A Jewelry Designer in Brooklyn Fills her Home with Vintage Finds

Jewelry designer Emily Amey and Boo Cat, a stray she found in the bar in the East Village, call this apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn home. Emily lets furniture and decoration come into her life the same way Boo Cat did, it all seems to find her. When she was starting her jewelry business, money was tight so Emily had to get creative with decoration. Luckily, she’s an avid flea market shopper and thrifter. As a result, nearly everything in her home has a story and not just a story with her but also a past – Emily loves that sense of history. She also loves the satisfaction from knowing that her home is 100 percent one of a kind. Thanks, Emily and Boo Cat! And a big thank you to Naho Kubota for the lovely photos! -Amy

Image above: The vintage Fiestaware was my first ever ‘adult’ purchase and what started the ball rolling for my becoming a collector. I was 19 with my first apartment in NYC, I was working as a waitress in the East Village, and this was my first splurge. In one apartment, I hung the teacups from the ceiling with fishing line as a sort of mobile installation. Surprisingly most pieces are still with me. The Diamantini & Domeniconi cuckoo clock was a free score. Someone was throwing it out because she couldn’t get it to stay on her wall. I hammered out the kinks, screwed it into the brick, and it’s been keeping perfect time ever since.



See more of Emily’s Williamsburg apartment after the jump!

Image above: There was really no kitchen to speak of when I moved in. And since it’s a rental I had to get pretty crafty with how to make it functional, but still keep the cost low. This kitchen island was given to me by friends. They salvaged it from a French restaurant on the Upper East Side that was remodeling. I restained it, and It’s really worked out perfectly.

Image above: The wallpaper was done by my dear friend Karen Combs. I love her art and have it scattered all over my home and studio. The glass box is one of my most prized possessions. I use it as a display piece when I do jewelry shows. It used to hold an old apothecary scale. I found it at an antique store in Ohio, and I had to cajole the vendor for 2 hours to sell it to me. I really wanted it.

Image above: This piano has followed me to 6 NYC apartments. Not one of my most well thought-out purchases. (Thanks to all the friends who’ve helped me move it for not much more than free pizza and beer.)  The old victrola horn I found on the street. The paint is in perfect condition.  The photograph was a gift from Mike Mabes.

Image above: I’m on the top floor of the building, but there is virtually no insulation so my apartment gets pretty cold in the winter. I found an old wood burning stove in the basement a few years ago and installed it.  It really puts out a lot of heat. But i didn’t really think about carrying all the firewood up 3 flights of stairs.  The Pierre Paulin tongue chair was a gift from a friend.

Image above: Man, I love my kidney bean couch. I cruised Craigslist for a solid 4+ years before I found ‘the one.’ The silver floor lamp, orange pendant clock and rosewood side tables were all my Great-Aunt Frances’s. I think i inherited a lot of my design aesthetic from her.


Image above: I got the headboard from Reuse Industry in the Midwest for $5. I just have it screwed into the wall. The inlaid bedside table is a Craigslist find.  The sculpture in front of the fireplace is by my friend Alissa Neglia. I commissioned her to make this for part of my jewelry display.




Image above: I found my jewelry bench while driving around the Berkshires. An elderly couple was moving down to Florida, and I bought his old work bench for $10. Most jewelers have much smaller benches, but I like to have everything laid out right in front of me. My assistant and I often work side by side on it. The tool box and mirror were flea market finds in the Midwest. The print is by Karen Combs.


  1. I would love to have your interior design eye. I think it gives so much character to a home when it is filled with personality. I would love to be thrifty.

  2. Karen says:

    hooray for this!

  3. Elizabeth W. says:

    You’ve turned that apartment into a truly fabulous space! What a great place to come home to and to work in. That cat looks quite pleased with himself for finding you too.
    Is the fruit basket crocheted? Or macrame? It’s beautiful, at any rate, as are all the details in your home. Thanks for sharing, I’m off to look at your website.

  4. I would love to work in that space. So much light and so many fun things to look at.

  5. Christy says:

    I love, love, love the kitchen island! It looks so hard working and practical, but beautiful at the same time.

  6. Carolina Stothart says:

    Absolutely love

  7. Barb says:

    Fun to see your home and workplace!

  8. kim says:

    You’ve got great style….I positively love what you’ve done w/this space.

  9. Miss Heliotrope says:

    Oooo that kitchen island – & cats are of course fabulous.

  10. amanda says:

    This home is seriously so stunning. I love love love it.

  11. Ariel says:

    I love this home! There is so much character and humor in the building itself. My favorite has got to be all those quirky little windows in the wall behind the bed. Such a cool space.

  12. Todd says:

    Great space, love the brick walls, esp the washed white ones, recently did this in our studio renovation also.

  13. Especially love the collectibles on the kitchen shelves. Inspiration file!

  14. Claudette says:

    Luv the brick walls. The decorating is so creative.

  15. shawn says:

    O M gosh. This designer is multi talented. Thanks for sharing :)

  16. Beautiful and well organized. Well done.

  17. firehorse jane says:

    Cute but full! Sweet tabby.

  18. BooBooNinja says:

    Beautiful home. ps That tool chest is incredible!

  19. Nadine says:

    The workbench, with all items displayed on it, looks like a piece of art! I also love the kitchen island.

  20. Keri says:

    I adore the pale gray accent walls. It’s so subtle and chic!

  21. Stu.D says:

    Woah!!! Beautiful Home, (even more) beautiful owner!

  22. Jeanine says:

    LOVEEEEEEE this article!!!


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.