When I first moved to Chicago, I lived in a 300-square-foot studio… with a roommate. I could cook, do dishes and snuggle into bed all without moving an inch. What the apartment lacked in square footage, however, it made up for in granite countertops, new appliances and hardwood floors. The contrast of theses fancy touches with the apartment’s lack of practical space always cracked me up. So much so, I grew to love the silliness of it. So the second I saw freelance writer and restaurant consultant Tarajia Morrell’s studio in Gramercy, NYC, I grinned. As was the case with my small apartment, her space’s tiny footprint is outfitted with a grand touch: a fabulous fireplace.
She would never claim to have technically “designed” the apartment, but as Tarajia began laying out the space, highlighting that amazing hearth was definitely a priority. She’s cleverly positioned every piece of furniture and accessory in her home in a manner that draws visitors’ eyes to the grandiose detail. You’ll also notice how she’s layered gifts from friends and vintage finds on its surrounding walls. It seems a bit counterintuitive to put a lot of things in a little space, but it truly works in her home’s favor. It takes guests longer to digest so many decorations — perhaps tricking them into thinking the home is much larger than it actually is.
Similar to her guests, Tarajia barely notices how quaint her home is anymore. On the contrary, it fits her like a glove. There’s no place she’d rather be while writing for her blog The Lovage, recounting all of the fabulous restaurants she’s dined in, a log crackling in the hearth and her pup Lola snoozing in her lap. “There’s magic to cozying up by the fire on the most brutal of New York winter nights,” Tarajia shares. It may not be much, but clearly this little sanctuary shelters her from all of the hustle and bustle that NYC is known for, and that’s enough for her. Enjoy! —Garrett