Intertwined Histories Lead the Decor in a Downtown Manhattan Home

When Emily Adams Bode and Aaron Aujla first moved into their downtown Manhattan rental, it was just an empty white box—no kitchen, no walls, barely any electrical wiring. But the one winning feature, a wood-burning stove, was enough to spark their imagination. “When friends come over, they don’t understand we built all this,” Bode says on a recent visit to the apartment. Almost entirely clad in African mahogany and coffee-stained Douglas fir, the home now has the patina of a space that’s been there awhile. And that, Bode says, “was the goal.”

In the wood-clad living area of Emily Adams Bode and Aaron Aujla’s Chinatown, New York, apartment, a 1940s suit from the Congo hangs above a custom corduroy sofa covered in personal drawings.

Over the last few years, she and Aujla, who met in 2010, have crafted separate businesses around that very idea: giving new things a sense of

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