A New York City Apartment Is a Blank Canvas for This “Heirloom Hunter”

published Jun 22, 2023

A New York City Apartment Is a Blank Canvas for This “Heirloom Hunter”

published Jun 22, 2023
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What drew interior designer, author, and “heirloom hunter” Chelsey Brown to her one-bedroom, 700-square-foot New York City rental apartment was the potential. 

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“Honestly, this was the biggest and cheapest one-bedroom I could find at the time in the area I wanted,” Brown, who runs a design blog called City Chic Decor, writes. “I knew as a decorator that the space would allow me a blank canvas to turn it into what I envisioned!”

Even though Brown’s only rented her apartment for a year, it’s no surprise that it’s already bursting with thoughtful beauty — Apartment Therapy actually toured her previous 500-square-foot studio in 2020. 

“Wow, my life has taken soooo many turns since the last time I had an apartment featured on AT,” Brown writes. “I released my first interior book, ‘Rental Style,’ in 2020, and my second book, ‘Shut the Front Door,’ releases in the fall.”

And while Brown’s last home was gorgeous, the new space seamlessly blends organic modern with storied vintage details. 

Brown’s desire to fill her home with vintage finds led her to become a “globally recognized heirloom hunter.” When looking for home decor at flea markets, Brown would stumble upon family heirlooms, return them to their families, and post about the experience on her TikTok

Through searching for meaningful, storied decor pieces, Brown realized the importance of recording familial history. She created the “Time Capsule Journal,” which is a book that prompts people to answer thought-provoking and important questions about their family background. 

“Years ago, I wouldn’t have known how to mix interior styles, but now I can seamlessly mix vintage and antiques with modern accents,” Brown shares. “I think my home will always be a metaphor for my work: mixing my love of interiors, history, and genealogy.”




  • Everslip cover sofa — Crate and Barrel
  • Marshmellow chair— France and Son (damage discount!)
  • Mantel— Amazon
  • Stationary desk — Kaiyo
  • Dresser — Chairsih
  • Disco ball — Chairish

Thanks, Chelsey!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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