Diana Yen is the owner of food consulting studio, The Jewels of New York, and the author of A Simple Feast. Inspired by seasonal home cooking, Diana’s work focuses on food styling and recipe development, all with the help of her studio produce specialist, Cleo the bunny. “She’s also fantastic at helping me compost veggie scraps,” jokes Diana.
After living in Soho and Red Hook, Diana decided she wanted to live in a place that felt cozy, but was still a very close commute to Manhattan. So after visiting friends who lived in Brooklyn Heights, she fell in love with the historical architecture and mature trees, and found herself settling on the tree-lined Cranberry Street (how fitting!), not far from the waterfront promenade.
Her one-bedroom rental apartment is airy and flooded with sunlight, and although it’s not as large as her former homes, the charm and picturesque block its on can’t be beat! What’s more, the smaller space makes keeping tabs on Cleo much easier: “She is cage-free and litter trained like a cat, but also chews on everything!” Diana explains. Though she couldn’t make any permanent changes to the space, she’s added storage by installing plenty of overhead shelving and using baskets and decorative bins in every room. Following her move-in, Diana was quick to paint her favorite room in a home, the kitchen, in her favorite hue, “Pink Ground” by Farrow & Ball. “There’s something very warm and feminine about this color that is perfect in the kitchen,” she explains. Following that, she opted for a soft, calming blue-gray in the bedroom, and ivory in the living room, which complements her favorite feature of the home: the decorative mantel.
Though she admits that her furniture is a hodge-podge of gifted, found, handed down or inherited items — and that no planning went into her interior — the result is a personalized and functional space that speaks to Diana’s personality. As she says, “for me, all of my little objects that I collect from here and there eventually help tell the story of a home.” —Sabrina