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.

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! 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 tub..you 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!

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
  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: https://www.refinery29.com/homepolish/71?crlt.pid=camp.7BEbln2VJnui#slide

    Best,
    April

    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
  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
  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:

    LOVE
    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
  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