HuffPost’s Senior Women’s Reporter Emma Gray Shows Off Her Cozy, Stylish Home

updated Mar 21, 2019

HuffPost’s Senior Women’s Reporter Emma Gray Shows Off Her Cozy, Stylish Home

updated Mar 21, 2019
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Name: Emma Gray

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Location: Prospect Heights — Brooklyn, New York
Size: 430 square feet including the entryway
Years lived in: Owned! I’m a brand new homeowner (eek!). Just 2 months, but it feels like much longer!

After living in her last apartment with a roommate for about six years, Emma decided she was ready to purchase her first home. “I kind of thought I’d rent forever,” she says. “But when my roommate of six years and I decided we wanted to give living alone a go, I saw the insane rental prices of one bedrooms in New York and thought that if I could find a one bed to buy (on the cheaper end of the market), it might be worth doing that.” When she walked into this space, she says it felt like the couple who owned it before had made their renovations with her tastes in mind—and she fell in love. “Like with a life partner, when you know you know,” she says.

The Senior Women’s Reporter at HuffPost moved into the space about two months ago and already feels like it’s just about done. Emma shared that she had a rough couple of months when she moved in—so she shifted her focus and energy into getting the space exactly how she wanted it as quickly as she could.

The apartment is only about 430 square feet, but the layout and smart touches make it feel roomier, even for hosting. By adding custom closets and taking advantage of all the storage solutions the previous owners had installed, she has created a space that feels both comfortable and functional. The trendy tropical wallpaper [likely Hygge & West’s “AJA” in Khaki] in the foyer—also installed by the previous owners—gives the space a contemporary, Instagram-ready vibe.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Mid-Century modern with a touch of chic, colorful glamour. Is that even a style? Basically—how can I fit a bunch of happy things into this apartment while still having it look calming and clean?

Inspiration: My obsession with backsplashes is certainly because I’ve watched way too many episodes of “Fixer Upper.” And I’ve probably been passively influenced by women’s co-working space and social club The Wing, my happy place outside of my home. But mostly, I just picked a few big things that I loved and then added pieces that I loved to each room. My biggest priority was feeling inspired by each individual item that I purchased. I wanted my home to feel like a sanctuary—a place where I could go and just feel safe and good, no matter where I’m sitting or which wall I’m looking at.

Favorite Element: The tiny but mighty open kitchen—especially the white subway tile backsplash I had put in. The natural light. My pink velvet couch. (Am I allowed to have more than one fave?)

Biggest Challenge: The apartment is really small, so I had to figure out how to get more storage space into it! Even after I had donated about six trash bags worth of clothing, I still had too much stuff that *sparks joy* to fit it all into the tiny corner bedroom closet that was there when I bought the apartment. We ended up having my contractor demo the closet, and then hired European Closets to install a custom closet on the opposite wall. It’s been a lifesaver, because I now have adequate hanging space and enough upper storage for all of my luggage. Cheers to not having to pay for a storage unit!

What Friends Say: “It’s so homey and cozy!” “You should start a home design side hustle!” (LOL.)

Biggest Embarrassment: The inevitable moment all of my plants die.

Proudest DIY: I made the bowls on my coffee table at a glass-blowing studio in Brooklyn. I’ve never felt so accomplished or crafty.

Biggest Indulgence: Probably the closet! Though it was kind of a necessity if I wanted to fit my things in the apartment. The other big splurge was probably the couch. I just got it in my head that I needed a pink velvet couch that fit in a tiny living room and would also turn into a queen-sized sleeper so I could properly host people. Since it arrived, I haven’t regretted the purchase for even one second. It’s just so soft and happy!

Best Advice: Pick a piece you love and just build around it. I find that once you make one decision, it’s way easier to make other smaller ones! And also—have fun! Home decorating can truly be therapeutic. Your home should feel like your sanctuary, so fill it with things that really bring you joy. (Marie Kondo is really onto something there.)

Dream Sources: CB2, West Elm, ABC Carpet & Home, Jonathan Adler, Beam BK


The kitchen shelves are Behr Premium Plus — Tsunami
The trim in the entryway is Benjamin Moore Regal Select — Waller Green
The pink door in the entryway is Behr Premium Plus — Old Flame
The gray in the bedroom is Behr Ultra — Silver Ash
The white throughout the apartment is a custom color match eggshell from Benjamin Moore

The fantastic wallpaper was installed by the previous owners, so I’m not sure where it’s from! [It’s likely Hygge & West’s “AJA” in Khaki] But it was one of the selling points for me on the apartment. I loved the idea of living in a place that already had so much character, despite being so small.

