Name: Sarah Ashley Schiear
Location: Williamsburg — Brooklyn, NY
Size: 635 square feet
Years Lived In: since May 2015; Rented
Though the physical size of her apartment may be small, Sarah has created a multi-functional space where she lives, works and entertains. Sarah is a chef as well as the founder of Salt House, a New York-based lifestyle and events studio. Her experience in the food industry has heavily influenced her desire to entertain and bring people together around food. A passion for gathering, hosting, and good food inspired Sarah to build a space where she could do all this and more!
Sarah carefully designed her apartment with functionality in mind. She didn't want its size to limit her business in any way, so she purchased furniture that met her needs and added customized elements such as the wine bar and the living room shelving. Sarah was fortunate enough to work alongside Havenly, an online design service, who assisted her in bringing all of her great ideas to life and helped her see how all her pieces came together through renderings before making the final design decisions.
When Sarah isn't opening her home for Salt House events, cooking classes, or workshops, she spends her free time enjoying its tranquility. Though the space sees a lot of movement, above all Sarah wanted it to feel like home where she felt comfortable and inspired. She achieved this by filling it with her favorite products (copper kitchen wares), colors (classic black and white with soothing blues) and elements (combinations of textures, hints of gold and natural greens), according to her modern yet classic taste.
Sarah is a visionary when it comes to what she can dream up in her small space. She exemplifies the notion that we do not need a huge space to do big things. One might be pleasantly surprised that she's even hosted up to 20 people, albeit cozily, in her space!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Inviting, modern, natural. A tendency toward neutrals with a strong mix of textures. I love the combination of marble and wood, or acrylic and rattan. Plants! And lots of brass and rose gold everywhere.
Inspiration: I’m inspired by objects. In the same way I start with an ingredient at the farmers’ market to create a dish, I tend to find a piece I like and then draw inspiration around it. The rug in the living area, for example, became an early source of inspiration for the prints and plates I chose for the gallery wall.
Favorite Element: The hanging pot rack in the kitchen. It truly speaks to being a chef’s kitchen; plus, I get to show off all of my gorgeous Mauviel cookware. Not to mention the fact that it saves major storage space!
Biggest Challenge: Creating a dinner party-friendly dining area. That was my most important requirement for the space. This was accomplished thanks to the amazing extension dining table from Z Gallerie; when I host larger parties, I rotate the table so that it takes up the length of the space and add the extensions on both sides. The other furniture is moved to the side, and the chaise conveniently works as seating at the table.
What Friends Say: No joke, 99% of the people who enter the apartment ask me if I will design theirs. Also, I get a lot of, “Hold on, let me take this all in before we talk.”
Biggest Embarrassment: I guess it would be the broken lamp in the living room. Someone messed with it at a dinner party and now it just hangs there sadly… I’m not sure it’s even fixable but I just can’t seem to let it go.
Proudest DIY: Definitely the wine bar! A dear friend built it using wood planks that we stained to match these wine glass holders, with these wine bottle racks serving as the base. The floating shelves are from IKEA. I love how the look comes off as totally custom, while providing the perfect storage and display for all of our precious Riedel and vintage glassware.
Biggest Indulgence: The Kristin Drohan black linen chaise. I love the daybed shape; it’s perfect for NYC living because I know that even if I move, I’ll be able to find a home for this piece. Piled high with linen and furry pillows, it’s my favorite place to curl up with a good cookbook and cup of coffee.
Best Advice: I believe our homes should reflect our personal style and change with us over time. Invest in key pieces in neutrals that will last forever; introduce color and play with trends via less expensive accent pieces like prints, rugs, and pillows that can easily be changed out.
Dream Sources: Merci in Paris. I want to live in that store.
PAINT & COLORS
- Shower curtain: Amazon
- Storage baskets: CB2
- Bath mat: CB2
- Marble bath accessories: CB2
- Wishbone chair: Overstock
- Desk: IKEA (no longer available)
- Shibori curtains: Etsy
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(Image credits: Lauren Kolyn)