June 2022 marked my last month teaching, EVER, which means I am officially a full time, self-employed girlboss content creator/space curator financially independent badass bitch. I filed for my LLC, signed with a new management company, set up a separate business bank account, did all these grown up things-all I was missing was an office!
I didn’t exactly set out to get an office, it sorta just happened and was one of those synchronistic events the universe lays at your feet and you just can’t say no to. So here’s the story.
If you know me, you know I am OBSESSED with NYC real estate, *prewar* real estate specifically. My best friends and I grew up in 100+ year old Upper West Side apartments, apartments with former maids’ quarters, back staircases, dumbwaiters, butler’s pantries, creaky floors, original kitchens, transom windows…think Mrs. Maisel, Only Murders in the Building, Rosemary’s Baby…I could go on. The features of prewar apartments in NYC are just unmatched, and I fell in love with them from a young age. Very briefly, right after college when I found myself back at home in NYC with no idea what I wanted to do career-wise I spent 3 months showing apartments for a real estate agency. Although I barely made a dime and spent my time running around the boroughs in heels showing incredibly crappy apartments, I became a bit fascinated with the housing market, the whole process of it (it’s brutal).
Ever since that job I’ve had a hobby…er, passion, of googling the address of any building that catches my eye and browsing its listings on StreetEasy. Sometimes I’ll even pass a pretty block while out on a walk and go building by building, apartment by apartment, looking for the most charming ones and saving them to a list. It’s safe to say that if you live in a prewar apartment in NYC, particularly on the Upper West side, I’ve probably seen its listing photos. I had saved a few places I was particularly in love with, and sometimes I’d randomly call the listing agents to see if they would become available anytime soon, not because I actually thought I’d get one, it was just this weird fantasy I had.
Fast forward to nearly two years ago, friends of mine actually rented a beautiful apartment to use as an office in one of these saved buildings. Two years later, I just happened to run into them on the street on the day they were packing it up. It was a Friday in mid-June, and they said that the apartment would be on the market July 1. My heart stopped- or maybe it beat really fast- I rushed home and immediately called the listing agent. He told me there was already interest in it and he would be showing it on Monday. I told him not to show it, I would take it sight unseen. He asked me to send over my financials (which, as an independent contractor with multiple streams of income were a bitch to prove) and 10 minutes later I was approved and signing a lease.
Afterwards, I sorta sat in silent, excited disbelief and had a moment of panic on what the hell I had just done. Could I afford this? Are people going to think this is sooo extra of me? Is this just the most ridiculous and rash decision I have ever made? I called my boyfriend, “uhhh don’t kill me…but we’re renting an office space” I told him, bracing for impact. To my utter shock, he was actually SO on board and proud of me for taking a big step to expand the business. I then texted my friend (another content creator who also recently rented an office space) and told her my thoughts, the good and the bad, and she responded “there is never growth without feeling uncomfortable” and with those words, I knew I had made the right decision.
I have gotten a few “isn’t your apartment big enough?” questions- so why do I need an office? As a mostly home decor and lifestyle blogger, my home IS my work, or a large part of it at least, so I would find myself staying up until 2, 3am working on my laptop from bed. I had NO separation from work and life and it was taking a huge toll on my mental health. Having an office gives me a reason to get out of the house each day and is a place to work, whether that be alone, with my boyfriend, friends, clients, or a future assistant that is separate from the place I eat, sleep, shower and have grown up in. It gives me a bit of structure so that when I go home each evening, I can leave work behind me and focus on…ya know, life.
Tour & Plans
I haven’t given a full tour yet, but to give you an idea, it’s a studio, the main space is 19.5’x15′. When you walk in, you face 3 french doors that lead to a Juliet balcony, in front of you and to your right is an original fireplace, to its right a built-in bookcase and to your left a little kitchenette with the stupidest wall with a stupid window opening (cant win em all), behind you is an archway leading into the world’s most narrow hallway which leads into a tiny classic prewar bathroom, below you are gorgeous original herringbone floors and above you are soaring 12 foot ceilings with the most beautiful moldings.
If you’ve been following me on instagram, you know that window unit AC is a bit of a sore subject and by that I mean a TRAVESTY, but don’t worry, I’m going to do something about it if its the last thing I do, so let’s get onto more exciting plans shall we?
If you follow me on Instagram or Pinterest, you’ve probably seen me pinning the same kinda stuff, over and over and over, I like what I like okay?! I am VERY into Parisian aesthetic and since I feel my home is pretty traditional I wanted the office to feel a bit lighter and more modern. Enter, the inspo photos:
Get the vibe? White walls, herringbone floors (check, check), oversized mirrors, bring in some warmth with the bookshelves, a neutral color palette, natural materials (like marble) and minimal furniture and decor- I really want the apartment’s gorgeous original features to shine and not have many distractions.
Tap HERE to shop the moodboard!
So things aren’t turning out exactly like the mood board- as I go thrifting, sign brand deals, measure and change my mind a million times a few things have changed, but for the most part, my design is currently still very close to this. I am SO excited to share this process with you, do follow along on my instagram and tiktok as I’m posting more frequent updates there. Hopefully this goes without saying, but I just want to acknowledge the immense privilege this is to have this space, I am endlessly grateful and I owe so much of it to all of you for supporting me these past two years, so THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.