Name: Jacqueline Clair
Location: Upper East Side, New York City
Size: Approximately 400 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years; Rented
If you take a peek at New York City blogger Jacqueline Clair's Instagram account you'll see plenty of images that are well-composed, colorful, chic, and fun. The same could be said of her Upper East Side studio. Her taste reads clean and polished, with touches of whimsy and romanticism. At first glance, it is clear that her home is both super stylish and very cozy, but the charm is all in the details.
Jackie's blog, York Avenue, and her Instagram chronicle her life as an Upper East Side Operating Room RN with a major penchant for design. The style blog gives her an outlet to share the things she loves — "interior design, home goods, books, fashion, art, food, NYC" — and her home is a beautiful reflection of those interests. Her attention to detail is inspirational, and lest you think that it's only surface deep, you need only take a peek inside her well manicured closet to know that this stylish blogger is the real thing.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Feminine, colorful, cozy.
Inspiration: I’m inspired by things I see and experience while exploring New York City, by the many blogs and online magazines that I read, and by home tours that I see on design websites. I’m inspired by real people with real spaces!
Favorite Element: My bookshelves — both the IKEA Expedit and the vertical bookshelf from Design Within Reach. I simply love bookshelves in all incarnations and the Expedit, besides being tons of fun to style, functions as a perfect room divider that allows light to reach all parts of the apartment. The vertical bookshelf is unusual and modern, which I love.
Biggest Challenge: When I first moved in, the three furniture pieces on the television wall were all lined up in a row — it looked awkward, like a furniture lineup. I asked for advice from interior designer Darlene Weir of Fieldstone Hill Design, who offers online design services. She suggested turning the desk so that it jutted out, which made a huge difference by breaking up that “lineup” and creating more of a separation between the living space and the bedroom area. It was a simple but brilliant suggestion that had a big impact!
What Friends Say: People always have a reaction when they walk in — luckily it’s usually a positive one! I’ve heard that it’s girly and pretty, mainly, and also very organized. People have told me that it all seems cohesive without being matchy-matchy, which makes me very happy.
Biggest Embarrassment: I’m not really embarrassed of anything, but if I could change anything it would probably be the beige kitchen cabinets — not what I would choose!
Proudest DIY: My black vanity with the tall mirror is my proudest DIY. I painted and distressed both pieces, which were originally light green. On the vanity I changed out the old hardware for gorgeous white floral knobs from Anthropologie, lined the drawers with a beautiful black and white floral patterned paper, and added in lucite dividers to create jewelry storage. I love how it turned out, and I think it’s a really unique piece.
Biggest Indulgence: Probably my original painting from Cocoa and Hearts. It’s a large scale painting and the first original piece that I ever purchased, and it makes me so happy. It’s a showstopper and the colors are just perfect.
Best Advice: Look for décor items and art that you really and truly love — things that you have a real reaction to. Don’t settle for mediocre items that you’ll either get sick of quickly or that aren’t really what you want. Even if you don’t know exactly where you’re going to put a piece, if you LOVE it, get it anyway. Anything that you really love, you’ll find a spot for! Decorate for yourself — you spend a lot of time in your home, so it should be a reflection of you. Your space should make you feel comfortable and happy whenever you step inside, so do what you can to make that a reality. Mixing and matching is what I prefer. I would advise against buying matching furniture sets. I think spaces are more unique and interesting when things are mixed from all over, and the connecting thread is just you — your taste, things you love. Also, I think every home can benefit from some old things, whether it’s a decorative object or a piece of vintage furniture. Check out thrift stores and flea markets for these types of unique items! Another thing that every space can benefit from is something natural, like some shells or sea glass if you love the beach, or a small wooden object.
Dream Sources: ABC Carpet and Home and Dwell Studio.
Resources of Note:
• Coffee table: vintage
• Wooden tray: Pottery Barn Outlet
• Round dotted vase: Vintage
• Dresser: vintage
• Gold lamp: Nate Berkus for HSN
• Coffee jar: Williams-Sonoma
• Striped pink straws: Magnolia Bakery
• Duvet: Anthropologie
• Euro shams: Anthropologie
• Vanity: vintage
• Glass tray: Anthropologie
• Glitter Clutch: Kate Spade
• Gold, black and pink Painting: made by my sister Allison Clair
• Wire chair: Amazon, spray painted with Rustoleum’s Candy Pink
• Striped cup: West Elm
• Basket: West Elm
Soap: Common Good
GALLERY WALL ABOVE DESK
• Black and white photo: shot and developed by my sister Allison Clair
GALLERY WALL ABOVE COUCH
• Queen print: vintage
• Modern Art print: 20 x 200
• Birdcage: vintage
• Chair: vintage
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(Image credits: Liana Hayles Newton)