Interiorssneak peeks

A first apartment in Brooklyn

by Amy Azzarito

Although it looks like she’s been living here for years, Taylor Anne only moved into this Crown Heights, Brooklyn apartment three months ago. In fact, she moved to New York City  just four short months ago. Taylor moved to New York from Bloomington, Indiana where she worked for a trio of indie record labels, and she came to New York for her dream job with J.Crew and Madewell. While apartment hunting, she crashed on various friends sofas for a few days at a time. She wanted to take her time to find a place that felt like home and where she could put her own personal stamp on, and it worked out. She found a neighborhood she loved and in the process learned a lot about navigating the city as she jumped from couch to couch and neighborhood to neighborhood. This is the first place Taylor has even lived where she got to see from start to finish – and therefore, feels more like home than anywhere else. Even though she’s only 25, Taylor has been collecting objects for her home as long as she can remember. She finally has a place to put everything she loves. And now, in her new city, she can come home at the end of a long day and feel instantly relaxed. Pretty impressive. Thanks, Taylor! –Amy

Image above: I still don’t know quite how this room came together, but it did.  Having the space for a queen-size bed, dresser, desk, AND wardrobe kind of threw me for a loop.  It’s actually the biggest bedroom I’ve ever had. I just searched antique stores for the pieces that I needed, and luckily, they all seem to work together just fine. My desk is actually an old outdoor table base with a painted wooden top thrown on it instead of its original glass one. (Annie Sloan paints were used for this particular project)

Image above After I found my apartment, I was desperately looking for a new light to replace the standard dome-shaped one on the ceiling in the living room.  I saw a real knock-out white faux-antler chandelier in the window of an interior design shop in Manhattan, and knew I had to find some version of it that fit into my budget (I assure you, the one in the store window did not.) I had zero luck doing so here in the city, but when I went back to Indiana to pick up the rest of my belongings a month later, I found the one pictured at my favorite antique store back home for $50. It was meant to be. I really felt like a true New Yorker when I purchased this rug.  I found it in Chelsea in the discount bin of a store for $80 (a total steal.) The sales clerk even made a comment about the price and told me I should buy it, run for the border, and never look back. She said jut to replace the word ‘border’ with Brooklyn and that’s exactly what I did. Even though it was roughly 100 degrees outside, I threw the rug over my shoulder, carried it to the subway, and have been admiring it on my floor ever since.


See more of Taylor’s Brooklyn apartment after the jump!


Image above: Moving to New York was a big jump for me. I’ve lived in relatively small communities all my life, places where I could wake up in the morning and go for a hike before work or class with friends.  I was 200% certain about my new job, but moving to NYC definitely seemed more than a little daunting to me. I’m a bit of a homebody at heart, and my idea of a good time is having friends over for dinner, so I knew if I could find an apartment that could hold all of the things that were important to me AND have space to entertain (how I pulled this off in NYC, I’ll never really know) I’d be ok.








Image above: My mother and her friend were the only reason I ever survived the physical act of moving here.  They helped me drive the U-Haul and carry my furniture up the four flights of stairs, helped me change out light fixtures, put together furniture, and I think my mom is just great at finishing touches. Like any good mother, mine pulled together this bar with all of its contents for me as a very generous (and essential) house-warming present.

Image above: When I initially went to look at this apartment, the kitchen nearly sent me running for the door… but it was a good size, and had good bones, so despite the broken floor tiles, blonde oak cabinets, and rainbow-tiled backsplash, I signed the lease anyway (after confirming that the super would replace the broken floor and that I’d be allowed to re-do the cabinets and find away to cover that rainbow backsplash.) I used a Rust-Oleum Cabinet Restoration Kit and found faux-tin roof tiles to literally glue right on top of the existing tile backsplash.


Image above: I was born in a sea-town on the coast of South Carolina, so the ocean has always been really important to me.  Being close to it again was one of the reasons I knew NYC and I’d get along so well. I wanted to find a room of the apartment where I could reflect said love for all things nautical. Even though a nautical bathroom may be kind of cliché, this just seemed like the best room to do it. The paint in this room is by Behr and it’s called “intellectual”.  It’s the only room I actually painted, everything else in the apartment was already bright white!



