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The Home of Garrett & Anna Albury of @coolstuff.nyc



Anna Albury home design interview


I'm back with another issue of Group Project! And it's gonna be a cool one.


Anna and Garrett Albury are the founders of @coolstuff.nyc, aka my resource for what to do, what to eat, and design-centric things to see in New York and beyond. If you follow Anna on Instagram @hello_anna_b then you know every inch of their home is imbued with personality. They're both designers - one's a maximalist and one's a minimalist - so I was very curious to explore how they navigate living together for this Group Project.


Group Project is an interview series with people who live together about creating a home that blends their styles and meets their needs.


One of the top questions I get as a designer is “what do I do if my partner has a different style.” And the truth is, I think that answer is going to be unique to each couple, and that’s why I started Group Project.



Anna and Garrett Albury of coolstuff.nyc
Photo by @betancisco


How would you describe your own individual personal styles at home, and have they changed since you moved in together?

Anna leans more modern & colorful, while Garrett leans more masculine and minimalistic. After living together for 3 years now, Anna’s style has evolved into including more neutrals into the palette of the home, and Garrett’s style has become more maximalist.



Home office of Anna Albury


Is one of you more opinionated when it comes to designing your home? If so, how do you navigate creating a home that meets both of your needs?


We are both very opinionated in style as we’re both designers, but there is also a mutual respect for each other’s taste. If one of us vetoes an idea, we simply move on to the next great one instead of wishing it could have been our initial personal vision. This is probably why our home is reflective of both of our individual identities as well as the identity we have formed as a couple.

"If one of us vetoes an idea, we simply move on to the next great one instead of wishing it could have been our initial personal vision."



Bookshelf styling in the home of Anna and Garrett Albury


What’s the last design decision you made together, and how did you make it?


We recently updated our kitchen furniture and layout to make the process of cooking & storage easier on us. We replaced a small butcher block with a vintage dresser that now houses our linens, fancy plates, serving ware & serves as the “coffee bar” with our espresso machine on top. There were a lot of intentional directions for this area. We considered getting a tall china cabinet with glass doors or shelves on top, but we didn’t want a super large piece to overwhelm our small kitchen space. We are deeming the “kitchen dresser” the next big kitchen staple.



Colorful dining room of Anna Brettschneider


How does your home reflect your relationship?


Absolutely yes…our home is a visual blend of our two styles and our relationship is similar in that we really come together rather than veering towards one person’s preferences or style. There’s a lot of equality in the layout and decoration in our home, just like what we strive for in our relationship.



Living room in home of @hello_anna_b


Your favorite thing about your home, and why?


We have sufficiently filled our home with a LOT of things. These are all things that make us happy, remind us of fun memories & inspire us, so it is truly a joy to look at all of our bits and bobs every day.





Have there been any contentious pieces? Tell us about the resolution (if there was one)


Our most contentious piece in our home is probably our couch…Garrett had this couch before we moved in and while it’s simple and modern and lovely…Anna dreams of a soft cushy velvet sofa in a deep green color. The resolution is that when we inevitably move to our next apartment, we (fingers crossed) will have room to have this current couch in a guest room or office, with a new couch in the living room. The couch is simply too high of quality and in too good of condition to justify replacing it right now (Garrett wrote this last sentence).



Coffee table in home of @hello_anna_b


The best part about living together is...


sharing meals and coffee together (and with friends) at home.

The challenging part about living together is


this is the hardest question, only because we really do love living together!



Rug design in home of @hello_anna_b for Domino Mag
Photo by Belle Morizio for Domino Mag


What’s one piece of design advice you’d share with other people who are creating a home together?

Be willing to embrace a style totally different from your expectations. No matter if you’re designing a space alone or with a partner, it will never be exactly how you imagine and that is probably a good thing. Allow yourself to try things out, especially with smaller, less expensive accents that can be easily changed or replaced. Nothing is permanent, and your shared space will evolve just like every other part of your relationship.

"Be willing to embrace a style totally different from your expectations."

Thank you Anna & Garrett for your thoughtful responses! I hope this peek into their approach  at designing a home gives you food for thought if you too are walking the design path with a partner.

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Meet Cristina Cleveland

Interior Designer

I created the Interior Style Quiz to give you the tools and language to express your style more cohesively in your home. 

Book a call if you need help closing the gap between your home right now and the personal style you want to be expressing.

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