Before and “After”: My New Studio Apartment

Today I’m psyched to finally be sharing some pictures of my new apartment! As you may know from previous posts, this is my third apartment since moving to New York City, and I’m back in the building where my first apartment was – again in a studio, but this time a corner unit with more space and a lot more light (so major upgrade!). I’m pretty thrilled with it and even though it’s far from being done/perfect, I’m excited to show you guys some of the progress I’ve made thus far (and scroll to the end of the post for product sources!)

So, this is pretty much 80% how it looked the day after I moved in, and then the extra 20% I did over the following few weeks (such as hanging the art and getting an extra bookshelf  AND the new sofa! – more on that below). I’m one of those weird people who loves unpacking and does it in one day – I think it’s because I just love organizing and finding spots for everything. By the way, I HATE packing – only a fan of the unpacking part!

I was lucky in that most of the furniture from my previous apartment fit into this space – the headboard, the nightstands, desk, chair, rug, and shorter vertical bookshelf, to be exact. The taller vertical bookshelf I purchased because I realized that I really didn’t have enough bookshelf space for my book hoarding ways. My mom suggested getting the taller version and putting them next to each other – I was a bit unsure at first but now I love how it looks! Since this was taken, I’ve added curtains and gotten that art in the back off the floor and onto the wall where it belongs, plus added a floor lamp by the desk.

In my previous studio I had no room for a nightstand, let alone two, so this just goes to show how much more spacious this place is – yay! Oh, and sadly, you see my lone brushstroke lamp which is missing its partner – yeah, I broke it (sat on it, be more specific, though in my defense it was on the floor at the time). Cue sobbing face emoji! Still need to get a replacement. I was debating on maybe doing a different lamp – matching nightstands, different lamps? How do we feel about that? Probably not going to do that but it crossed my mind!

This desk has been with me since I first moved to the city – it’s great because it stores a lot! It’s no longer available from Pottery Barn but this one is very similar. The loop chair was a secondhand find at Housing Works and I desperately want to get it refinished and cover the cushion in a fun fabric, but that will have to wait for now.

Again, this all looks pretty much exactly as it did right when I moved in except that for a few weeks there was a glaring hole under the window which has finally been filled with my new sofa! Woohoo! That was a looong time coming, if you remember this post from a million years ago. I hemmed and hawed for a long time but finally settled on the Carmine sofa from Maiden Home in Dove Gray velvet, and I love it so much. Full post to come! By the way, one thing that’s been bothering me is the way the “living room” rug and “bedroom” rug come right up next to each other (you can see it better in the first picture of the apartment above) – anybody know any rules about that sort of thing? I feel like it looks kind of weird how they’re so close to each other but then I also kind of like how they define each space. Not quite sure what to do with that yet.

So happy that my little vintage claw-footed bookcase fits so perfectly onto that little jutting-out wall. It’s one of my favorite pieces in my apartment. I wanted to decorate it with as much colorful and kind of crazy stuff as possible to juxtapose against the antique vibe. And how PERFECT does the Christina Baker painting look above the couch? Like that spot was made for it! I couldn’t be happier to wake up every morning and see that piece – it’s the most gorgeous thing and the light that floods into this new apartment finally allows it to be shown in it’s best possible…well, light :).

Another piece I love – the nesting tables above, which are vintage from my parents. My mom actually got them when she and my dad lived in NYC when they were first married! They’re a little beat up but I love them, and I also love how the modern lamp from West Elm looks on them.

Here’s the kitchen – as you can see I’ve done basically nothing in there! Not sure what there is to do really but I am planning on maybe getting a bamboo shade at some point to add a little warmth and texture.

Sigh. My shiny, clean, newly renovated bathroom, in which, as you may have seen on Instagram last week, I dropped a bottle of pink nail polish that shattered and splattered all over the wall behind the toilet…the toilet…the sink…the side of the vanity..the floor…the get the picture. But before that disaster, I added the Ikea storage piece you can see beside the tub. I like how it looks and it holds a lot but it’s definitely really wobbly and rickety…maybe I didn’t put it together all that perfectly but it still works!

And finally, we have my little entryway/entry vestibule – I’ve since gotten that art off the floor and onto the walls at this point!

So there you have it! A little before and sort of “after” of my new space. I can’t wait to share a full review of my sofa and show you everything else I’ve done since these photos were taken – curtains have been hung, art hung, lighting added…but there’s still more to do! Design is never done, am I right? Thanks for reading and promise to share more soon! Here are sources for some of the items in my apartment:

Ghost chair

Vertical bookshelves

Globe Lamp – West Elm

Desk Chair

Coffee Table – Ballard (no longer available)

Desk: Pottery Barn (no longer available, similar)

Sofa: Maiden Home

Headboard: Serena and Lily

Nightstands: Pottery Barn

Leave a Comment

  1. Monica wrote:

    Jackie, it looks SO GOOD! Not that I’m surprised but v. impressive. And so worth the hassle for that natural light…eek!

