By Caroline Biggs

Published on June 29, 2015

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Photography by BRITTANY AMBRIDGE

With the help of her best girlfriend, Lisa Salzer—founder of the downtown, vintage-inspired jewelry and accessories collection Lulu Frost—gives her Manhattan design studio a hip, budget-friendly makeover.

These improvised wall decals, made from cut strips of black gaffer tape, were inspired by artist Donald Robertson’s high-low creations.

STOOLS

vintage, abchome.com

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PENDANTS

Hektar in dark gray ikea.com

In 2004, when Lisa Salzer first launched Lulu Frost, she was just wrapping up her senior year at Dartmouth. “My first customers were my girlfriends and professors,” she recalls. “I sold jewelry out of my dorm room.” More than a decade later, she’s upgraded to a soaring loft in Manhattan’s Flatiron district. For help designing her multifunctional office, Salzer called upon her close friend (and former college roommate) Katie Martinez. Together, the pair cleverly carved the open space into separate areas, each with a distinct purpose: a wholesale showroom, a production space, and a retail store. Then, they selected a series of retro and handmade furnishings (as well as their own DIY effects) for touches of character, energy, and wit. “It took a lot of extremely hands-on work,” Salzer explains, “but you do appreciate your surroundings so much more when you’ve created them.”

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Salzer’s jewelry collections are often influenced by history; for inspiration, she studies classical art and sculpture for compelling silhouettes and patterns.

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Martinez (left) and Salzer hang at the newly remodeled Lulu Frost studio.

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FLOOR LAMP

Mantis BS1 B in black by Bernard Schottlander dwr.com

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Cultures collide: a French settee upholstered with Japanese shibori cloth is paired with an African Bamileke table.

FABRIC

(on settee) hand-dyed by deLana Textiles, etsy.com 

RUG

Reverb in black by CB2

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Salzer splattered these display tables with black paint to add a dash of drama without breaking the bank!

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Gracefully proportioned windows offer enviable views of the Flatiron district.