Braxton Sleeper Sofa in Royale Blush — Joybird
Wall Bookshelves, Set of 6 — TeeBooks
Sun-Kissed Landscape Rug — West Elm
Terrace Coffee Table — West Elm
Lacquer Top Cafe Table — West Elm
Soto Leather Chair — Joybird
Ivory Faux Flokati Stool — World Market
Ghost Side Chairs in Transparent Crystal — Amazon
Shake Low Dresser — CB2 (no longer available)
Moglea Hand-Painted Birchwood Wall Art — West Elm
Ornate Mirror — Vintage! This piece is very special and was gifted to me. It was originally a wedding gift given to my grandparents, and it still has their original Brooklyn address written on the back.
Metal Tray Planter Stand — Urban Outfitters
Gradvis Plant Pot — IKEA
Ragkorn Plant Pot — IKEA
Framed Art — The “Escape to Paris” poster was sent to me as a part of a screener package for season 2 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” I thought it was so cute, that I decided to frame and hang it! The frame is from Americanflat on Amazon.
Crewel Balancing Shapes Pillow Cover — West Elm
Cage Brass Globe Pendant Light — CB2
Candlewick Pillow Cover — West Elm
Kuhn Keramik “Bitch” Bowl — Kuhn Keramik
Jonathan Adler I-Scream Match Strike — BEAM

The cabinets and counters were renovated by the previous owners. All are from IKEA.
An additional shelf was built by my contractor, Noel Rodriguez, and his team also put in the white tile backsplash with black grout.
Mini Faux Taxidermy Deer — WhiteFauxTaxidermy on Etsy
Marble Wall-Mounted Shelf — CB2
Vattenkrasse Watering Can — IKEA
SMEG 1950s Retro Style Coffee Maker — SMEG on Amazon
GE Compact Microwave in Stainless Steel — Best Buy
Let’s Eat Your Feelings Too Oven Mitt — Blue Q
Coffee Jar — Wayfair
Under The Influence Glass Set — Fishs Eddy
Ceramic Skull — Z Gallerie
Waterfall Wine Glasses — Anthropologie
Framed Art — I purchased the framed photograph at the Nasty Women Art Fair in Queens in January 2017.
Bridges Tea Towel, Blue — Ferm Living
Bridges Tea Towel, Rose — Ferm Living

Open Eyes Wallpaper — Evelyne van den Broek on Society6
Zane Mini Desk in White — West Elm
Roar + Rabbit Brass Geo Inlay 3-Drawer Dresser — West Elm
Alchemy Bronze Queen Bed — CB2
Plant Pots — The Sill
Shatter Square Glass Pencil Holder — CB2
Umbra Trigg Hanging Planter Vases, Brass — Umbra on Amazon
Pineapple Candle — West Elm
Two-Toned Pedestal Table Lamp — West Elm
Hide n’ Seek Storage Shelf — CB2
Acrylic Storage Shelf — CB2
Floating Bedside Drawer — Urbansize on Etsy
You’re Gonna Be A Lady Soon Framed Print — Alja Horvat on Society6
Watermelon Canvas Print — Anna Dorfman on Society6
Lady Flowers Canvas Print — linco7n on Society6
Mojo Canvas Print — Tracie Andrews on Society6
White Globe on Gold Stand — World Market
Wulff Mid-Century Office Chair — Wayfair
Estetico Quotidiano The Medium Can — Seletti
Etra Tassel Throw Pillow — Urban Outfitters
Estela Black and White Bedding — CB2
Felt Palette Play Pillow Cover — West Elm
Green and White Porcelain Cactus — Maisons du Monde
Gold Zebra Stacking Dish — Jonathan Adler

Muskot Plant Pot — IKEA
3-Section Acrylic Hinged-Lid Box — Container Store
Acrylic Tray — Container Store
Opalhouse Tasseled Diamond Woven Bath Rug — Target
Opalhouse Perfectly Soft Solid Hand Towel, Georgia Peach — Target
Opalhouse Perfectly Soft Solid Bath Towel, Navy Blue — Target
Home Basics Stainless Steel Toilet Brush Holder — Amazon
Huji Invisible Acrylic Floating Shelves — Amazon

Thanks, Emma!

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