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Tour Emily Ratajkowski’s Lush NYC Backyard Retreat

After collaborating with CB2 for her clothing label’s New York office, the model and podcaster reunited with the brand to create a peaceful urban oasis

Last year, model Emily Ratajkowski teamed up with CB2 to outfit the headquarters of Inamorata, the swimwear and clothing line she launched in 2017 with friend Kat Mendenhall. Inspired by the look and feel of an inviting domicile with a ’70s flair, the SoHo office’s vibe is closer to that of a comfy living room than a typical workspace, with bursts of color supplied by playful rugs throughout. Following up from that successful team effort, EmRata joined forces with CB2 again for a project even closer to home: her West Village backyard.

“I’m somebody who really knows what I like and don’t like, so it was easy,” Ratajkowski says of the design process with CB2.

The intimate backyard is hedged by lots of trees and greenery. Ratajkowski wanted the natural surroundings to take center stage, so the palette for the furniture is notably neutral; delicate moments of color provided by items like the uniquely toned Somerset Red Travertine Oil Lamp complement their leafy backdrop.

“Emily embodies the spirit of our brand, celebrating individuality and authenticity,” says CB2 President Ryan Turf. “She is a stylish tastemaker in her own right, [and] she selected products that fit her own personal style.”

AD caught up with Ratajkowski to discuss her vision for the city refuge and how the space will play into her summer routine.

Overhead view of backyard lounge seating surrounded by leafy treesCB2’s outdoor pieces are designed to withstand the various forces of nature one can expect in a rangy climate like NYC’s. “There are various durable materials featured throughout Emily’s space, including all-weather wicker and breccia marble from the Ross Cassidy assortment,” says Sara Khodja, CB2’s senior director of design and development. Photo: Frank Frances Studio

Emily Ratajkowski: It was amazing. For the office, I was keeping in mind the brand and what we wanted to represent. Obviously, there was personal style involved, but we were thinking, Does this match the branding of Inamorata?

The backyard just felt a lot more personal. I have lived in this apartment since September, and my son absolutely loves the backyard. I really wanted to find a way to maximize the space, and they helped me do that. It feels cozier than the last [collaboration].

What was the inspiration behind the look?

It was a little bit more like an oasis this time. I wanted it to just feel really fresh. The back is surrounded by trees and a lot of plants, and I wanted it to feel comfortable but still chic and modern, without being too “try hard,” if that makes any sense. I think we found a really good combination of pieces because it still feels modern, but it doesn’t feel overly designed.

Two white nesting tables shaded by trees. Lamp flowers a candle and a bowl with fruitRatajkowski and CB2 selected refined pieces for tablescape decor, aiming for an elegant look that felt effortless and not overly designed. The organic textures of the Somerset Red Travertine Oil Lamp and natural veining in the La Paloma Decorative Marble Bowl align with the earthy feel of the surroundings.  Photo: Frank Frances Studio

In what ways were you involved with designing? Did you pick the pieces?

I did. I really love design, it’s one of my “things.” My joke has always been that it’s a hidden talent and that one day maybe I’ll do interior design or architecture.

Maybe one day! You’re already designing clothing. So maybe the next step is interiors?

It’s more of a personal thing, I think. I help my friends a little bit, but it’s just for pleasure for now.

How does the backyard reflect your personal style? I know you’ve said in the past that you’re not afraid of color, but this palette is pretty neutral.

Yeah, I really wanted to highlight the backyard. There’s just so many gorgeous trees and plants, and I didn’t want it to feel too styled; I wanted it to be subtle and put together.

Did you have your son in mind when you were creating the look?

He has a little area that’s just his. We have a baby pool and a sensory table, but he was really cute when the couch got delivered. I was like, “Do you like it?” And he laid down and said, “I love it.”

Emily Ratajkowski lounging on white cushioned couch nesting white tables in foreground greenery in backgroundThe Marteau Black Iron Outdoor Sofa features details like tapered feet and a solid hammered-iron frame. For Ratajkowski, the couch was the setting’s most important item; she wanted to ground the space with a cozy neutral piece and opted to round out the lounge seating with a set of warm brown wicker chairs to avoid being too matchy-matchy.  Photo: Frank Frances Studio

Was there a particular piece that you had to have?

I really wanted a couch—that was something that was really important to me. I didn’t like the idea of matching chairs to it, so the wicker chairs that they had are just so comfortable, and I feel like they complement and contrast to the couch in a cool way.

Summer has just begun. How are you most looking forward to using the space?

We kicked it off with Memorial Day. I had a shrimp boil and barbecue. And then it was my birthday, and a bunch of friends came over for that. But honestly, just the daily use. I have a 90-pound dog and a two-year-old. Being in New York City, it’s just so nice to sit out there, having morning coffee and letting my son play. I’m very much enjoying that and looking forward to more of it.

Joyce Rey
Joyce Rey
Joyce Rey

Joyce Rey is one of the most respected names in luxury real estate worldwide, having represented some of the most significant properties in the world.



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