    Published 6.18.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thanks so much Monica! It was definitely all worth it, though I never would’ve imagined that a few months ago! xoxo

      Published 6.18.18 · Reply
  2. Rachel wrote:

    Oh my gosh, it looks so lovely! Serious apartment envy 🙈 Congratulations on the move ✨

    Published 6.18.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thanks so much Rachel!

      Published 6.18.18 · Reply
    • Sarah Jane wrote:

      You’ve done a great job of that. 🙂 I’m trying to get back to having a minimal look to my one bedroom apartment. It was a lot more practical. I’ve got too much stuff. I need to give the items taking up space to charity shops. It’s easier to clean around the apartment, and hoover around in it, when there’s less things. As long as I keep the colour scheme’s that I like, in each room. When I was going for a viewing of my apartment, I first thought that the bedroom was the lounge, because it’s huge. It’s even bigger than any bedroom I’ve ever had before. I wasn’t expecting it to be massive. I thought it would be kind of medium size, or small, before I’d had a look around the apartment. 😄 I was like “Oh, this must be the lounge”, and the person showing me the apartment was like “No, this is the bedroom”. However, I suppose I could have put the bedroom furniture in the lounge, and moved the lounge furniture into where the bedroomwas meant to be, as I’d have a larger lounge, but then a smaller bedroom. I have an open-plan lounge, where there’s no door between the lounge and the kitchen, so they’re both all in one big room. However, the kitchen is partitioned off, from the lounge, with a line [sort of] separation the two rooms. The lounge has carpet, but the kitchen just has laminate flooring. Just that I would have preferred to have a wall between my kitchen and my lounge, but we can’t have everything. At least I’ve got a roof over my head. I love my bedroom. It will be the biggest one I ever have. It means I can fit a lot of new bedroom furniture into it. I wouldn’t mind one of them sliding wardrobes, where it’s built into the bedroom wall, but it has to be done professionally, and I’ll probably need to save a bit of money first, before I sort that out.

      Published 4.1.24 · Reply
  3. Julie Mather wrote:

    Love your new place. Wondering what you did with the black vanity table and mirror that you had in your first apartment? I’ve looked and looked for something similar with no success.

    Published 6.18.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thanks Julie! It didn’t fit into the new space so my parents have it back at their house. Lucky for me it’s not totally gone – I hope to be able to use it again in the future! The vanity and mirror are a vintage Thomasville set that I painted – try searching that on Ebay or Etsy, those pieces do come up pretty often though usually the faux bamboo collection is more common.

      Published 6.18.18 · Reply
  4. Anne wrote:

    The rugs perfectly divide the two spaces! Thanks for the studio ideas. Also nice long couch to nap on or for overnight guests. And that bamboo tower in the bathroom is great! Where did you get the white framed NY print with Rockefeller ice rink etc— The Plaza shops?🤔

    Published 6.18.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thanks Anne! Good point, so maybe the two rugs do work together. The print is from Caitlin McGauley – one of my favorite artists!

      Published 6.18.18 · Reply
  5. April wrote:

    Hi Jackie,

    Your new apartment is beautiful! I am curious — how many books can your vertical shelves hold?

    Regarding your area rugs, maybe you should “tilt” the bedroom rug on a diagonal so that it overlaps with the living room rug? Kind of like the first picture in this slideshow:


    Published 6.19.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Hi April! It depends on the size of the books but I’m guessing the taller one, somewhere from 40-60 and the smaller 30-50 (also depending on if you stack them tight or leave spaces between). Great idea on the rug, I didn’t think of that! Definitely something to keep in mind.

      Published 6.19.18 · Reply
  6. Gretchen wrote:

    Ah I love it! I’ll be moving to the city within the next few months & this is making me so excited! All the inspiration! Thanks for sharing, XO

    Published 6.19.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      So glad you found this inspiring – good luck with your move! xo

      Published 6.21.18 · Reply
      • Teri wrote:

        Hi, your apartment is so cute! What are the dimensions of the room and what size couch do you have? I’m trying to see what will fit in my studio.

        Published 2.14.21 · Reply
  7. It looks gorgeous and so light & feminine…

    I like to unpack immediately too – most fun ever!

