Location: West Village, New York — New York
The basics: 9 months, rented | 300 square feet
If you've spent anytime hunting for housing on Craigslist, you know that "cozy" spaces so rarely are. Not so in the case of Melina's West Village studio. Like something out of a TV show with an excellent acoustic soundtrack, her studio is welcoming, warm and totally charming.
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I moved to New York from Los Angeles nine months ago and fell in love with this tiny studio in the heart of the West Village. Being used to LA's more laid-back atmosphere, I knew I needed a cozy oasis to come home to in NYC.
My professional background is in fashion advertising. Back in LA, I managed global digital advertising at GUESS Jeans. Currently in NYC I work at a social ad tech company, working for Fortune 500 fashion and travel brands. On the side, I also consult for a luxury smart home start-up, Halo Home, which has been an exciting project that's gotten me more involved in the home decor and tech space.
However, my creative passions lie in writing and photography. In my free time, I run a NYC-based lifestyle blog—5th Floor Walk-Up —and dabble in street photography. On weekends, you'll probably find me exploring the city with my DSLR in hand, blogging in a cozy cafe, or hunting for vintage gems for my apartment at Brooklyn Flea.
What is your favorite room and why? My studio is tiny so I technically only have one room! However, I'd say my makeshift living room is my favorite part of my apartment and where I go to decompress after a long day. I've got a whole set up: twinkly lights, candles, sage bundles—the works. My coffee table also doubles as a dining room and home office, so I'm definitely making use of my small space.
What's the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? My fiddle leaf fig tree! Towards the end of winter, I started to get a little stir crazy and wanted to brighten my space. I invested in some greenery and my tree is now a centerpiece in my apartment, situated between my two windows so it gets lots of natural light.
Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? Mandy Moore's character, Milly, in Because I Said So. Obscure rom-com reference, but in the movie Milly has the coziest bungalow in LA's Venice Canals. I may or may not have subconsciously modeled my apartment after her's.
Melina's words of wisdom: 1) Get personal. Being new to NYC, I decided to decorate my walls with things that reminded me of home in LA. Instead of spending tons of money on art, I created a gallery wall with my own street photography from Downtown Los Angeles. It's a constant work in progress, so my plan is to add some NYC photography shots as well now that I've found my footing in the city.
2) Find your routine. After a long day at work, I love having a routine to help myself decompress. I dim my overhead lights, turn on all my stringed twinkly lights (they're a permanent fixture on my windows, standing mirror and bar cart), light my favorite vanilla candle, and make a cup of tea. This little routine has helped my apartment feel more like a home.
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