A Foodie Fills a Tiny Studio with Hidden Treasures

A Foodie Fills a Tiny Studio with Hidden Treasures

Chloe Berk
Mar 17, 2017

Name: Sarah Steinberg
Location: East Village, NYC
Size: 425 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, rented

After living in tiny apartments with more roommates than bedrooms, Sarah decided it was time to have a place of her own. It may not be big, but a studio apartment with a separate kitchen and space for her bed were successes in Sarah's book. Not one to follow the trends in magazines, Sarah has outfitted her small apartment with modern furniture, hand-me-down rugs, collected artwork, and special finds at thrift and antique stores.

Sarah is a Senior Producer for Chopped on the Food Network. She gets to travel often, finding curiosities along the way to bring back home. But one of the biggest perks of the job is getting to bring home leftover ingredients that weren't used on the show. Not only does Sarah have a home with beautiful treasures for everyone to see, but she has some hidden treasures behind her kitchen cabinets, as well!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I love modern furniture with vintage and antique decorative accents, mixed in for warmth. I've never liked the catalog look, so I filled my apartment with unique things that I found and fallen in love with. I don't like to stick to one specific style. Instead I just buy things that I'm naturally drawn to, and it ends up going together.

Inspiration: I wanted a studio apartment where I could entertain, without feeling like we're hanging out in my bedroom. Having a separate kitchen, and an alcove or loft for the bed was a must. When I have guests over, I close the curtains in front of my alcove and you forget you're in a studio.

Favorite Element: My favorite part of my apartment is the gallery wall. Almost every painting and drawing has a story and memory attached to it. I gravitate toward neutral colored furniture, so I think the art warms up the space and makes it feel like a home.

Biggest Challenge: This apartment has no storage, aside from a small closet in the entry way. Like I mentioned above, I wanted the space to feel more like a living room than a bedroom, so I avoided dresser drawers that read "bedroom." Instead, I chose a large white console below the TV to store my folded clothes and shoes. Additionally, the bathroom was pretty dreary when I moved in. Surprisingly, I found that dark paint brightened up the small space.

What Friends Say: I've always been obsessed with interior design. In college, my friends teased me when I made a canopy over my bed, and decorated my walls with thrift store oil paintings. But now they love coming over! It might also have something to do with my well-stocked bar and passion for cocktail making.

Biggest Embarrassment: My pantry! I work for a cooking show, and there are a lot of pantry giveaways. You'll come across some odd items in my cabinets, like cricket flour and liquid smoke.

Proudest DIY: The chalkboard wall in the kitchen. Shout out to my friends for the drawings!! I'm also particularly proud of the console piece below my TV. I assembled it ALL BY MYSELF. It took me all day. I cried twice. But every time I look at it I feel a sense of pride.

Biggest Indulgence: Buying fresh flowers. They die instantly, or so it feels, but my mom got me hooked on them. When I arrange a bouquet that I'm particularly proud of, I'll hang them upside down to dry.

Best Advice: Buy things that you're immediately drawn to, and don't question it. Don't get stuck in a color scheme or design style! No two items in my apartment "match," and I think that's what makes it feel so homey. One specific tip I have is to use online programs to try out different furniture layouts (there are a bunch of sites). I used them to more accurately imagine how different sizes of furniture would look in my space.

Dream Sources: I adore oriental rugs. Mine are hand-me-downs, but I'd love to buy my own someday. I recently visited Morocco and Turkey, and spent hours in the rug shops. For now, I'll just stick to stealing them from my parents' house.


Benjamin Moore — Classic Gray 1548
Benjamin Moore — Midnight Blue

Sofa — Ian 98'' Sofa w/ Chaise; Color: Total Linen, Material: Chenille
Pillows — Custom made from an antique oriental rug
Blanket — Bought in Istanbul
Bookshelf — a piece of S#$% from Target that I got in college! Still standing…it's a miracle.
Sofa Tables — Hugo Teak Side Table from Overstock
Console — CB2 Fuel White Credenza (2)
Cow Head — CB2 (no longer available)
Speakers — Swan (brand)
Red wire lamp — Vintage/DIY. I found this at an antique store in the Hudson Valley, and painted it red!
Glass lamp — Restoration Hardware (old, couldn't find a link)
Rugs — Antique oriental rugs, from my parents' home
Art — I got most of my art at antique stores, flea markets, and even off Etsy. The large print above my bar is a Rauschenberg, given to me by my uncle who used to work in the art world. And a few of the nicer paintings I inherited from family members.

Table — Woodleg Dining Table 29'' in Clear by Fine Mod Imports
Chairs — Wood Leg Accent Chairs by Baxton Studio (overstock)
Rug — Antique oriental

Chalkboard Paint, drawings by all my friends!
Rug — Misono Mat from Anthropologie

Large pillows — don't remember!
Duvet — Ralph Lauren (several years old, no longer in production)
Blanket — Bought in Istanbul in the market
Photograph —Ben Hattenbach, an amazing photographer and family friend
Sheepskin Rug next to bed — Room & Board
Sconce & Metallic Cord Set — West Elm Angler Sconce & Metallic Cord Set

TeePee Photograph — One Kings Lane
Paint — Benjamin Moore Midnight Blue
Rug — Atessa Bath Mat
Shower Curtain — Vintage-Washed Belgian Linen Shower Curtain, Restoration Hardware, in Ivory

Thanks, Sarah!

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