This NYC Studio’s Style Is “If Barbra Streisand, J.Lo & the Dalai Lama Were in a Thruple”

published Jul 5, 2024
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This NYC Studio’s Style Is “If Barbra Streisand, J.Lo & the Dalai Lama Were in a Thruple”

published Jul 5, 2024
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Bedrooms
Square feet
515
Sq ft
515

“If Barbra Streisand, J.Lo, and the Dalai Lama were in a thruple and all had to decorate an apartment together, and none of them had a lot of money, you’d get my studio. Those are the three elements of my personality that are embodied in my home’s style,” describes Suzi Siegel, small-space expert and author of Tiny New York, of her 515-square-foot studio apartment in Jackson Heights, New York, she’s owned for seven years.

“I am a Jewish woman of a certain age with a certain schmaltzy aesthetic. I also am a woman who grew up in the Bronx in the ’70s and ’80s in a Spanish-speaking household (raised by my Puerto Rican stepfather), dances salsa, and loves clothes. Last, I am an avowed Buddhist who mediates every day and goes on regular silent retreats. All of that is (somehow) reflected in my home,” she continues.

Though she admits that she’s not a particularly handy person, she has done quite a lot to improve her small space in the years she’s owned it. After she bought the place but before she moved in, she had the floors redone. “They were that terrible NYC yellowish shiny wood parquet color that reminded me of gym class at PS 105 in the Bronx where I went to school. I had them stripped and stained white,” she writes.

"You have to pet my dog," she begins of her one house rule. "His name is Móle. He’s a Mexican Hairless Xoloitzcuintle rescue mix. He is completely bald except for a weird orange mohawk, the tip of his tail, and some random tufts of hair here and there. People on the street ask me if he was in a fire or if has mange or if he’s old. One guy smoking a cigarette once stopped me and said “Look like hyena.” (Mexicans don’t ask me that because Xolos are the national dog of Mexico.) I don’t care if you are afraid to touch his weird bald skin. If you’re a visitor in my home, you better get used to it and give my dog some loving, lol. (He feels like a mix between an elephant and a moist football.)"

Another thing she changed about the apartment had to do with just how much clothing and shoes she has. “I knocked down a wall between two of those adjacent small closets you see in older NYC apartment buildings and converted it into one bigger closet with sliding mirrored doors,” she explains. “I also put in a shelving system into the apartment’s one walk-in closet. Both with container store elfa shelving. They measured all my shoes and dresses and pocketbooks and luggage so everything fit perfectly. It was a dream.” 

She says she also had a sliding glass door added to divide the kitchen area from the dressing room area right outside of the bathroom. “It was a regular closet door, but it made the apartment and dining area look small, and I thought the addition of a sliding glass door opened up the space,” she writes.

Resources

PAINT & COLORS

Suzi's favorite element in the home is her altar to 718, the area code of Queens. "It’s at the entryway when you walk in. Giant, mismatched, slightly banged up, vintage metal numbers they used to hang up at gas stations in the olden-timey days to advertise how much gas cost that day. It sits above a letterpress map of Queens. I love Queens so much that I created a hashtag for it #deepqueens because I post photos of all the crazy beautiful scrappy stuff that goes on here on Instagram that inspires me and makes me laugh and wonder every day. It is my muse and I just keep finding new ways to fall in love with it. I have become something now close to a zealot or a proselytizer for Queens which understandably is annoying to my friends – almost none of whom ever come to visit me from Brooklyn or Manhattan because it’s 'too far.' I knew that was gonna happen when I moved here and I have made peace with it."

ENTRY – aka “The Altar to Deep Queens”

  • Giant metal Vintage gas station numbers 7-1-8 Queens area code (various Etsy stores)
  • QUEENS NYC MAP PRINT — Archies Press
  • Allen Acrylic Console Table — Bed, Bath, and Beyond
  • Green velvet ottoman storage pouf — Amazon
  • Jonathan Adler Wink Trinket Tray, Black and White — Amazon

LIVING ROOM

  • Louvre Fabric Chair & Ottoman, Fern Velvet — Kardiel
  • Everly Quinn Pillow in Sangria  — Wayfair 
  • Leah Singh Maya Light Pink pillow — Leah Singh
  • Lavender Tigers Blanket throw — Olivia Wendel 
  • Navy Dragonfly Zafu Zabuton Set meditation cushion — Dharma Crafts 
  • Bone inlay side table — Etsy
  • Bent Mirrored Coffee Table — Afa
  • Ligne rosset red floor lamp — Pinterest
  • PEACH & PEBBLE 10 Inch Pink Ceramic Planter — Amazon
  • Lofgren Plant Stand By Mercury Row – pink & gold — Wayfair
  • Vintage moroccan rug mid-20th century — Nazmiyal Antique Rugs 
  • Lacquer shop chest / dresser red + blue — CB2
  • Natuzzi sofa — Dark blue fabric w/ leather trim (no longer available)
  • Renzo Ortega painting – green dialogue  (backstory: found him through a mural he painted in a local Peruvian sandwich shop on Northern Boulevard.)
  • Corey K Lamb  painting 1, Bouquet 2020  (backstory: found him on IG, my first-ever piece of original art)
  • Corey K Lamb  painting 2

DINING ROOM

  • Bluff City 14-Inch by Jonah Takagi for Roll & Hill Mint red Pendant Lamp 
  • Scarlett Bench and Mongolian Sheep Fur Cover – Dining Bench — Grandin Road
  • John McKie art (self-taught artist found on Instagram)
  • Kuna Pillow — Mola Sasa
  • Chilewich Glow Place Mat — Bloomingdales
  • Vintage Traditional Anatolian Wool Rug — ABC Carpets 
  • white kitchen glass topped table — Design Within Reach warehouse outlet 
  • Air purifier/fan — Dyson
  • Gel Stacking Chair with Transparent Red Seat Color— Domitalia
  • Custom lit edge exit sign Hebrew letters — emergencylight.net
  • Artwork Alfred González/A Ride on the 6 Archival Pigment Print B&W photograph  
"Everything in the bedroom is pink — no other color is allowed," Suzi writes.

BEDROOM

"I work from home and my desk faces directly another building across from the parking garage — hence, the hanging plant window shelves," Suzi explains.

WFH OFFICE AREA

DRESSING ROOM

  • Vintage Moroccan rug/cut to size Handira Blankets Etsy 
  • African Laundry baskets from Sengal — Etsy 
  • Pivot shelf / light blue 
  • Sliding glass closet doors — Home Depot
  • Sliding glass barn door leading into space from dining area — Build
  • Elfa system closets — Container Store

BATHROOM

Thanks Suzi!

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