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  • I am distressed by all the negativity in some of the comments! This is a website devoted to lovely design, and this apartment is a testament to that!!! Keep up the amazing styling, and I’m only jealous my place is not as put together. Love from the West Coast!

  • I love this. It’s not my style, but it’s so obviously HER style that it looks incredibly comfortable and cohesive. A good lesson in why decorating for YOU makes everything come together… it’s so much better than trying to decorate to some “ideal you”.

    A beautiful home. As a 24-year-old young woman, I refute any of the above comments that age has anything to do with it. A: what someone does with her money is her problem (and for goodness sake she has a roommate! who is probably so happy to live in such a pretty place that she pays double!) and B: age has nothing to do with creativity and very little to do with style execution!

    Thanks, Taylor, for sharing your awesome apartment.

  • It’s not moderate salaried working people like Taylor who are pricing longtime New York residents out. I think you can save your misdirected disdain for those who make an adjusted income of $500k and up per year and much more for changing the fabric of the city.

    Great place and very cozy. I love fortuitous stories like the one about your chandelier, and I think it is a good metaphor for the outlook you have to have in finding your place at a decent price in New York- you could pay a fortune or you can keep looking and work hard, being savvy and patient and find something to be proud of that’s one of a kind.

  • Lovely apartment. It reminds me of Sue Johnson, the famous lamp designer from California, whose Masters project at UNC Greensboro was to decorate a whole house for $200 (that’s about 1/3 the price of her lamps.) If you have good taste, patience, technical skill at making things, and restraint, you can decorate a whole apartment for a little money.

  • Absolutely beautiful! I love how well put together it is and how inviting it looks. You should be proud. I’m 32 and have started to redecorate after 7 yrs and love this look.

  • The bar box is simply a wood wine crate from a local liquor store which I stained with some MinWax Ipswich I had leftover from one of my projects. So simple and completely free! Had fun contributing to a small piece of Taylor’s stylish new home! Can’t wait to see what she does next.

  • This place is really lovely. I wish I could’ve pulled off that much style and sophistication in my 20’s.

  • Stunning place! I can not wait to have my own apartment to decorate. This will definitely serve as inspiration.

  • Hi Taylor! Congratulations on your beautiful space and for making it in NYC! You truly made your place feel like a home. I absolutely love the owl prints above your bed–can I ask where you found them? Thank you!

  • Came across this on a whim. Don’t know who you are but congrats on the new job and the new apartment! :) The styling is wonderful and makes me inspired to get to work on our “new”house. (we bought in march…haha…but then again a lot of other stuff gets in the way with home owership – you mean I need a lawn mower and a snowblower?). And disregard other commenters about age and $$….seems like regardless of upbringing, you’ve paved a way for yourself and you should be proud of that.

  • I live in Brooklyn and really love getting a peek into other apartments. This one in particular is very inspired, curated and effortless all at the same time.

    I think it’s silly that you are receiving comments about your age, occupation, and ability to rent a NYC apartment! How is that relevant to your obsurdly keen eye for design!!? Good on you for all of it!

  • Wow, I wish I had this kind of apartment, and I’m a few years older! Looks like I need to stop making excuses of not owning my own place!

    I really love the owls above your bed. Any hints on where you got the prints and the frames? Thanks!

  • All I can say is.. I’m so jealous… and lazy and doing something wrong in my home!!! lol!! My dream apartment for sure!!

  • Taylor, I’m trying to figure out how you did the tin back splash in the kitchen. Can you give some more details on how you found the tiles, attached them to the ones in place? Would love to see a close-up shot. Beautiful apartment: congratulations!!!

  • Amazing and and gorgeous! Clearly no detail has been overlooked in this apartment. I really hope to make my place look so put together and cohesive one day!

    A couple questions for you, Taylor…if you don’t mind sharing: Where is the chair in your living room from? And I see someone else has asked about the frames for your gorgeous Audobon prints and I too am curious where they came from!

    Congratulations on having such an amazing apartment and amazing job in an amazing city!