    Published 6.19.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      So fun, right?! I’m like how can I make a living out of this? Hah 🙂

      Published 6.19.18 · Reply
  8. Jenna wrote:

    Your apartment looks great! I am a long time reader and love how pretty you can make spaces look while also making the most of the space, even if it’s limited. I am a huge fan of natural light, too. It’s so nice that you have that corner of windows.

    Published 6.19.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      I appreciate that so much, Jenna!

      Published 6.21.18 · Reply
  9. Dale Angela Howard wrote:

    So so beautiful Jackie even f it isn’t finished! Enjoy your new digs!

    Published 6.19.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thanks so much!

      Published 6.19.18 · Reply
  10. Patricia wrote:

    It looks fabulous! Obsessed with the sofa! I like how you have the area rugs also, I think they define the space perfectly. So bright and beautiful! Excellent job!!

    Published 6.19.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you so much Patricia! Glad to hear your thoughts on the area rugs!

      Published 6.19.18 · Reply
      • Cheri Campbell wrote:

        I think you have done a lovely job of decorating and your use of space is excellent. I love your studio.
        I noticed you posted this in June. I’m just seeing this now. No need to respond. I will be looking for more of your posts.
        Thank you for sharing.

        Published 9.5.19 · Reply
  11. Elissa wrote:

    Wow Jackie! The new apt. looks absolutely incredible. You really have an eye for design! My last apt. was a studio on 87th and York and the features look so similar to my old place that I’m wondering if it’s the same management company! Enjoy your bright, beautiful space!

    Published 6.19.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you so much Elissa!

      Published 6.21.18 · Reply
  12. Dorothy wrote:

    Great job, so beautiful!! The mahogany bookcase with all the color looks amazing. Inspired idea.

    Published 6.19.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thanks Mom! xoxo

      Published 6.21.18 · Reply
  13. Rande Coleman wrote:

    looks great! very cosy:)
    rugs are fine the way they are
    you have a great eye!!

    Published 6.19.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you so much! I think I will leave the rugs as mostly everyone seems to think they look fine. Thanks for weighing in!

      Published 6.21.18 · Reply
  14. I love the new apartment!! Corner apartment = best light! I wonder if you could turn the rug length wise and that would give a little more defined edges??

    Published 6.19.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you! I am so excited to have a corner apartment, I never imagined how much better the light would be. Good idea on the rugs, I might give that a try!

      Published 6.21.18 · Reply
  15. jackie brown wrote:

    Wow this is so nice! Enjoy every minute in your new and improved space.

    Published 6.25.18 · Reply
  16. Gretchen King wrote:

    Love everything I was able to see. So clean, crisp and cosy. I don’t see the pictures of your kitchen and bathroom; however, just the text.

    Published 7.12.18 · Reply
  17. Felicia Mesadieu wrote:

    Your apartment is so wonderful

    Published 7.20.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you very much!

      Published 7.22.18 · Reply
  18. Mayra wrote:

    I love your apartment! Such an inspiration for me. Congrats on the move!

    Published 8.6.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you!

      Published 4.11.20 · Reply
  19. Teri wrote:

    This looks like such a happy space! Congratulations! The LL did a good job with the kitchen and bath renos; very timeless materials. I think the rugs are fine as is but another possibility is to a layer a smaller third rug over both to tie them together. As a nurse practitioner, I’ve always wondered how nurses and other healthcare staff afford to live in very expensive places like the Upper East Side…thanks for sharing that! Looks like home sweet home.

    Published 8.7.18 · Reply
  20. Cara wrote:

    Beautiful apartment! Like you, I have to unpack and set everything up (that I can) the first day.

    Published 9.25.18 · Reply
  21. Kristin wrote:

    Just found your lovely blog while looking for information on Maiden Home sofas. I’d love to hear how you like it, several months in.

    Published 11.5.18 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Hi Kristin! I still like the sofa a lot. It’s held up well, only a few issues. The one cushion got kind of strangely wrinkled, a little hard to describe. And then one of the seams along one of the cushions is a little messed up too. I’m not sure why as I don’t sit on it all that much (I’m in a studio so usually on my bed, lol). But still love it!

      Published 4.11.20 · Reply
  22. M wrote:

    Hello. Love your site! Two questions: Do you use real flowers to decorate? And, what did you do about your bathroom? I feel like that could happen to anybody!

    Published 1.20.19 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Hi, thank you! I do use real flowers, yes. There are some beautiful faux flowers out there especially NDI Flowers but they’re pretty expensive. For the bathroom I repainted the wall, and then cleaned as much as I could off the tiles and bathtub with nail polish remover, which is very harsh on the tub so I probably wouldn’t recommend it! I got a lot off of the tiles though!

