This Upper West Sider’s Apartment Is a Tribute to Her Grandma’s Art

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A woman and her grandma hugging on a brown couch below a wall of art
Me and my grandma

Name: Sophia S Lewis
Location: Upper West Side — New York, New York
Type of home: One-bedroom apartment in six-floor co-op
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: When I was born, my parents rented a junior suite in this building. Soon after, the apartment below went for sale for $100k in the mid-’90s in a sheriff’s sale. We bought it for my uncle, who was on the autism spectrum, so he could stay close to my family — my grandparents live six blocks away. My parents have since moved to California, and my uncle sadly passed away in 2019.

The apartment was in disastrous condition — mold in the ceilings, destroyed windows by two cats, and the remnants of severe hoarding everywhere. We had to completely gut the space, redo the floors, and remove the mold. I moved back to NYC and into the apartment once the renovation was complete. So, I now live in the same building where I was born, 30 years later. Initially, my grandma couldn’t come to visit without leaving with tears in her eyes. I have since curated the space to be a pseudo-gallery of my grandmother’s paintings and turned a sad place into a happy place. My apartment includes 16 pieces of her original artwork. She is still six blocks away and enjoys coming over. I’m now taking care of her in her old age, as she once took care of my uncle — it’s a really special position to be in and a role exchange. I also have a group of friends in my building — similar to the TV show “Friends.” I love every inch of my apartment and am happy to keep it in excellent condition.

The living room with built in book shelves seperating the space and acting as railings for the step down into the sunken space.

My style is a bit of a mish-mosh with bamboo cabinetry and an imported white tulip dining table from Italy. The living room features a cozy white rug and tall white shelves flanking the windows, and I’m particularly fond of the open shelves in the kitchen and the heated toilet seat in the bathroom.

I identify as an earnest empath, reflected in my apartment’s tribute to my grandmother’s artwork and maintained as a soft shrine in memory of my uncle.

Dining area and kitchen, which used to be a tiny room where my nursey was, and have since knocked down the walls to create an open floor plan.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Chic, art-centric, modern, clean, and textured

What is your favorite room and why? The living room features a five-foot wide acrylic painting over the velvet couch from ABC Carpet. It’s beautiful and a grand centerpiece.

Open shelves in kitchen.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? Honestly, shoe storage from the Container Store.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Champion women artists and collaborate with your dope granny.

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