An Actor's Small "Willy Wonka Chic" New York Apartment

An Actor's Small "Willy Wonka Chic" New York Apartment

Melanie Rieders
Mar 10, 2018

Name: Coco Cohn
Location: Upper West Side — New York, New York
Size: 430 square feet
Years lived in: 6 years, rented

Coco's Upper West Side apartment in New York is an homage to her theatre career. Not only is the actor and drama teacher's space filled with pieces highlighting her adventures, but the space itself is dramatic: The living room is dark gray, the bedroom walls are red, and the bathroom is primarily pink.

The moment she walked into this space during her apartment hunt, Coco says she knew it was "the one." Although she'd prefer to live downtown, the unique space and building details make everything up.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I know it's not a very inventive answer, but I may be the textbook definition of eclectic: "Adjective — deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources." Alternately, we might call it Willy Wonka Chic.

Inspiration: My Mother. The '80s. The theatre. Color. Shape. Surprise.

Favorite Element: I have so many favorites, but I think I will choose the custom counter table I had made by an artist couple I found on Etsy (Matt and Sarah of NewAntiquity). They even forged the metal legs. It camouflages a bad, pre-fab cabinet that came with the apartment and extends the surface space for both working and dining. It really makes my barely-there kitchen functional. I love it!

Biggest Challenge: I have run out of wall space to hang more whimsical collectibles. I do have my eye on a Rebecca Moses print for a teeny slice of wall left in the bathroom though!

What Friends Say: "IT'S SO COCO!"

Biggest Embarrassment: The awful, cracked, linoleum patch of floor in the "kitchen." And the missing, pink, crapazoid tile in the bathroom that I hand-painted to fill in the blanks.

Proudest DIY: My "art" made of paint chips. When I first moved in, I didn't have much disposable income for decorating because I was starting from scratch after selling all my worldly possessions to move across the country. I must admit that I took advantage of my local paint store and brought home too many colors. A piece of foamcore and map pins, and I called it a masterpiece. But my faux-finished (and I am a foe of faux finishes) bedroom comes in a close second. After mysteriously being unable to get even coverage on the walls, I had to get creative. So, I played around with gel medium and leftover grey and black paint and cheese cloth and rags and wax on/wax off and...voila! The quirky result? Some combination of bordello and coronary artery.

Biggest Indulgence: Hmmmm. My whole place is pretty much done on a budget. The gray leather sofa (that I coveted for years and finally found a floor model at ABC Carpet Warehouse) is undoubtedly my biggest ticket item. Otherwise it's oddball finds from every imaginable outlet. Though three years ago, I renovated my closets when The Container Store had its annual 30% off ELFA sale. Even though I am in a rental...worth every penny.

Best Advice: Surround yourself with colors and textures and items you love. I quite literally smile at something in my tiny home every day. Additionally, avoid feeling like you have to finish your design the minute you move in. Collect interesting items over time. Your home is a reflection of you — it's always a work in progress.


In the Living Room and Bathroom — Benjamin Moore Charcoal Slate. Semi-gloss.
In the Bedroom — Benjamin Moore Heritage Red. Semi-gloss.

Front table — Nadeau

Leather sofa — ABC Carpet Warehouse
Floral print chair — Pier One
Novogratz plaid area run — CB2
"TV stand" — Home Decorators
Striped pillows — Crate and Barrel
Green coffee table — Housing Works
Painted chevron sideboard — CB2
"Spotlight" lamp — CB2

22" Boxwood topiary — Restoration Hardware

Solide Platform bed — Charles P. Rogers
"Headboard" tin tiles — Home Decorators
Highboy Dresser — World Market
Mirrored nightstand — Target
Favorite photograph over bed — "Up"

Thanks, Coco!

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