A 1900s 600-Square-Foot New York City Apartment Has a Gorgeous Exposed Brick Wall

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Name: Stéphanie Jaquier and husband
Location: Upper West Side — New York, NY
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 600 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My name is Stéphanie, I am French, and I have been living in New York City with my husband Arnaud for almost 2 years. We live in a one-bedroom apartment in a pre-war building from 1900, located a few steps away from Central Park. It has a lot of charm: an exposed brick wall, high ceilings, a fireplace, old wooden flooring, retro switches, old mosaic tiles in the kitchen… but one needs to know that this kind of charm often comes with less attractive “details,” such as super loud heaters, hot water cuts, gas cuts, neighbor’s floor creaking, an “ugly yellow” bathroom, etc. But with time, we have learned to laugh about those defects and even love them.

We are fond of our place; we think it has good vibes and it’s our little sanctuary. Our friends and family often say that they feel comfortable in our home and that is a huge compliment. Our apartment is super quiet (if we exclude the heaters and the creaking floor) since it has views on backyards with lots of trees that I stare at everyday from spring to fall. We have tried not to buy too much brand new furniture or objects. So most of what we have are reused items that we found in antique stores, flea markets, Craigslist, Etsy, and even on the street! Our space is in constant evolution; I think I have never thought “this is it, our home is done, there is nothing more to add or to change.” We love to hunt and collect new treasures and are far from being minimalists.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Vintage, eclectic, boho, colorful, French

What is your favorite room and why? Our living room because it’s spacious, has two windows, and an access to the terrace. It’s in there that we chat, play, read, listen to music, dance, eat, watch movies, do DIYs, receive friends… it’s a very lively and happy space.

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? Can I have two wishes? Our kitchen’s size would be multiplied by 10 (even then it would still be small but not a cubbyhole anymore) with a big window. I am obsessed with natural light and this can be a challenge unfortunately in New York. And I would add a big mezzanine to take advantage of the high ceilings and have a bedroom for our guests!

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? We found a digital clock from the ’50s last weekend at the Williamsburg flea market and we absolutely love it. It’s from Lawson and it’s wooden. We can see the seconds moving and when a minute and an hour passes too. It’s exactly the kind of objects we like: aesthetic but also useful and interactive. Recently I found at Housing Works an Art Deco perpetual calendar. I love to roll the little knobs to change the day every day.

Any advice for creating a home you love? If you see a furniture piece or an object that you love, just go for it (if you can afford it) or you will have regrets! Don’t think too much about if it will go well with the other pieces you have at home. You will realize soon enough that all the crushes that you have blend well together and reflect your personality. Trust your tastes.

This submission’s responses were edited for length and clarity.