Interiorssneak peeks

An Apartment Fit For a Foodie and Her Bunny

by Sabrina Smelko

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

On Cranberry Street, A One-Bedroom Apartment For a Foodie and Her Bunny
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A charming family portrait of Diana and Cleo. Photograph by Kimisa H.
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Although Diana doesn't have a yard, she considers her gorgeous, tree-lined street an extension of her space.
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The front door of Diana's apartment building. "There's a bench where the locals are always hanging out," Diana says.
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The hallway entrance may be small, but it's just enough space for Diana to hang her hat, literally. "This is also where Cleo comes running to greet me when I come home!" says Diana.
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"I always hang a decorative tea towel or linen over the stove," Diana says. "It's functional and gives character to the kitchen."
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I love how the copper accents and cookware pop off of the pale pink walls. An antique mirror behind the sink acts as a backsplash.
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Diana lined the inside of the cabinet's built-in shelf with removable patterned wallpaper. Now her tea cups have a pretty home!
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Diana's open pantry, where she stores her liquor, condiments and dry goods, is actually a replica of a chicken coop.
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Diana installed this hanging copper rack above her stove to hang her pots and pans. It's a beautiful solution for her limited storage space.
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Diana's bathroom is so tiny that she had trouble taking a photo that showcased it all. Nevertheless, this is her built-in shelf where she displays her sea fans and shells she's collected from seaside trips.
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Diana's living room is where she spends her afternoons, reading in the sun or working.
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Detail of her beloved decorative mantel.
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Cleo resting in her favorite spot. "The marble keeps her cool on warm days," Diana says.
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How adorable is she!?
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Beside the mantel sits a side chair that Diana pulls up to her dining table when guests are over.
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Diana's dining table, tucked against the wall in her living room. When she has company, she pulls is out and adds extra mismatched chairs.
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"Electrical cords are her favorite snack, so this was a huge problem," explains Diana, "I ended up lining all my cords, including phone chargers, with fish tank tubing, so this has helped. I'm going to get a new dining table soon because she has been devouring the wooden legs!"
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Diana's vintage Florence Knoll couch, which is covered with a furry decorative throw to keep Cleo from digging into it! Oh, the things we do for out pets.
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Diana's calming and sparse bedroom with just the essentials. The walls are painted in "Wickham Gray" from Benjamin Moore.

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Comments

  • OH MY GOD, that BUNNY!!!!!!! i feel like this could be a practical joke and she is actually an adorable stuffy!!

    she is precious!!! i need one, too.

    • Yup, she looks like an Angora! They make lovely pets but have their own special needs. It makes me happy to see someone with one as a pet featured!

  • The bunny is the star of this home. I just want to know why isn’t Diana’s favourite thing to do in her home, “Cuddle my bunny”.
    (haha but seriously – gorgeous home!!)

  • This is one of my favorite sneak peeks!!! I have a house bunny as well, and we have to lay out our spaces with bunny in mind. It’s wonderful to get inspiration from another house bunny owner, such a lovely space! Such a sweet little bunny!

  • I think if you provide some soft wood “playthings” for the bunny, she might transfer her affections to something you can more easily replace. Raw wood, to be safer.

  • Beautiful home! Your Cleo is such a little sweet pea! I was wondering where your tea kettle is from? Assuming it is vintage but thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask… :)

  • Your bunny is seriously the cutest! And I love the pink Farrow and Ball colour, I will have to remember that one. Your space is lovely, thank you for sharing.

  • I want to reach into the screen and hug Cleo! She is more than adorable! I love your home.And beware of broken .glass (including ornaments) with your sweet baby

  • That bunny is so cute, although I must admit that in the first photo it looked like a bit like a stuffed bunny. :) I totally get the whole “the things we do for our pets” bit – my cat had a habit of clawing into our designer couch, so we had to put a sticky pad on it to make her stop. Fun times!

  • The bunny is stealing the show! Ha. She is so adorable she simply doesn’t look real. How fun it must be to cuddle her. Your home is adorable as well. Great post.

  • Nothing makes a house a home more than having pets around!

    As for the chewing wires/wood problem have you thought about using that stuff that tastes horrible that you can buy to deter nail biting? Gross story of the day is that I have hearing aids (not the gross bit) and in primary school my teacher had to wear this wired up mic called a radio-aid to help me hear better. He used to chew on the wire in an absent minded sort of way and the only way to get him to stop was paint that stuff on!

  • How I would really love DS to do a series on how these people practically live with pantries and cupboards without doors — especially those who use their kitchen a lot. Steam mixed with everyday dust creates a hell of a lot of cleaning just on range hoods and surfaces, let alone having to keep all your dishes and pantry items clean.

  • YAY! I am a Cleo fangirl, best Instagram ever. If you want to die of cuteness there are pictures of her in a chef hat! Lovely apartment and it fits so well with the simple yet tasteful Jewels of New York aesthetics.

  • What a beautiful home! I also live in a small apartement with my two bunnies(one who is white and fluffy like your Cleo! ..Though not quite ás fluffy xD)so this is so familiar! Your house is gorgeous and Cleo is adorable <3

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