Space of the Week: What Color Is Your Railroad?

Ashima Jain, left, is a freelance art director who has lived in a railroad apartment in Park Slope for the past four years. Her friend Lauren Shields is a prop stylist who moved into an identically laid-out apartment in the same building the year before. They’re both fabulously creative designers with very different aesthetics, which photographer Poul Ober documents in the following slides. Photo: Poul Ober

Top: Ashima loves “anything that marries thoughtful design with deliberate function.” The chalkboard was rescued from P.S. 39 and turned into a headboard over a weekend. Her fire-engine-red cabinets are from Ikea, and the dot rug, where her dog, Frankie, sleeps, is from ABC Carpet & Home. Bottom: In contrast to Ashima, Lauren “never met a color that she didn’t like.” She says she has a “proclivity for collecting, a penchant for found objects, and a passion for textiles and pattern.” She has made or embellished nearly all of her apartment’s furnishings. Photos: Poul Ober

Top: Ashima took a photo of the word “delicious” on a Mr. Softee ice-cream truck, then redrew it and had it made into a sticker for her office wall. The stadium seats were found at the Brooklyn Flea, then refashioned into bench seating by Pete Goetz at Quincy Street Custom. Bottom: The same room in Lauren’s apartment is used as a “test kitchen for all sorts of craft recipes,” complete with a découpaged Ikea magnet board. ” Photos: Poul Ober

Left: Ashima’s dining room doubles as a Ping-Pong”centered playroom. Her “deep nostalgia for my varsity soccer days” shows up in the dozens of trophies she proudly (and ironically) displays on the shelves above. Right: Lauren uses the same space in her apartment as an irony-free living room. Photos: Poul Ober

Left: The large room at the end of the apartment is Ashima’s living room. The large couch was a rescue from the Upper West Side that she inherited and reupholstered. The Eames rocker is from Design Within Reach, and the other gray seat is from CB2. The vintage Eames chairs are from Craigslist. The flokati is from Ikea, and the big rug is from the remnants department at ABC Carpet & Home. Right: Lauren’s designated this space her guest room, furnishing it with a mix of pieces found on the street and from Ikea and Crate & Barrel. Photos: Poul Ober

Left: Ashima’s kitchen shelf and wineglass rack were done with the help of Pete Goetz. Right: Lauren’s kitchen also has a counter with stools and a wall installation of votive candles. Photos: Poul Ober

Left: A close-up detail of Ashima’s wineglass rack. Right: Lauren’s sweet wall votives. Photos: Poul Ober

Among the wonderful original details in Ashima’s apartment are these pocket doors. She is looking for someone to fix the cracked etched glass, so if there are any glass experts out there, give me a shout. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Ashima has one more room in her apartment than Lauren, which she has made into a very edited-down library of vintage Penguin paperbacks. “I live by a strict rule to keep it all minimal: one in, one out.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

Space of the Week: What Color Is Your Railroad?