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Interiorssneak peeks

A Creative Oasis In Baltimore

by Maxwell Tielman

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Sometimes the best sorts of spaces are not the ones that are planned-out to a T, but ones that evolve and coalesce over time. When artist Jess Schreibstein and her boyfriend moved into their Baltimore apartment eight months ago, they had only a few criteria—lots of natural light and proximity to the Station North neighborhood’s art scene. Things like decorating scheme and furnishings were incidental—side effects of the couple’s creative backgrounds. “We wanted our home to be a reflection of both of us,” Jess says. “To provide space for us to be creative in our art and music.” The apartment is just that—an urban nest of sorts, one filled with handmade objects, treasured pieces of art, and disparate items collected over the years. It’s fitting that one of Jess’ chosen media is textile design—the various elements of her living space, however eclectic, are woven together to create a beautiful and welcoming whole—a veritable tapestry that is brimming with creative energy and vitality. Continue after the jump to see the entire space! —Max

Image above: Jess’ bedroom. A hand-stitched Indian quilt and Oaxacan shawl lie on top of the bed. Above the bed is an Oaxacan rug, hand-woven by a master weaver.

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Image above: The dining area of the living room. Poured concrete table alongside Bellini chairs. “Whenever anyone sees it,” Jess notes about the table, “the first thing they ask is ‘How did you move that?!’ (It breaks into two pieces, and we hired movers.)” Glazed ceramic bowl by Melissa Weiss.

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Image above: The living room pantry. “I picked up this pantry piece at a yard sale on Chincoteague Island, VA years ago,” Jess notes. “When I bought it, it was caked with layers of purple and blue paint and I began the long and arduous task of stripping it. I never got around to finishing it, but my dad surprised me one Christmas with this piece in all its glowing, reclaimed glory. I use it to store my home-preserved foods.”

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Image above: “Here’s a late-summer peek into my pantry which includes homemade pickles, sour cherries in syrup, rhubarb vanilla cordial, herbal apple jelly, peach habanero hot sauce, lots of fruit jam, and jars of dried herbs and spices.”

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Image above: The brick wall in the kitchen was one of the apartment’s selling-points—the only one in the whole building! A folded Mexican blanket on the radiator provides a warm napping spot for Jess’ two cats, Midi and Elvie.

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Image above: “The kitchen has two big windows facing different directions,” Jess says, “so it gets a lot of light throughout the day.”

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Image above: The living room entryway. Bikes, the couple’s primary form of transportation, hang on the wall.

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Image above: A hanging planter by Dana Bechert holds cuttings of a Christmas cactus that belonged to Jess’ Polish great grandmother. The portrait of Jess and her boyfriend was taken by a friend during one of Jess’ boyfriend’s DJ sets in DC.

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Image above: The living room. The side table actually conceals a litter box (there is a tiny hole visible on the side)! Eames LCW chair, Bottoni sofa by Marcel Wanders, cedar chest from Chincoteague island, Persian rug. Shibori indigo pillows dyed by Jess.

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Image above: “Our art wall is a combination of photographs and paintings by both of us, and meaningful objects for both of us.”  Weaving shuttle from a flea market, lady print by Adrian Landon Brooks, oil paintings on panel by Jess, antique Icelandic postcard found at the Reykjavik flea market, African baskets from Swaziland, hand embroidery piece by Baltimore artist Morgan Frailey.

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Image above: The living room entertainment center. “The wooden chest is an antique Chinese chest,” Jess notes, “hand-carved with motifs on all sides, gifted to me by my best friend from when she worked for an art collector in Houston, TX.” An oil painting created by Jess sits atop the shelves.

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Image above: “This rug is incredibly special to us,” Jess says. “I bought it in Teotitlan del Valle, a small village in Oaxaca, Mexico during a weeklong weaving residency I took there last spring. The fibers were dyed with moss, cochineal, and marigold. We hung it in a way recommended by my weaving instructor and used by Navajo weaving preservationists in museums. We anchored a piece of wood on the wall, covered it in velcro, and stuck the rug on top – easy!”

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Image above: Jess’ side table, a possession that she has had since childhood. On top sits a copy of Got A Girl Crush magazine, a painted antique lamp, and a ceramic pitcher purchased at a Baltimore antique store.

Design*Sponge | Sneak Peek: Jess Schreibstein's Baltimore Apartment

Image above: A donkey tail succulent hangs from a planter made by Dana Bechert.

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