      Published 1.20.19 · Reply
  23. Anne wrote:

    Stunning place… I have a couch only 6 months old in duck egg blue and love it ❤

    Published 2.12.19 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thanks so much!

      Published 2.15.19 · Reply
  24. Dorothy wrote:

    Beautiful, colorful, interesting, comfortable and unique. Not so easy to do.
    Love how you put all the colorful things in the vintage bookcase. It thanks you for giving it a youthful vibe. Truly gorgeous

    Published 5.3.19 · Reply
  25. Jane wrote:

    What are the dimensions of your room?? Moving in to a similar space soon and seeing if I could copy your layout!

    Published 8.2.19 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      I’m sorry, I’m actually not sure!

      Published 8.12.19 · Reply
  26. Charlie wrote:

    Wow! I absolutely love what you did, I thrive on before and afters like this!

    Published 8.4.19 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you!

      Published 8.12.19 · Reply
  27. Joan wrote:

    I love what you did with your apartment!!!
    Just wondering…What size is your bed? Full or Queen?

    Published 8.5.19 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thanks so much! It’s a full size.

      Published 8.7.19 · Reply
  28. Rosemary wrote:

    Love it all. great styling but totally liveable.

    Published 8.23.19 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you so much!

      Published 9.22.19 · Reply
  29. Deb wrote:

    I love it! So airy and light and comfy and glam. About your rug dilemma, I’d suggest either getting a smaller one or scooting it over a little if there’s room, and then putting two tall white bookcases together by your bed, on the other side of the nightstand. It would visually separate the rooms and give your bedroom a more cozy, intimate feel, plus give you more space for book hoarding! They could even be the ones without a back, with asymmetrical shelves. They would still let that natural light in but partially obscure your sleeping space. Anyway, well done!

    Published 9.15.19 · Reply
  30. Jackie wrote:

    Love how you decorated your studio!! What’s the square footage??

    Published 9.20.19 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you! I’m not totally sure but I think somewhere around 500?

      Published 9.22.19 · Reply
  31. Katrina kole wrote:

    Hey. I love your apt and how you presented it. It kind of reminds me of mine. Only mine is very old. Thank you. I really enjoyed this

    Published 10.20.19 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thanks, I’m happy to hear that!

      Published 4.11.20 · Reply
  32. Lisa wrote:

    Love your “style” and color palette. As far as possible suggestions:
    Why not move the cute small clawfoot bookcase to the “intersection” of your entryway and hallway to your living space? Then you would have an accent as well as a place for your keys, mail, etc. If you choose to do that I would then suggest that you move your tall and shorter book shelves to the wall where the clawfoot bookcase was. This in turn would create a great place for your full length mirror or more artwork to the left of the windows by your bed. Lastly, I would suggest taking the smallest of the nesting tables and place it on the opposite end of the sofa (you might have to turn it lengthwise – front to back – for it to fit but it would balace out your sofa and give someone sitting on that end of the sofa a resting place for a glass AND allow you to have another lamp which will throw some soft light on your beautiful painting.
    P.S. – I think you rugs work perfectly the way you have them – really “defines” each space!

    Published 11.22.19 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you! Such great ideas and suggestions! I’ve decided to keep the little wall in my hallway free of furniture because the hallway isn’t super wide and it’s where my closets are, so I thought it would feel cramped when I open those closet doors…but it would be great to have an entry table if the space were better equipped for it! I’ve come around to the rug situation as well – as you said it really helps define each space so I’m glad with how it worked out. I really need to post updated pics soon!!

      Published 11.27.19 · Reply
  33. Cindy hughes wrote:

    Love it! What are the dimensions of your place? I’m working on a studio and curious.

    Published 1.22.20 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      I’m not totally sure, I’m sorry!

      Published 1.27.20 · Reply
  34. Laura wrote:

    I need your help so bad,!
    I can’t even unpack plus I have more stuff elsewhere, I stupidly bought a full sized loft bed.
    It’s not working out.
    I have a small studio too,
    Not the best area, but it’s cheap.
    I have another mattress on the floor that I’m sleeping on!
    Trying to sell double loft bed new mattress
    I have no idea what to do!
    You are amazing, can you maybe help me then if you like you can advertise it!
    This is my first studio ,
    It’s too small!
    I’m used having a bedroom not just one room
    It’s so messy I don’t know what to do!
    I have terrible organization skills!
    My kitchen and bathroom is similar to yours,.
    This little space is driving me crazy!
    Please email me,
    maybe you can at least give advice.
    I don’t know what to do!
    Especially with this huge bed in the way!
    You’re fantastic !
    I know others are reading this too!
    I used to be a hairdresser,
    I can’t even build a shoe rack!
    If anyone else has ideas that’s great too!