  • Taylor – I love your apartment!! It’s so calming and I love all the accent pieces you used to make the space have your personal stamp. I was wondering where you got your bookshelves from? Congrats on making the move to NY! It’s awesome to see examples of young women being successful and independent. It’s obvious from reading that you have been thoughtful and mindful of budget in all your home choices – I love to see that come to life because it gives me inspiration. Thanks for sharing your home with us!

  • As an almost-25 year old moving out of a shared apartment and into my own place in a week in Brooklyn, I can honestly say that it’s totally doable for someone my age to live on their own. Yes, apartments cost a lot of money here. But we also tend to make more money than our counterparts in the rest of the country. And it is possible to save your pennies and find an apartment you truly love. It’s possible to go out less and spend bar money on a new rug. It’s so rude of people to assume you get help from your parents. Why do we enjoy discrediting others’ talents and hard work?

    On a lighter note, I’m currently looking for rugs for my new place like a crazy woman. Taylor, could you share what Chelsea store you found your rug in?

  • Lovely home! I would LOVE to know where you found the Moravian light? I’ve been on the look-out for one for my entry hall, too. I just love them. Thanks!

  • Gorgeous!!!! When you can’t tell what’s expensive and what’s not – and you don’t care because everything is so beautiful – you know you have a genius on your hands. You should moonlight as an interior designer!!

  • Hi Everyone! I’m so overwhelmed with all of the responses here. Thank you again for all the lovely messages and kind words!

    Just responding to a few more questions…

    The owl prints in my bedroom came from a bird book that I picked up (Barnes and Noble always seem to have these in their sale section) and have been dissecting for prints for years. The natural frames that they’re in are from Target!

    The flat frames in the bathroom are Ikea, as well as all of the bookshelves.

    The backsplash tile is a product I found at Home Depot, and can either be adhered with strong adhesive tape or glue. Great for renters who aren’t able to replace existing tile because it can be easily removed when you move out!

    ^My tiles color is called “cross hatch silver”

    All the best!! AND THANK YOU AGAIN!

  • beautiful home! im late in commenting but i was really hoping taylor is still reading and can comment– i just moved to bloomington and was wondering what/where your favorite antique shop was? i’d love to browse. thanks somuch!

  • Bravo, Taylor! It is always refreshing to see someone succeed. Keep up the beautiful work, you have an incredible talent.

  • Congrats on the beautiful space, Taylor! I’ve lived in my apartment in Queens for about 6.5 years now (gasp!) and I’m still trying to figure out the best way to make it “me” despite renting. You’re place is inspiring – and that you’ve done it so quickly is amazing! I especially love the tin-tile backsplash, something I’ve been considering doing for about a year now, but haven’t gotten around to.

    PS: For those haters out there – I managed to rent my huge (by NY standards) 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom place even when unemployed and living off loans during law school – first with a roommate and then with my boyfriend (now husband). Anything is possible, even (especially?) in NY, with some good planning and hard work. Leave the girl alone!

  • Congrats on your new place! It looks so cozy and awesome. Love it! Also, where did you find your star pendant light? I’ve been combing the internet and stores for something reasonably priced and can’t seem to find anything. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  • Beautiful space! It looks so organic, stylish, comfortable, homey .. at the same time. Great job, and congratulations on being a successful 25 year old (with minimal help from ma and pa lol)!

  • Very pretty space. Question – how do the faux tin tiles go near the stove? I have ordered some to cover up my hideous backsplash but then my husband thought they might melt near the heat..?

  • My favorite space every featured. You have such talent Taylor. Best of luck to you in your new position!

  • This is a wonderful apartment! I’ve had a hard time comprehending the negativity regarding Taylor’s age–who cares if she’s 25 and has done such a great job in her life? Kudos to you, dear, and ignore the naysayers. When I was 25 I was married to a totally self-centered, self-absorbed man who “decorated” our very tiny house in guns, archery equipment, knives, tires, and other junk that made home a repulsive place to be. A wonderful place like Taylor’s would have been most welcome, believe me! Now that I have a weensy place I’m renting, I’m going to make it my own as much as possible, a place I want to be in.

  • Okay I know I’m late to the game but where are the sheets from? Love your entire apartment and wish I had that much style in my early 20’s. Kudos!!!

  • I’m late to the party here in spring 2016…. and want to chime in that i love love love what you did here. come and help me with mine? :)

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