This Floral Designer’s 550-Square-Foot NYC Rental Feels Huge
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Name: Emily Swarts, partner, and plant babies
Location: West Village — New York, New York
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 550 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting
Rent: $5500 a month
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My partner and I moved in together — for the first time — into this apartment last year. The space is so unique in that it has three stories, including a mezzanine floor. It’s been a beautiful process merging our lives and things together into this space. Our combined furniture organically blended so well — we only had to purchase a dining room table and that was it! This is our nest, our home, our love bubble. There is not one day that goes by without me on the stairs, and expressing gratitude for our special home, and for the life we’ve co-created together within it.
I am an herbalist, floral designer, and creative producer from California. Plants, ceramics, incense, books, and candles are a must-have. Our home reflects our love for nature (a living oasis within the city), photography, and reading. Handmade crafts, homemade art, tarot decks, indigo blankets, sheepskin fur, baskets, and an apothecary of herbs are sprinkled throughout the space.
I have hung strawflower garlands and film prints I made in the darkroom, and made dried floral artwork for our living room. In that way, our home reflects our identity, and vice versa. I have moved many times and always have enjoyed the process of “nesting” — curating decor and designing an inspiring space with love and intention.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or fewer: Boho, minimalist, plant-filled, Scandinavian, cozy.
What is your favorite room and why? The living room — where all the magic happens. We love to host dinner parties and book clubs, shifting around the space depending on the event. Floor cushions circle the coffee table for rituals, tea ceremony, and medicine making. This is where the day begins and ends — opening up the blinds to welcome in the morning light, and shutting them after we’ve spent the evening cuddling on the couch. I sit at the dining room table every morning writing, admiring the space, brewing Puerh, and talking to our plants. It is the place where we play.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? Ceramics! I love the colors and designs from Arhoj.
Any advice for creating a home you love? You can never have enough plants! This is the single most important element to a thriving and welcoming home. Our plant babies are dear to us, and some of them we’ve named (like Shumai, Simon, and Ferny). Adding in plant life generates a sense of wellbeing, serenity, beauty, and vitality to any space. Plus, they make great housewarming gifts!
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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