NY House Tour: Phyllis’ Long Term Jewel of a Studio
Apartment Size: 500 sq.ft.
Favorite Elements: Sitting on the pillows reading the paper; and the postage stamp bedroom “cuddled with color”
Phyllis is an avid AT reader and invited us to pay her a visit. Both Phyllis and her apartment did not disappoint! She describes her decor style as “post-hippie/early Rhoda Morgenstern/multi-ethnic/funky/traditional.” Basically, Phyllis says, her apartment is a “later in life hippie crash pad.” Phyllis wants more comfort now than she did in her hippie years so, in her words, she is starting to “mellow out”….
It might be hard to recognize this so-called “mellowing out” after taking stock of all the time and effort Phyllis has put into her small, but very cozy, apartment. I was particularly impressed by the fact that all her videotapes are numbered and that there is a printed, spiral bound, alphabetical index-booklet to accompany this media collection. She has taken great lengths to coordinate shapes, colors and textures so that the result is complementary and sensorially stimulating.
“I am a paint freak,” says Phyllis (another detractor from the “mellowing out” contention). She loves to paint the walls and the furniture, and is planning on painting a canvas in her own design to adorn the one blank wall in the bedroom. Although this ritual is ramping down, there was a period in her life when Phyllis would paint the walls twice a year!
As Phyllis plans on living in this studio alcove for the foreseeable future, she has made it a point to subdivide the living room into separate but integrated activity areas–the couch lounge where she watches TV, the soft white chairs where she likes to knit, and the pillow area where she can read the paper–while the bedroom alcove remains out of view. The limited space is in perfect order so chaos is kept at bay.
In addition to design magazines, Phyllis gets a lot of her inspiration from peering into people’s apartments that she sees from the street. She knows her apartment is not large, but she likes to think of it as a micro-mini-loft. After all, she says, “space is in your mind.”