For me, changing careers from fashion to interiors was a long and winding road with unforeseeable pitstops and bumps in the road. Nevertheless, it’s a journey that I’ve never regretted and one that’s taught me that there’s always time and room to change direction. Meaghan Shanley also knows a thing or two about shifting focus from fashion to interiors. She started her career working in PR for fashion brands like Halston, Vivienne Tam, and Haute Hippie. Soon after making the move from in-house PR to agency PR, she realized that her interest in home decor had vastly exceeded her interest in fashion. “Activities like going to antique shops, creating a cozy home environment, and taking on DIY projects were things that made me happy. I found myself traveling home to New Jersey more often and I felt more at peace,” Meaghan shares. Not long after that, she joined the ranks of Nylon Consulting, where she’s now part of a collaborative team of five who offer their expertise to designers and decor brands in the areas of PR, business development, creative partnerships, events and social media. On the side, Meaghan also takes online classes with the New York Institute of Art and Design, becoming certified as an interior decorator as her goal.
The 250-square-foot studio apartment that Meaghan rents on New York’s Upper West Side reflects her passion for interiors and the organic development of her personal style. It’s also where she’s been able to try out clever tricks that have turned her small rental into a warm and utterly comfortable home that feels spacious, curated and thoughtfully layered. Being the first home she’s lived in without roommates, filling it with pleasing colors and meaningful pieces was a process that fueled Meaghan’s enthusiasm for interior design even further. Decorating her new home took six months and started with choosing paint colors and the ideal peel-and-stick wallpaper, after which Meaghan moved on to accent furniture and decorative details that truly make the space. Throughout the process, Meaghan made sure that she kept to her initial budget and was able to teach herself tons about budget constraints and space maximizing. Now, her small studio truly makes the case for small-space living.
To elevate her home from dorm room to adult sophistication, Meaghan focused on certain design decisions that made all the difference: investing in a headboard, adding curtains and thinking about the space as numerous layers of color, texture, and pattern. “I wanted to experience the value of designing a home with character. Whether that is through meaningful artwork, an heirloom piece of furniture, antique home accessories with history, etc. — all of it adds to that intangible factor of feeling at home,” Meaghan adds. Although she finally has a space that feels just like her, Meaghan still enjoys the growth that she experiences while decorating. “This process has also shown me how my style has transitioned over the years from bohemian and traditional to a little more of the lived-in classic English look, with colorful textiles and antique treasures. It is fun and energizing to me to know that I’m still finding my aesthetic.” —Sofia
Image above: “Because my apartment is a studio with high ceilings, I wanted to do something other than just paint so I spent a long time poring over peel-and-stick wallpaper options on Etsy. Not only was it budget conscious, but it stayed within the rules of the lease for renting,” Meaghan explains. After ordering several wallpaper samples, she landed on one with beautiful green eucalyptus leaves on a white background by StreetWorkshop.
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