Liz's Decoration as Meditation

Liz's Decoration as Meditation

Jill Slater
Jul 13, 2011

Name: Liz
Location: Upper West Side, New York
Size: 750 square feet one bedroom
Years Lived In: 1 year

Liz is an equity trader. She is used to things happening in rapid succession, on a non-stop basis. The fact that it took her over 15 years to move into her own apartment and then a year of hard work and planning to decorate her new place is an acknowledged and welcome antidote to her professional life.

Liz loved indulging in every step of her interior design immersion process. Prior to living alone, Liz shared a spacious three bedroom apartment with her sister and their very good friend. Going their separate ways was a loosely interpreted concept, as they each now rent an apartment in the same building not far from their original share.

Liz had already started collecting great art and had more than a few pieces of furniture tucked away in a storage unit and then in a country house she shared with her sister. Signing a solo lease spurred Liz into action. She exhibited skills and a decor-focused drive heretofore untapped. Liz channeled an interior designer when she would sneak into professional decorator showrooms to select the perfect fabric for any of the many chairs she had reupholstered. She mined the vintage furniture world with zest and vision. Lacquering is her preferred technique for transforming out of date finishes and colors on beautifully shaped dressers and the like. And for a Housing Works mirror that hadn't reached its modern potential, Liz found an expert gold-leafer to bring it to a whole new place.

In no rush, Liz loved how long she spent on each fabric decision, each showroom visit, each online scavenger hunt. She cherished the independence and the mindfulness of the whole process. Her methodology paid off. Liz's home is incredibly well put together. As opposed to feeling heavy handed, Liz's very integrated design seems quite relaxed.

Apartment Therapy Survey

Style: Mid Century Modern meets Hollywood Regency meets whatever I may find along the way.

Inspiration: I love the pace of New York City, but I wanted my apartment to be an escape from the chaos. For years I collected ideas from home decor magazines (so happy I saved every Domino Magazine!) and blogs, so when I started my project I had a vision of how I wanted to create my "escape". I also find inspiration in my favorite stores and markets around the city... most are listed in the resources section.

Favorite Element: I love how the apartment flows — how the light streams into the living room during the afternoon, the neutral palette with pops of color, and the view of the rooftops and water towers from the corner of the sofa.

Biggest Challenge: Taking the first step, and then patience. Initially, I was overwhelmed with the empty space. So I started with the couch, and filled in from there.

What Friends Say: "When can I housesit?"

Biggest Embarrassment: That I was banned from a kitchen tour because I don't cook!

Proudest DIY: Figuring out how to hang the chandelier without an outlet in the ceiling. I wanted a chandelier above the dining table, but didn't want the wiring to be an eye sore.

Biggest Indulgence: Fresh flowers, fabric and art.

Best Advice: Don't overbuy for "someday"... your taste may evolve.

Dream Source: 1st Dibs, eBay and the D&D Building.



    • Couch: Williams Sonoma Home
    • Flush mount light: Alexa Hampton
    • Pillows: Quadrille fabric and Hammocks & High Tea
    • Lamp in between the windows: Gracious Home
    • Chairs: Florence Knoll from 1st Dibs
    • Rug: Madeline Weinrib, ABC Carpet
    • Bamboo Metal Stacking Tables: Koch Antiques (powder coated in CT)
    • Side Table: Dorothy Draper, eBay- lacquered
    • Alabaster Lamps: The Antique & Artisan Center, Stamford, CT
    • Vintage Lucite Dining table: Space 107
    • Vintage Bamboo Benches: Elizabeth Bauer Design (fabric by Kelly Werstler)
    • Chandelier: Flessas Design
    • 1960's Buffet: Scarborough Antiques, Stamford, CT- lacquered
    • Vintage Yellow Buddha Lamps: Hiden Gallery, Stamford, CT
    • Mirror- Housing Works- restored


    • Console: Mid Century Antiques, Stamford, CT
    • Horse Head Lamps: The Antique & Artisan Center, Stamford, CT
    • Lucite Tray: Koch Antiques
    • Vintage Prints: Animal Kingdom 1897. Rare bookstore in Durham, NC.
    • X Stool: eBay. Re-upholstered and painted light blue.
    • Hollywood Regency Black Lacquered Chair: Elizabeth Bauer Design (fabric by Kelly Werstler)
    • Vintage Clock Cover: The Antique & Artisan Center, Stamford, CT


    • Bed: Williams Sonoma Home
    • Side Tables: B4 Antiques
    • Vintage Alabaster Lamps: The Antiques Garage
    • Dresser: Aero
    • Lamp on the dresser: The Antiques Garage
    • Mirror: Hiden Gallery
    • Pink Chair: Mid Century Antiques
    • Rug: Madeline Weinrib, ABC Carpet


    All window treatments: The Shade Store • All lampshades: The Accessory Store, Stamford, CT • All upholstery: J&J Upholstery, Stamford, CT

Images: Jill Slater

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