This Belgian turned New Yorker embraces the life of a home. Always evolving, his space is an unedited version of himself, flourishing in the urban jungle
When the sun is shining in Tribeca, you can almost certainly find Pieter Jan Mattan nestled in his window amongst the greenery of his loft. This peaceful moment endures while the rest of New York City continues on as a hub of creative and cultural activity. Its energy — intimidating to some — only seems to invigorate the creatives that thrive there. Perched in one of the oldest residential neighbourhoods in the city, PJ is one of those people. He is authentic, friendly and his down-to-earth personality resonates within his home. His loft takes on many functions: a workspace, a relaxing nook, a gathering place. Bewitched by New York and pulled away from his native Belgium, PJ has made a living as a creative director here since 2011. His work constitutes an ever-changing landscape of opportunities throughout a variety of different industries, and that means he must always be quick to adapt and keen on striking a balance. Within the landscape of his home, too, he balances the urban expanse with some naturalia. It is purposefully unpolished. Instead, it manifests the experiences of his life and celebrates the people living within.
Curated by Coincidence
My home in itself is very spontaneous and playful. It’s a bit evolutionary, and I think a home should be like that.” Yet, as it evolves, his home maintains its textbook, industrial Tribeca loft feel, with high ceilings and large windows. The pieces he brings in to populate the space are traces of himself and his relationships here.
Bringing a space to life with objects and decor
The plants live in an eccentric variety of vases, placed throughout the living room as if by nature itself. Despite its pristine cleanliness, the cream-colored couch by the window reaches out and invites you to make yourself at home. Surrounded by the mismatched collection of small tables, you’re sure to find some interesting reading material. PJ accumulates objects and decor from his friends, as a result of working partnerships or simply because he likes them. “When I like something, I just bring it home, and if it doesn’t fit I pass it along to someone else.” In this way, the space is alive. The array of lush greenery in his home only “brings more life and energy” to the atmosphere of his space
“Music is part of the interior in the way that when you have music on in your home, you’re inside a bubble and protected from the outside world.”
Pieter Jan Mattan
Bringing in Nature
In step with the way PJ saturates his space with living things, he uses music and sound to add even more natural qualities to his industrial space. On summer evenings, he’ll throw open the windows and cue up some bird sounds. It quickly transports him back to nature. “You can be smack in the middle of Manhattan but feel like you’re out in the countryside. That’s the power of music.”
Besides using the sounds of nature, PJ creates atmosphere in his home when playing music throughout the day. Without considering the particular artist or genre too much, he feels instantly at ease as long as something is playing. “Music is part of the interior in the way that when you have music on in your home, you’re inside a bubble and protected from the outside world.” His bubble — overwhelmed by the organic — comfortably juxtaposes the expansive concrete jungle lying in wait just outside.