedding actually makes me happy to make the bed!]


[photo above: This leaning bookshelf is next to the window in the living room. It holds way more books and things than you’d think.]


[photo above: This vintage side table used to be next to the couch but I have re-purposed it as a plant stand to hold all the little plants I have been propagating now that it’s spring.]

CLICK HERE for more of Nina’s peek!


[photo above: This is our shared desktop computer on a 1950s Steelcase desk. It’s a proper work desk because it has plenty of work surface and nice big drawers to stash things, and I love its classic handsome looks. Some of my current favorite inspiration images are simply taped to the wall with artist’s tape – it doesn’t leave marks on the walls so it’s no big commitment – I can just pull off any images and stick up new ones any time I want.]


[photo above: This shelf unit from Ikea is in the foyer. We have 12 of these white boxes that you see in the bottom of the picture on the shelves. It’s a great way to hide a lot of stuff in a small apartment- magazines, fabric, seasonal blankets, etc- while keeping a streamlined look. I use the top of the shelf unit as a little display area. I like to group things together in clear glass containers, such as driftwood collected last summer on vacation in Maine, and a bunch of feathers that my friend Rachel gave me that are leftover from her Halloween costume. There’s also a dried bunch of hydrangea from last summer – it had to last me through the cold months until I can get more fresh ones this summer, but actually I quite like the look of them.]


[photo above: We have a galley kitchen that has floating shelves on one side. I like white dishes with clear glasses, but some of our kitchen accessories add a pop of color, like the green breadbox. The photo on the top shelf is one of Jason’s.]


[photo above: I have so many pillows but I can’t help it! It’s so easy to add some prints to your decor when they are just little things like pillows! At least here I have limited myself to just black and white. The pillow on the left is a gift from our friends at Ortolan. The other pillows are from Dwell Studio. The cactus poster on the wall is from Makelike Design in Portland, Oregon. The other prints and drawings are from friends.


[photo above: It’s so much easier to use a brighter color in a small room, and that’s why the bathroom is painted a robin’s egg blue while the rest of the apartment’s walls are neutral! It’s also nice to add a bold print to a small space. The shower curtain is from John Robshaw.]


[photo above: One of the nicest features in this apartment is the bay windows. There’s lots of nice light during the day. The table is from Ikea and the red vintage Eames fiberglass chairs are a flea market find. The coffee table is handmade by Jason out of curly maple wood.]


[photo above: This is the front door. Jason and a couple of friends stripped this as well as all the door and window frames in this apartment to reveal the original steel frames. I love the patina markings of the old steel, and it’s also great because it’s magnetic! Various postcards and pictures on the back of the door makes this a roving gallery]

  1. Kate says:

    Hi there, what gorgeously fab place! Amazing details everywhere.

    Can you tell me where you got your blue and white patterned rug? Love it.

  2. Jaclynn Cureton says:

    I have sojourned to find a description that closely fits my design style and I have to say this has helped me a lot! I love it! Thanks for sharing your beautiful home :)

  3. Debbie says:

    Nina, I love, love, love the bathroom! I am wondering what the floor looks like if you would not mind sharing what color/ material type it is?

    Thank you very much!

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