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Interiors

A Plant Designer and DJ’s Easy-Going Brownstone

by Sabrina Smelko

After working as a Visual Effects/Animation Producer for nearly a decade, Lisa Muñoz turned a new leaf (pun intended) and launched Leaf and June, an Interior Plant Design company, bringing greenery to New Yorkers’ homes, retail spaces, events and offices everywhere. Her boyfriend, David Azzoni, is a Partner at Turntable Lab, a New York-based DJ Shop (and is also a DJ himself, who’s been making people dance for over 16 years)! Together, Lisa and David are partners in life, love, music “and eating pasta and tacos,” adds Lisa.

After living with three roommates for years in and around Brooklyn, Lisa set her sights on this Brownstone on a tree-lined street in the Clinton Hill neighborhood. “This apartment won my heart when I saw that it had six large windows facing East and West,” Lisa says, “and also had an extra space for an office!” When Lisa moved in, there was just enough room for her things, but with the addition of David after a few months, they began to feel the limitations of 930 square feet. It forced them to play Tetris with their things, and free themselves of furniture they weren’t completely in love with. As a result, their current space is only filled with their absolute favorite and most-loved pieces. Lisa says of the downsizing experience: “It’s really incredible how much stuff you can accumulate in your life and how little you actually miss once it’s gone.” They’ve happily called this space home for nearly five years, and despite the limitations they face living in a rental — they have to refrain from their dream of renovating the kitchen — they’ve found work-arounds and practice compromise to make their space work for them, using casual and easygoing decor and — you guessed it — oodles of plants to breathe life and warmth into their space. –Sabrina

Photography by Erica Gannett

A Plant Designer and DJ's Easy-Going Brownstone
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To the left of the bed is a little reading nook filled with sun and soft light provided by a hanging lamp. An old fireplace functions as a headboard in addition to more space for plants and books. I love the diagonal floors.
A Plant Designer and DJ's Easy-Going Brownstone
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Lisa's nightstand, which is home to a Snake Plant. "It's one the best plants to remove toxins from the air," explains Lisa, "so it’s nice to have them on either side of the bed." The wooden elephant figure is one of many scattered throughout their apartment, which are collected from both of Lisa's grandmothers who believed that elephants brought good luck.
A Plant Designer and DJ's Easy-Going Brownstone
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Large mirrors were used to help make the room look and feel bigger and airier. The vintage dresser to the right is from a set of two vintage dressers that Lisa and David got for a song. I love how they tucked baskets underneath for added storage.
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The dresser in the previous photo's counterpart is kept simple, housing Big June, Stevie Wonder, Little June, and Large Marge. (Yes, Lisa and David lovingly name their plants!)
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The salvaged bookshelf between the windows feels as though it was made for that very spot and creates a nice focal point when entering the bedroom. Atop the bookshelf lives Lisa's childhood mini-piano "that David has been trying to get rid of for years," laughs Lisa, "It was either the top shelf or the sidewalk… so the top shelf it is!"
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The bedroom flows seamlessly into Lisa and David's home office, which actually used to be their bedroom before a light-bulb moment resulted in re-working the space. The bookshelf was salvaged from a bookstore Lisa used to work for.
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The office, which is also home to David’s impressive record collection. The desk is small, but works efficiently in the small space.
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"Having the desk next to the window was a must," says Lisa, "The bright natural light helps motivate and inspire," and keeps Lisa and David's plants happy!
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David and Lisa, framed by some gorgeous molding!
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Lisa and David's Brownstone floor plan.
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The window in the kitchen is home to oodles of plants and keeps things feeling fresh and clean.
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Despite their limited space, there’s always room for plants in the apartment's little elbows, nooks and crannies.
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One of Lisa and David's favorite corners in the apartment. It's light, airy, and lush without being overbearing.
A Plant Designer and DJ's Easy-Going Brownstone
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Lisa and David spend a ton of time cooking together in the kitchen, and with help from their new blue stand mixer, they've enjoyed partaking in baking weekend treats as well!
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A Plant Designer and DJ's Easy-Going Brownstone
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The living room houses Lisa's collection of records and a swoon-worthy map. The coffee table and mirrored tray came from Lisa's grandmother and the lamp is a piece David has had for years. "I wasn’t a big fan of it," says Lisa, "[but] after placing it in the corner and surrounding it with plants, I came to my senses!"
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Lisa and David's quaint dining area. The chairs were reupholstered in some of Lisa's Grandma June’s vintage floral fabric (who is also the inspiration for her company name). The poster was designed by a good friend with lyrics from Lisa's favorite Glen Campbell song.
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The side table holds a vintage-inspired fan and plants. The mug is a piece Lisa brought back from a long trip exploring Peru. "The ceramicist had a huge studio and would demonstrate how well his ceramics held up by banging them against a nail in the wall," says Lisa, "Logically we thought, why not put a cactus in it?"
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A view of the credenza from the couch. Their TV is tucked away behind sliding doors.
A Plant Designer and DJ's Easy-Going Brownstone
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This cute mid-century chair was loaned to Lisa and David years ago from a good friend. "She’s never getting it back," jokes Lisa.

