stripped away

Did you see the feature on John Derian’s house in The New York Times a couple of weeks back? It was called the Makeunder. Derian is all about preserving and in many cases exulting what many people would call the downfalls of the apartment. The cigarette smoke stained walls, the creaky floorboards, and chipped paint are all features Derian chose to maintain when “renovating” his latest home. As he says, “I don’t want to lose the look of the place – I want that patina.”

I often dream of stripping back my own home – removing all the layers and layers of paint to reveal the natural wood, taking the floors down to the sub level, and restoring the old wood windows. Of course that’s not really a reality with two kids and a full time job! But one day…maybe one day.

In the bedroom the original subfloor is brought back to life infusing the room with character. 

In the kitchen, Derian installed an old sink and countertop that looks like it has been there for decades.

The bathroom is all new but the white subway tiles and hexagon floor with dark grout make it look part of the past.

Derian painted the floors in the living room and removed some questionable lighting but otherwise this room looks very much the same as when he bought it.

Another view of the living room.

To see more photos from John Derian’s house including the before photos check out The New York Times story.

Do you think you could live in this kind of stripped back style? Would the crumbling paint and squeaky floors drive you crazy or would you feel right at home?

Image credits:
William Abranowicz


Filed under beautiful objects


  1. Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    love all of this (might re-do the bathroom tiles)…but everything else is perfect! xo

  2. Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    I absolutely love it!!!

  3. Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    Love it! Its like the old charm of European homes. I wish my house hadn’t been completely gutted, and that it had but a 1/10 of the charisma this home has!

  4. Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    It works no doubt in this home,but lets face it quite often you don’t find a home that makes you want to keep all those layers.

  5. Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    i love it!!! my husband would jump off a clifff!
    with two boys, my house will end up looking like that sooner or later!!!
    On old wood windows – i am sooo happy to bid rid of them emma! the single panes are not enough to keep the cold out…and heavy drapes hung over the rads is a bad idea too! in a different climate, maybe!

  6. Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    What a cool story! I love it… I would live there in a minute!

  7. Posted October 29, 2012 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    One of my favourites, to be sure!

  8. Posted October 29, 2012 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    I love the apartment, particularly the bathroom and the floors but I prefer a fresher look on walls – I’d rather that patinas live on furniture or in pictures.

  9. Posted October 29, 2012 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

    I love old touches like mouldings, wood floors, chandeliers etc, but this house just looks dirty and grimy to me. I love the style of the bathroom, but the tub looks too icky to bathe in and I would paint the walls– looks like it has layers of someone else’s grease and smoke.

  10. Posted October 29, 2012 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

    The original subfloor in the bedroom is beautiful. I love the old touches throughout the whole apartment.

  11. Posted November 2, 2012 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

    Well pickle, I’m gonna be a dissenter here :) — I don’t love this. I love a lot of Derian’s stuff in his shop and whatnot, but this is a bit too rustic chic for my taste. But I still loved seeing all the photos!

2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] pause and look through these timeworn and very undone images of John Derian‘s home found via The Marion House Book last [...]

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