    Published 2.24.20 · Reply
  35. Ava Marchand-Paolino wrote:

    Absolutely, lovely indeed! 1st, scooping a corner apt, how great is that! Love ur personal touches…and what amazing art pieces.
    Pink nail polish crash & splash…oh no! Was fmr skincare/cosmo exec & we had beautiful marble floors in our stores. A child decided it would be fun to see if a dark red w/gold glitter bottle of nail polish could bounce; it did, once, then smashed on last & final bounce. Working to clean the marble, both all black & white sections…oh dear. I’m please to see how beautifully the new flooring looks.
    Thank you for sharing, I truly enjoyed the voyeurism! 😊

    Published 3.15.20 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you so much! And omg, marble floors…oh dear is right!

      Published 4.11.20 · Reply
  36. Susan Lubin wrote:

    What wonderful light from the many windows. Wonderful job decorating. When I lived in the city, I didn’t have a dime to spend on decorating, so I’m very jealous. Enjoy your new space.

    Published 3.24.20 · Reply
  37. Alyssa wrote:

    Can you share details on the dresser? Color, where you got it, etc? Would love to know more – it’s so chic!

    Published 4.2.20 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you! It’s a vintage Thomasville dresser and I painted it with Farrow and Ball Lamp Room gray. I replaced the hardware with CB2 hardware since we were missing one of the original handles.

      Published 4.11.20 · Reply
  38. Patsy D wrote:

    It’s lovely. Looks very spacious. Must have wood floors!!! Kitchen looks very workable without industrialized. You’re fortunate to have such great windows. Just have bookvases.

    Published 5.12.20 · Reply
  39. Kim wrote:

    Thank you for this!! This inspires me!

    Published 5.19.20 · Reply
  40. Linda wrote:

    Hey there,
    I just moved into the UES from Chicago and am overwhelmed in my little studio.
    You are giving me hope!
    Where is this lovely unit?
    The kitchen is soooo nice and the windows!!!!

    Published 6.7.20 · Reply
  41. Wende wrote:

    gorgeous! beautiful taste!

    Published 6.12.20 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you!

      Published 6.23.20 · Reply
  42. Piper wrote:

    I love your place, space and style!

    Published 7.20.20 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you!

      Published 7.20.20 · Reply
  43. Claire wrote:

    Hey Jackie! I’m currently apartment hunting and was wondering where this apartment is? I love it! Thanks!

    Published 7.22.20 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Upper East Side!

      Published 7.25.20 · Reply
  44. Lorie wrote:

    Absolutely beautiful!! I love how light, airy and spacious it looks even with it being a studio. You did an Amazing job!!

    Published 8.5.20 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      So kind of you to say, thank you!

      Published 8.20.20 · Reply
  45. Brooke wrote:

    Love the bathroom floor!!!!!

    Published 12.17.20 · Reply
  46. Donna wrote:

    Looks so cute and very functional. I love it. And the amount of light is so airy and nice. Good job, girl! Lol

    Published 2.20.21 · Reply
  47. Joanne Wunsch wrote:

    Very nice. I like the black and white in the kitchen and bathroom. Wow, you really like books!
    I like how the rug under the bed its it apart from the rest of the room.

    Published 4.24.21 · Reply
  48. Christine Hicks wrote:

    Really beautiful! Love the sofa and all the art, also think the rugs look good, the wood floors are so pretty, it’s nice to see them. You have done a great job! You really have an outstanding blog! I’m pretty blown away by how amazing it is and the great content! I love books and I read like a maniac too!

    Published 2.12.22 · Reply
  49. Stephen Dickerson wrote:

    How many square feet is the apartment?

    Published 4.21.23 · Reply
  50. Golden wrote:

    Wow, your new studio apartment looks amazing! The transformation is incredible, and I love how you’ve managed to create more space and light in the corner unit. It’s always exciting to see the progress someone makes in making their space their own. Can’t wait to see the final result, and thanks for sharing the product sources at the end of the post! 🏢✨

    Published 7.5.23 · Reply
  51. Julie Atchison wrote:

    I had to think about it a bit, but your two carpets are your two light neutrals which are echoed throughout your studio. Overlapping or side by side, they define your colours, and they are gorgeous in your well-lit space. Also repeated are your round shapes – very nice!!!

    Published 1.16.24 · Reply

    Published 4.4.24 · Reply