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Comments

  • What a lovely home! Would you mind sharing the make of your record shelves? My husband’s collection is constantly growing, and we’re always looking for bigger and better storage options that will look good in our space and allow easy access.

    • Those shelves look like IKEA Kallex (?) – the range that replaced Edit. Looks like 2 x 8 cubby units placed on top of one another. These come with drawer and cupboard options in various colours.

  • What is the name of the plant on the fireplace mantle behind the bed? It’s beautiful!

  • I love this space. The plants are absolutely my favorite part! Also, what is the name of the plant on the left side of the mantle?

  • Wow, that is such an amazing layout and with such a small space! I love how bright and fresh each room looks, and even though they have used a lot of plants they don’t seem to get overbearing. They’ve used some great pieces of vintage furniture, I think my favorite is the reading nook in the bedroom, awesome vintage chair, awesome vintage light.

  • Lisa
    I name my plants too! I have a fern it looks like dreadlocks I don’t know it’s botanical name I call him ‘Side Show Bob’. Love your place.

  • Beautiful plants! They really make the place. I’m interested in hearing about sources for hanging planters; these are very nice.

  • You have a very beautiful home. Very peaceful ! Can I ask what kind of plant that big one in the kitchen is (photo 13) ? It looks amazing in its MCM planter.

  • It’s a far cry from our apartments on Dallas Dr. or our rental house on Coit. The place reflects you in every corner. Love the space and love you, friend.

  • You’ve truly upped my #plantgoals with your gorgeous home! I’m so inspired and itching to get to the nursery right away. So glad to have discovered Leaf and June, too!

  • With respect:
    “…they have to restrain from their dream…”
    It should be “refrain,” not “restrain.”

  • I love love love everything about this space — so open, airy, light, and simple in the perfect way. Amazing plants!

  • great design! Where is the grey sectional in the living room and the grey chair in bedroom from?! Love them both and looking for something similar. Thanks

  • love your apartment! it is gorgeous throughout and very inspiring as we’re redecorating our home. would you mind sharing what shade of paint you used? it’s so hard to find the right whites sometime. thanks!

    • Thanks for the love! Unfortunately, I’m not sure of the paint color as this was chosen by our landlord prior to our move-in. All the best with your redecorating project!

  • Hi, great apartment, we are moving with my girlfriend to a place with wodden floors just like this one and we took many ideas from yours! Would you mind sharing where is the rug from? Amazing combination with the sofa color!

  • Your light is very beautiful!! I like it very much!
    Can I know where you bought it? How does the texture look like?
    Thank you for your answer! :-)

  • Love the space! I’m currently remodeling our newly purchased home and am going for a similar style. Can you tell me where you got your cute geometric pillow on the bed from? Thanks!

  • Hey! I really love your décor! Was wondering where the pillows on the bed are from!
    Thanks

  • Adore the gold pendant lamp in your bedroom nook! May I ask where it came from? Also your house is just magical ✨

  • Your apartment is beautiful! All details, perfectly curated. I was wondering where you purchased the pillows on your bed? Looking for ones just like them : ) Thanks!

  • I am loving getting ideas from your layout and decor for my own bedroom in a home with roommates! I see that the apartment is 930 sq. ft., but do you know the rough measurements of then main part of your bedroom? I believe the room I will have is around 11×15, and just wondering how much space you had to place your bedroom layout in!
    Thanks!