This East Village Loft Captures the "Urban Aunt" Aesthetic — This is How to do Apartment Living in 2024

The Urban Aunt aesthetic is gaining traction across our socials, and this NYC loft is the perfect example of the trend in action

A textured living room with patterned sofa
(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Styling by Katja Greeff. Design: Evan Edward)

The Urban Aunt trend is sweeping across our social media feeds, and this quintessential New York City loft, designed by Evan Edward, perfectly encapsulates the look. 'It's a sumptuous but relaxed hideout in the city,' says Josh Evan, co-founder of Evan Edward.

Previously owned by the renowned fashion model Erin Wasson, this space draws inspiration from the rich hues of the original brick walls and exposed beams, as well as from the current owners' passion for travel, art, and their appreciation of live music. Primarily used as a pied-à-terre, it serves as both a fun space and a place for inspiration. 'The authenticity and energy of the space is very powerful,' says Josh. 'We shared this appreciation with our clients.'

The loft has an open plan with a large great room divided into three zones. 'As the homeowners embark on their journeys, they continually create lasting memories and carry fragments of the rich histories of the places they explore.' says Josh. 'We share a history with this property, having collaborated on it with the renowned model Erin Wasson, its former owner, who used the loft as her East Coast residence. Our current clients purchased the space as a pied-à-terre, maintaining its use as a place for entertainment and inspiration,' says Josh Evan. Here, we speak to the design team to find out more about the creation of this luxe, boho modern home.

1. Texture

A textured living room fit for entertaining

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Styling: Katja Greeff. Design: Evan Edward)

Soft furnishings and texture is one key way that the design team at Evan Edward have brought that boho feel to the space. High-pile upholstered accent chairs are mixed with shaggy rugs, complemented with layers of cushions and throws that make the space feel sumptuous and chic.

In the bedroom, a velvet throw brings rich indulgence to the space, while in the living room, an accent sofa is upholstered in a gorgeous patterned velvet that was sourced through Angela Brown Ltd.

2. Mixed decor

A bedroom in the urban aunt style

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Styling by Katja Greeff. Design: Evan Edward)

Decor is a key component in this loft and reflects a life well-lived by its occupants. The decor was sourced from all over, including 1stDibs, Andrianna Shamaris, and The Bank in New Orleans as well as auctions. The effect is a richly layered space. 'We thought of an opulently colored Opium den,' says Josh Evan.

The bedroom is one such room that is richly decorated, leaving the space feeling cozy and elegant. The light fixture is from The Bank, New Orleans with complementary Shagreen nightstands. Vintage mismatched mid-century lamps are from 1stDibs while the shaggy rug is Galerie Shabab.

It also means that patterns are mixed without ever clashing. 'We weave a color story throughout the space so patterned layers can be introduced,' says Josh.

'The primary suite opens to the great room but is separated by a large antique door that our clients found while traveling to New Orleans. We started a fantastic relationship with the dealer and still source from them when we need to find pieces with flair.'

3. Reclaimed natural materials

A dining room with exposed brickwork wall

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Styling by Katja Greeff. Design: Evan Edward)

To embrace the history and heritage of the property, the firm retained the exposed brickwork look, adding texture to the hard materials.

'We would never cover that wonderful patina and texture! It is so rich and layered,' says Josh. 'The combination of the brick walls and exposed beams - rough-hewn finishes - with the sumptuous fabrics of the upholstery and substantial furniture creates such a mood. You want to stay a while and take it all in.'

For Evan, the walls help drive the Urban Aunt trend aesthetic. 'This space has a bohemian history in its walls,' he says. 'I think that is what attracted the clients to it. A loft is a space to experiment with and I think we wanted to create an unstuffy but sumptuous city hideaway.'

4. Entertaining focus

A living room with exposed brickwork and wooden beams

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Styling by Katja Greeff. Design: Evan Edward)

Entertaining is at the heart of every Urban Aunt's home. She loves to host, often relying on her well-stocked living room bar to keep guests topped up. Sofas are geared toward stimulating conversation, and this living space is the perfect example.

Sofas are turned in on themselves to create a smaller, cozier, and more intimate space within the larger room. In the center, a wooden coffee table makes for a spectacular statement centerpiece.

'It's my favorite room,' says Evan. 'The main living space is just perfect to move through during a party,' he says. 'You can have intimate moments in the different zones. The central living area is cozy for late-night chats after a dinner party at the gorgeous Rosewood table from Andrianna Shamaris.'

5. Color palette

A living room with coffee table

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Styling by Katja Greeff. Design: Evan Edward)

Finally, the color palette is a key driver for the boho look and the loft is a masterclass in how to decorate with jewel tones. 'We were inspired by the interests of our clients, one a painter, one a musician,' explains Josh. 'We studied their work, their collections, their taste in music, and over the process of getting to know them, we came up with something that would reflect the passion for their creative endeavors in a space that we knew so well.

'We wanted the loft to feel like a synesthesia of our clients’ artistic visions with the space they chose to live in.'

Rich saturated hues inclue wine-soaked burgundy, bronze and brass from light fixtures and accents, and deep blues, Brown warm wood to complement the historicity of materials used in the apartment, and brown delivers through natural woods too - like the rosewood dining table.

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Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.