Laying Down Roots: Emily Adams Bode and Aaron Aujla
Photographs of the stylish Manhattan apartment shared by the designers Emily Adams Bode and Aaron Aujla reveal a home filled with warmth and familiarity. From mahogany panelled walls to furniture scribbled with family names, it is a lived-in space that speaks of family history, and the deep-rooted connection the couple share. It’s a fitting introduction to this power couple and the life they have built together over the past decade, which is filled with family heirlooms and exquisite hand-made objects. Though this design duo each have their own individual careers – Bode is a menswear designer and Aujla designs furniture and interiors – they have come together on numerous endeavors, and it’s clear to see how they feed into and influence one another’s ways of working.
Bode and Aujla met when they were in their twenties, a time when neither had established a secure career. Aujla remembers, “We spent our twenties together, figuring out what the rest of our lives would be.” Rather than drifting apart as so many young couples do in these formative years, the growth they experienced together was a unifying experience. Aujla observes how supportive it was having a kindred spirit to bounce ideas off, and find solace in when times were hard: “We have spent a lot of time working through life’s ups and downs, and we had always found each other in these moments of like, what are we doing?”
Over time, Bode has established a couture menswear brand Bode, a style she calls “workwear mixed with a love of domestic textile.” Her emphasis has always been on lovingly hand-made objects with a familial feel, incorporating elements of applique, quilting and mending. They are often made from globally sourced, antique or vintage fabrics which include New England quilts, 1920s French bed linens, hand-spun Indian textiles, and even grain sacks from the south-eastern US. Working in this deeply personal way with sustainable fabrics has made Bode a pioneer in slow fashion, and it’s earned her a series of recent accolades and followers. She says, “It takes a lot to make a Bode piece. There are many hands that work on each one, which makes the work so distinct and personal.”
Aujla has followed a different path, establishing the furniture and interior design brand ‘Green River Project’ with Benjamin Bloomstein. Both men have a history of making art objects, and have since developed skills in woodwork and metalsmithing that feeds into the work of their design studio. The style of Green River Project is one of dark, earthy materials with a rough-hewn quality, including raw mahogany and coffee-stained lauan and bamboo. Their particular emphasis is on wood-focused interiors, and they have created bespoke interiors for some of New York’s hippest bars and restaurants.
Bode and Aujla began working together in 2017 when GRP upholstered a series of stools and daybeds with Bode fabrics. These striking objects have since become highly desirable objects across New York City. GRP went on to design the interior for Bode’s first store in New York’s Lower East Side, decking it out in warm and inviting wood panelling. This same aesthetic became the starting point for the couple’s apartment in Manhattan’s Chinatown, once a blank, white slate that they have completely transformed over many years of time, patience and dedication. The couple recently got married, and their wedding was a homespun, bohemian affair held in their own backyard. Bode says, “It was very important to Aaron and to myself to begin our life together in our new home, and on our property, creating memories and traditions that would forever live in this space and forever be a part of our family’s history.”
thank you for writing and sharing stories about people, places, and artwork that I would never intersect with otherwise. Always enjoyable and informative!