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Interiorssneak peeks

An Event Planner’s Beachy Bungalow on New York’s Fire Island

by Garrett Fleming

An Event Planner's Beachy Bungalow on NY's Fire Island, Design*Sponge

Cherry Grove, a community on New York’s Fire Island, has been one of the area’s most picturesque destinations for decades. It was even made a National Historic Landmark in 2015. For event planner Jove Meyer, though, it’s much more than just a slice of sun and serenity. It’s a sanctuary where he and his friends can unwind and be their authentic queer selves away from the noise and turbulence of the city.

Jove’s journey to owning a home on Fire Island started a decade ago when he left California for New York City and Columbia University. At the time, he was fully prepared to step off the plane, out of the closet and into a classroom to start chipping away at a law degree. Not long after, however, his friend asked him to help organize her wedding, and the rest, as they say, is history. Seemingly overnight, “law school went out the window, and the beginning of Jove Meyer Events was born!” he tells us.

Since then Jove has branched out and become an LGBTQ+ advocate and speaker, traveling around the world to talk to other creatives about inclusivity in the field of wedding planning. It’s a big operation – one you’d think would have a huge office to match. On the contrary, Jove has found a way to run the outfit from this quaint Fire Island bungalow during the summer months. And it’s all thanks to some clever planning.

As you can imagine, decorating an apartment on an island presented some unique challenges, but Jove isn’t one to easily be defeated. Knowing it’d be difficult to get furniture and decor from NYC to Cherry Grove, he used digital tools to help him carefully plan what he’d need and how to make it happen in the most efficient way possible. This meant creating fewer, larger shipments that were packed to be ferry-friendly and an occasional bit of sweet talk (aka begging) with the boat’s captain. Jove explains, “Items are shipped to a warehouse then packed onto a boat and freighted to Cherry Grove and left at the end of the dock.” As if getting the furnishings there wasn’t hard enough, he had to then hire a mover to bring the pieces to his bungalow.

It took two years to slowly curate his home and many more for Jove to find his way to Fire Island from California, but having a space in one of America’s queer meccas where he can both work and play has made every bit of the journey worth it. Scroll down to peek inside his bungalow, and be on the lookout for a few decorating tips from Jove as you look around. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Chellise Michael Photography

Image above: Palm fronds, chilly – and easy-to-clean – tile and white sheers: three beach house staples.

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Unsurprisingly, Fire Island is only accessible by boat. Its remote locale taught Jove a lot about the logistical side of design. “I had to be very organized and detail oriented in my planning. There were spreadsheets, design decks, floor plans and renderings. It was quite the undertaking but so worth it!”

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Jove wanted to sleep at the apartment the day he closed, so the very first thing he brought to the home was this IKEA bed. Behind it hangs Printsburgh wallpaper. The decorations in both the bedroom and living room were inspired by designs from the brand’s collection.

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Jove ordered the bedroom’s West Elm desk, nightstands and armoire at the same time so they’d all arrive at once. Doing so meant he only had to hire movers to make one trip to the dock to pick everything up and that he could put everything together in one day.

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Long white curtains “let light in but also allow the space to feel more private.”

Decorating Tip #1: You do you, boo!

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Oftentimes, home offices are a messy afterthought designed more for function than form. Not Jove’s. He purposefully matched his desk to the nearby wooden dresser and nightstands so this area would feel more a part of the bedroom’s overall design than an eyesore.

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The home didn’t come with much built-in storage, so Jove brought in wooden pieces that would age well and enhance the space’s overall nautical vibe.

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Sadie peeking out of the bedroom.

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The apartment came with this charming wave tile border.

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“When I get off the ferry and walk into my home, I instantly feel calm. All the stresses of life melt away!” – Jove Meyer

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This little poem Jove embroidered captures more reasons why he loves his home so much.

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“At the beach, you can never have too many towels,” Jove says. Since the storage in the living room is exposed, Jove spent time picking and choosing colorful and pretty options for himself and his guests. Below the towels sit shoe racks. He placed them here so sand is contained to the front of the apartment.

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Jove likes him some tequila, and his minibar is always stocked with everything you need to make a summer cocktail, including kitschy speedo drink markers.

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“Vinyl is something I have always loved. A relaxing day for me is listening to vinyl [with a] window open and ocean breeze coming through.”

Decorating Tip #2: Be inspired by what comes from within, and follow that journey to the end!

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Renovating the tiny kitchen proved to be a big undertaking thanks to one seemingly-simple task: cutting down the marble countertop to accommodate a full-size fridge. Jove had to beg the ferry captain to let him take it across to be cut, then he locked his keys in his car and then the car wouldn’t start. Plus, it was the hottest day of the summer.

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The sunlight bouncing off of the kitchen stove comes courtesy of the space’s bright white walls. “Since the apartment is quite small, I decided to keep all [the] walls white to allow light in and [to help it] appear larger and more spacious,” Jove explains.

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Jove saves space with furniture that serves multiple purposes. This chair, for example, folds out into a bed, and the top of the coffee table accompanying it doubles as a dining table.

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Jove sometimes rents his home out to friends, so nothing can be too precious. “I knew it would all be used, so vintage and/or thrift stores and Target played a large role in the decorating process,” Jove tells us.

Decorating Tip #3: If you love it and it makes you happy, explore it. Do not run from it.

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The complex’s salt water pool is always full of interesting queer folks and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. “It is literal heaven on earth!” Jove exclaims.

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The previous owners combined two studios to make the one-bedroom unit Jove escapes to.

Bedroom
Wallpaper – Printsburgh
Bed – IKEA
Bench, copper lighting – Target
Wardrobe, side tables, desk – West Elm
Mirror, curtains – IKEA
Desk accessories, chair – vintage

Living Room
Wallpaper – Printsburg
Bamboo shelving – The Container Store

Kitchen
Island countertop – Wayfair
Shelving – IKEA
Glassware – Thrifted
Chairs – CB2

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