Name: Catherine Shannon
Location: East Village/Alphabet City — New York, New York
Size: 250 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting
I had one day to find an apartment in New York, and this was the best I found, so I went with it. One year later, I couldn't be happier here. Yes, it doesn't have great natural light and yes, one inch smaller and I might go crazy, but it really is perfect. You won't get a quieter night's sleep in all of NYC, and it's perfect for having a glass of wine or lounging in bed all day on Sunday. I spend more time at work than at home, but it's the perfect place to start my day and crash at the end of it.
What is your favorite room and why? Bedroom. A walk-around queen and massive closet are serious luxuries in New York. And it's one of the coziest, quietest bedrooms I've ever slept in. (In the heart of Manhattan—can you believe?)
If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? Natural light, natural light, natural light. (You can't have it all in NYC.)
Describe your home's style in 5 words or less: Californian, South African, Purposeful, Warm, Easygoing
What's the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? A set of four teacups from a small shop in Cape Town, South Africa. They're completely handmade—and a little wobbly—but I love them so much. My mom, who is from South Africa, has a matching set. I think of her when I have a cup of tea. (But honestly, I've ripped off her style in every corner of this apartment, so the whole place reminds me of her.)
Any advice for creating a home you love? Design your home to fit your actual life. It sounds obvious, but I am always surprised when I walk into a friend's apartment and they have a massive coffee table or desk they don't even use, complete with full sets of cutlery and 12 wine glasses. You don't need stuff just because it feels "adult" to have it. Not to brag *cough cough*, but I have one dining chair, four forks, and glasses in sets of two. Also: In small spaces, white—and white space—is your friend. You don't need a picture on every wall or color on every surface. It's nice for your eyes to rest between things.
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