Inside a Brooklyn-based design studio where two former models set the scene


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When Jordy Murray met Nora O’Neil in 2017, their fate seemed a little different. They were in their early twenties and lived in New York City as they had bi-coastal relationships with roommates who, before they even met, insisted they get along – after all, they were in. fashion and had similar interests. Although the two relationships ultimately fell apart, the exes were right about one thing: the duo was meant to last.

Sure enough, Nora and Jordy became quick friends, spending much of their 40s together engaged in many hobbies; the most decisive of them being the flea markets and flea markets. “I really like it,” Jordy says, citing his love for hunting in everything vintage, from clothing to furniture.

As their modeling gigs dwindled in light of the pandemic, the opportunity presented itself to turn the pursuit of leisure into a full-time side activity, flipping some of their furniture finds on Instagram and hosting the collection. in Nora’s garage. They remember how the coins came and went, and, as they realized there was a real market for it, decided to uproot from the West Coast to Bushwick, New York. Since then, the page has grown into a studio in its own right.

A range of tanned products in coordinated colors in a corner of the studio.

On the left, a checkered stool designed by Nora.

Today, Nora and Jordy operate from the same Brooklyn loft teeming with an eclectic array of 20th century treasures. While they are still on the hunt for furniture, the studio has grown into a multi-disciplinary operation, with a host of other projects underway including interior design concerts, custom furniture commissions, as well as studio rentals.

“Interior design is more of the end goal,” notes Nora, as they discuss their new interior design project for a home in South Hampton. But due to the particularly frantic nature of the industry after the lockdown, they had to be especially savvy, avoiding delays by sticking to vintage and custom for sourcing. “A SoHo store gave us a week’s notice to design their new showroom,” Jordy remarks, noting that not everything includes a generous disclaimer.

The White Air Lounge chair by Fabio Novembre stands in the center. A pair of Mies van der Rohe cantilever chairs in the back.

While their new creative ventures have taken them on projects all over town, they’ve also brought them back to their charming Bushwick outpost, and even to their roots in fashion. Renowned designers, including Cup and Cloth & Bone spotted their eye-catching page on Instagram, praising their location for photo ops and blowing the page up with their large following.

But it’s not always easy to rent a studio that’s constantly changing: one brand, they remember, based their entire photoshoot around a rattan chair they saw on their Instagram page. It had sold some time ago but had not been recovered. As fate would have it, on the morning of the photoshoot, the client finally arrived, threw the chair onto his back and walked out, causing a moment of panic.

“The truth is, we love everything,” says Nora of their proud finds. “These are all our babies. Amid the revolving nature of their business, one room is here to stay: A vintage Ikea coat rack with feminine curves draws the light into the corner. This is Laurids Lonborg’s 1980s Postmodern Figurative Female Valet, one of the most popular vintage Ikea tickets everyone seems to be chasing these days, fetching over $ 700. The coin became their “logo”, in a sense, still gracing the homepage of their website. This is the one they will not let go, despite the many requests, and which will certainly accompany them to their new location in the fall.

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Joseph E. Golightly