By Molly Rosen Guy

Published on November 10, 2017

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Photography by CLAIRE ESPARROS

The first time Shelly Lynch-Sparks laid eyes on Anna Maltezos, she was performing in improv onstage. “She was totally my type,” says Lynch-Sparks. “Brunette, dark eyes. olive complexion, tat sleeves.” One afterparty and a martini later, they went on their first date. “We’ve been together ever since,” she says.

Two months later, Maltezos — now a writer and producer for Sirius XM Radio—moved into Lynch-Sparks’s Lower East Side studio. “The apartment was literally a fucking box,” says Lynch-Sparks, an interior designer who recently launched her own company Hyphen. “It was all Ikea and furniture I pulled off the street and a John Lennon poster. After I proposed, we knew we needed to upgrade to more space asap.” 

And upgrade they did. Following their “traditionally non-traditional destination” 100-person wedding in Vieques, Puerto Rico, the two moved across the bridge to a luxury building on the waterfront in South Williamsburg.

“We love vintage furniture,” says Lynch-Sparks, “so we spent a lot of time scouring the Brooklyn Flea for one-of-a-kind pieces. We bought this beautiful mid-century chair from an old Italian man and recovered it in leather with velvet piping.” 

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The finished space, a 700-square-foot gem overlooking Manhattan is a study in contrasts: a light, airy cocoon of statement pieces, dark woods and unexpected ethnic and floral finishes.

“Anna gives me a lot of freedom to experiment with design,” says Lynch-Sparks. “Our space is full of plants and blacks and grays, but also a soft color palette. We love mixing masculines and feminines.”

And one thing is certain: They have no plans to move anytime soon. “Most nights you can find us on our balcony drinking whiskey and listening to bluegrass and chilling with our Chihuahua and Russian Blue cat,” says Lynch-Sparks. “We love where we live.” 

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Here, Lynch-Sparks fills in the blanks of our “After I Do” mad lib:

Before I got married my apartment was kind of a mix between 

DIY carpentry

 and 

Ikea

. I lived with 

Chloe, my BFF

, and I spent most of my time 

never at home—always working or going out. I live on the LES before all the best places closed, and it was still a neighborhood.

Boy, was it 

fun

 when I moved in with 

Anna

.

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When it comes to art, I’m all about

original pieces

. My partner prefers

the same

.

The most beloved piece of art we own is

four neighborhood prints

 from Knowlita.

The first dinner party we threw together was

what is now our annual holiday party

. We invited

our closest friends

 and cooked

beef brisket

. The one thing I regret was

too much bourbon (the only rule was (and still is) you have to come with a bottle of bourbon)

.

 
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On a typical Monday evening, we can be found

taking a boxing class

 and cooking dinner together. Saturday afternoons are for an outdoor adventure, and on Sundays we always

listen to records, play guitar, drink wine, and play Scrabble on the balcony or watch football with friends.

We mostly shop for furniture in vintage stores. The most expensive piece we’ve purchased was

our kitchen light fixtures

, which came from

Barn Light Electric. I would spend my life savings on lighting.

 
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The thing

Anna

is most attached to from single life is

a hutch she found on the street. She will never get rid of it. I keep it tucked away in the back corner of our living room.

 

The five items you will always find in our refrigerator are

good wine, La Croix, everything to make a full cheese plate, fresh fruit

, and

mochi ice cream

.

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The five items you will always find in our medicine cabinet are

Fresh Beauty everything, Real Purity Deodorant, Acure face wash, retinol

, and

melatonin

.

I absolutely cannot get in bed at night without using my

Fresh nectar mask

on my

face

.

The registry item we can’t live without is

our Boos block cutting board

.

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Our favorite rooms in the house are

the kitchen and living room

because

we

entertain and cook constantly

. We spend a lot of time w

ith each other

there. 

When it comes to housework, I am the one who always

makes the bed

. My partner, on the other hand, insists on

doing laundry

. The one thing we can’t agree on is

putting away our clothes at the same time.

The three best organizational tricks I’ve learned are

vertical storage is everything, use labels

, and

use storage bins for everything from linens to keepsakes.

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When it comes to money, our biggest challenge is

how to save for a house

.

We both love to spend on travel and are always on a plane somewhere. 

The most important piece of advice I would give to newlyweds is

appreciate the small things and never take your partner for granted. 

Never, ever compromise when it comes to

the way you feel. Silence and passive aggression get you nowhere.

 

In ten years, we hope for our home to be

larger and even cozier

, filled with tons of

wild children and love

.

 
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My design aesthetic is three words is

feminine/masculine, vintage mid-century

, and

eclectic

. My partner’s is

bold, soft

, and

vintage-eclectic

.

Our most memorable fight at Ikea was about

which horrible dresser to buy

.

One thing no one knows about our home is

that I installed most of the woodwork myself

.

See more newlywed homes:

How Three Couples Share One Brooklyn Home
A Bohemian Haven in a Brooklyn Townhouse, Built by Newlyweds
How a Creative Couple Combined Their Homes After Marriage