A New York Studio Full of “Nooks and Corners”
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Location: Chelsea — New York, New York
I’m a jewelry designer of Icarus + Co. by trade and an artist by hobby. I live and work in a 500 square foot studio in Chelsea, New York. People are usually shocked when they hear how small it actually is. There is so much crammed in here without feeling crowded, it makes the place seem much bigger.
I purchased the apartment back in 2011. I hadn’t been looking on the west side, but I saw this apartment on the first day and I immediately knew. I went back the next day and made an offer. The apartment is in Chelsea Gardens which is a group of four 1930s buildings surrounding a private garden. The buildings have been beautifully restored with all of the original art deco details. It is the type of building where you actually say hi to your neighbors and know their names. What sold me on the apartment was first the building and of course garden, and then the layout. I had been looking at similar sized apartments all day, and I couldn’t fathom being able to live and work and do art projects in any of them without going bonkers. My place, on the other hand, has these little nooks and corners which allowed me to create distinct spaces.
My favorite space is my bed, which is full of fluffy feathery things and feels like i’m sleeping in a cloud. My bedroom gets great light, so I have a desk in there that I keep super clean— this is where I can think clearly and really get creative. The apartment also came with a built-in office in the hallway, which gives me a space to make big messes and store all of my tools and inventory. I separated the living room from the bedroom with sliding glass doors to create some privacy but also allow light to pass through. I have a pretty regular stream of houseguests, so I have a single pull-out bed that I basically leave open most of the time— it also functions well as a second couch when I have lots of people over.
I’d love to be one of those people with totally minimal furnishings and design… but it just doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me. I struggle between being drawn towards clean, bright, white spaces and also loving bold graphics and colors and suffering from a minor shopping addiction. With such a small space, I painted my floors white to help it feel larger. Strategically placed mirrors and light grey and white walls also help bounce light around to maximize my west-facing windows. I’m always trying new mediums and making art, so I essentially had to start covering my walls with art just to gain some table space back. The ceiling might have to be the next frontier…
I really struggled to choose just 5 photos— so little space yet so much to see!
Thanks, Caroline !
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