The best homes are the ones that evolve slowly over time, the kind of spaces where one can point to any object and the owner will have an interesting story about where it was sourced or how it was made. Take Clément and Sara Pascal’s Bushwick apartment. The couple (he’s a photographer; she’s a psychologist) bought the 1,000-square-foot flat in Brooklyn ten years ago—and it took them about that long to get it to where it is now.
Much of the vintage midcentury furniture was found by patiently stalking eBay and Craigslist (including nearly all the iconic Nelson Bubble Lamps), and what they couldn’t track down, Clément made himself (such as the DIY lookalike BDDW Captain’s Mirror hanging in their living room). As for the plentiful storage built-ins, they’re also Clément’s handiwork: “Once I started, I couldn’t stop finding places where I could add storage,” he shares.
Their most recent upgrade: swapping out sliding closet doors in the bedroom for wood-paneled ones. Clément counts it as one his DIY highlights: “It was a very long time coming,” he notes (ten years, to be exact). Ironically, a month later, the couple sold the apartment, now finally in its finished state.
They’ll soon be moving into a new space in Fort Greene and applying the same slow-wins-the-race design philosophy. We asked them to stay in touch and let us know when it will be photo-ready. Clément’s response? “Might take another 10 years.”
Below, he walks us through their Bushwick apartment, the pair’s first labor of love.
Photography by Clément Pascal.
Above: Clément and Sara’s apartment is in a four-story building that had been gutted and redone. “Charm of the old but new inside,” he explains. The living room showcases many of his vintage scores, among them the leather Poltrona Fraus sofa bought in Germany and shipped here” (“still probably cheaper than a sofa from West Elm”). Above it are two oversized movie-set Mole-Richardson lights sourced on eBay, rewired, and repainted. And to the right, “a round mirror I made myself when I wanted to buy a BDDW Captains Mirror but couldn’t afford it.”
Above: The dining chairs are by Peter Danko ($25 each on eBay!): “I love how fluid the lines are.” (Chairish currently has it for $399 each.) The Saarinen Tulip Table is a Craigslist find. The photographs on the walls are by Clément.
Above: “I like any kind of light that will have a soft glow, so I love Nelson and Noguchi lamps,” says Clément. The Nelson hanging over the table is vintage from eBay. The round one was sourced on Craigslist “for very cheap.” Not pictured are three more Nelson lights hanging in a hallway, all found on Craigslist.
Above: Clément’s proudest DIY achievement are the storage built-ins in the apartment. “I like midcentury plywood paneling, so integrating that with the built-ins is something that I really wanted.” Hovering above the Eames lounge chair is the String Cone Light by Michael Anastassiades for Flos. “I also sourced this on Craigslist. The idea is to have fun and be creative with how you install the cord.”
Above: Clément’s father flew in from France to help him build the first built-ins. “I found a good source for plywood [LeNoble Lumber in Long Island City], and that changed everything,” he shares. “All of the plywood I used around the house is white oak, as we wanted to keep it light and not too expensive.” The painting next to the bookshelf is by Landon Metz, as is the large one over the sofa.
Above: To the right are glass doors that lead to the terrace, where Clément cut the plywood to length. “It was an ideal setup,” he says. The golden-ish painting propped against the wall is by California-based artist Jed Ochmanek. “Most artworks I own are by artists I met while photographing them for different publications.”
Above: “The little red table lamp is a vintage Jucker table lamp by Tobia Scarpa, sourced on eBay a while back.”
Above: Propped against the wall on the left side of the cabinets is an Eames-designed splint—”made during the war for soldiers, I believe”—a gift from his wife.
Above: The view into the main bedroom, where a Cy Twombly printed on a silk scarf hangs above the bed. Flanking the bed are two Nelson wall sconces. “I think they’re the perfect plug-in lamp. We have four in the apartment, and three of them are from Craigslist,” says Clément.
Above: Here, in lieu of plywood, the couple chose Ikea components for the built-ins. The cabinets on the short side conceal their laundry hamper.
Above: Clément’s last project in the apartment: new plywood-paneled doors on the closet with custom handles. “I designed them and made them in collaboration with my friend Gio from @studiopoa. I wanted something that was round, organic, and fluid and that would stand out and match the spirit of our decor.”
For more Brooklyn apartments we love, see: