Sophia’s Bookish Live/Work Apartment

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(Image credit: Sherrie and Oliver)

Name: Sophia Kramer & Nico (her 17 year old cat)
Location: New York, NY
Size: 450 sq ft
Years lived in: 5 years; Rented

Sophia Kramer is a book conservator and binder. Her work requires an immense amount of talent and is a profession that is rare and special, just like Sophia’s home. The eclectic mix of modern, vintage, and auction finds all seem to fit into place here, as if all the pieces agreed to rendezvous at her apartment.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Sherrie and Oliver)

The apartment is multipurpose, serving as home, studio, classroom, & a place to host friends. The key planning in the apartment was Sophia’s decision to give up her bedroom and instead turn it into her work studio, where she also teaches private lessons on bookbinding & conservation. Her bedroom now sits at the far end of the living room, nestled in a windowed nook and separated by a beautiful wooden screen divider that provides both privacy and light. Sophia’s studio reads like a true artisan’s; filled with collections of antique and rare books, industrial tools, bookcloth & specialty papers, and endless resources and supplies ready to burst at the seams with creativity.

Sophia’s friend Cara sums it up best in the quote below:

“Being in Sophia’s apartment is like being in a chambered nutshell: the nut seems like it should be so small but when you get inside there are distinct areas for sleeping and socializing and creating art and cooking and teaching and working on the computer. And each area is full of things tucked into nooks and crannies: reference books here, spices there, paper under this, handmade bags behind that door, thread and buttons in another corner, a sewing machine tucked where you least expect it. How did a hazelnut turn into a coconut? But it is!”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: A mix of vintage eclectic and modern

Inspiration: Grounded, practical and functional

Favorite Element: Wood floors and exposed brick wall

Biggest Challenge: Finding places to store all my paper supplies!

What Friends Say: “Its so artsy and comfortable!” (Also, see quote above)

Biggest Embarrassment: The kitchen sink could really use an upgrade

Proudest DIY: Ceiling light won in a Housing Works auction

Biggest Indulgence: The gorgeous rug I bought at an auction

Best Advice:  Make your space comfortable, rearrange and edit once in a while to keep things fresh

Dream Sources: ABC Home, Hudson NY antique shops, auctions, London flea markets

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


  • Cabinets – Ikea
  • Cabinet Knobs – Mexican Pottery Shop
  • Cat Picture -Tivoli NY town garage sale


  • Couch – Crate & Barrel
  • Drop Leaf Coffee Table – Family Heirloom
  • TV Cabinet – Crate & Barrel
  • Rug – Upstate Auction
  • Dining Table – Crate & Barrel
  • Stacking Chairs – Antique Shop
  • Wall Mirror – Auction
  • End Table – Curbside Find
  • Lamp – Antique store
  • Framed Art – Gifts from my brother


  • Screen – Craigslist
  • Curtain – Thrifted
  • Red Lamp -Gift from my brother
  • Iron Bed Frame – Antique shop
  • Worktable – Found in Minneapolis
  • Bookshelf – Crate & Barrel
  • Dresser – Housing Works
  • Small bookpress -Garage sale in NJ
  • Flatfiles – Acquired during a bindery renovation
  • Large bookpress & Hot Stamper – Bought from fellow bookbinder

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Sophia!

(Images: Sherrie Uy)

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