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When Tariq Dixon and Nick Nemechek first started trawling flea markets in upstate New York for interior design objects, they would often be forced to sell some of the surplus pieces they brought home because they had nowhere to store them. The pair turned from amateur hobbyists into business partners after realizing there was a gap in the market for the service they were providing. Founded online in 2013, TRNK offers a carefully curated selection of home furnishings in addition to a self-designed product line. Brooklyn-based Tariq—whose own home is a warm medley of earth tones and rich jewel accents—explains the art behind cultivating a space that truly reflects your personal taste.

What does home mean to you?
Home is a safe space that grounds and centers me. A place where, in the morning, I can reflect and think about the day ahead and what I want to accomplish. It’s also about creating memories and experiences with the people I care about most. When I moved to New York City right out of college, everyone was very transient and moving apartments every single year. It took me some time to realize the importance of home, but I’ve really come to appreciate it.

It’s the weekend and you’re entertaining friends. What music are you playing?
I like mellow, mid-tempo music that has a soothing quality and permits conversation at the same time.

What’s a common mistake when it comes to interior design?
It’s important to consider how you’ll use the space. Design is intended to be functional—that’s what separates it from art. Sometimes we overlook that and simply focus on the aesthetic, but I think that defeats the point. It should be equal parts practical and beautiful.

In an age of Pinterest and IKEA, when interiors can end up feeling like cookie-cutter copies of one another, how do you ensure that your space feels individual?
During the design process, it’s best not to overthink things and instead accept it as a work-in-progress. That’s part of what makes my home unique—it’s constantly transitioning as my tastes evolve, as I discover new things, and as I find new sources of inspiration. I prefer to allow it to be malleable in that way.

How do you manage to fit it all in your home?
In New York City, apartments are small and every square inch is a commodity. I designated as much space as possible to common areas where I can entertain. After that, I started to think about the color palette. In the past, I’ve gravitated towards a more subdued palette but with this space I wanted to add much more warmth and texture. It became about finding opportunities to layer on things I’d discovered during my travels. I like to try and find space for every object and make sure that it is developed as a focal point. It’s an editing process. As I acquire new things, I start moving it all around. Then, as the seasons change, I begin adjusting again.

What’s your favorite piece in your home and why?
Currently, it’s a houndstooth chair that I designed last year. It’s become a reading nook for me: I can sit there on a Saturday and chill out a for a second and read a book. It’s become important to my routine and rituals.

And when you need to get down to work, how do you stay focused?
I often rely on music to counter-balance my emotions and energy. Often, I’ll find myself working late and so I like having background noise. If I’ve had a hectic, stressful day then I need to calm my nerves and become more centered. I’ll play classical music, which is soothing, to give myself a little bit of a moment before rolling up my sleeves and getting back into it. Other times, I need a pick-me-up, so I’ll play something that’s much more upbeat. I often do that when I’m designing or moodboarding. It gives me an energy boost.

How do you incorporate technology into your space?
It’s about finding products that align with the same design point of view. Because tech companies have started to realize the importance of design, they’re doing a great job making products that fit beautifully and seamlessly within an overall space.

This feature was produced in partnership with Bang & Olufsen. The product featured in this photoshoot is the Beoplay A9 speaker.

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