East Village loft, New York

When they first furnished their East Village loft, Alesch and Standefer couldn't afford custom built-ins, so they salvaged a massive pharmacy cabinet and made it their bar. "Putting glassware and bottles in a cabinet allows people to use it," Standefer said. "If you just have objects, it becomes too precious — like a museum." They purchased the bison hide on the side of a highway for $1,000. "We probably had 1,200 bucks to our name, and we looked at each other and we had to buy it," Alesch said. Standefer said she hopes such stories can inspire a sense of adventure in their clients. "To really love an object — enough to spend a decent amount on it, or enough to drag it off the beach," she said. "Either one takes a lot of time, a lot of stamina, a lot of care, and that's the way we do our houses."
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