Winter season arrived in NYC and the cold days and nights reminded me to create cozy corners in our home. Sarah Jacobson's pre-war apartment on the Lower East side is filled with hygge vibes and I wanted to sit on her couch and sip hot cocoa. Sarah's lives with her adorable cat Penny in a renovated 700 square foot dream pad and it's eye ball popping good.
Sarah's view on living in Manhattan, NYC
How would you describe your design aesthetic? This question always gets me! I suppose it's best describe as comfortable, cozy, and eclectic. I like a mix of antique pieces with more modern finishes, and appreciate farmhouse touches (especially in my kitchen!). Above all, I like to stay true to the soul of a space. My apartment was built in the 1920s, and though I gutted it from top to bottom, I tried to preserve the original touches (or restore them) wherever possible (crystal doorknobs, subway tile, crown moulding, exposed brick). How long have your lived in NYC? A little over 10 years! I think that makes me a "real New Yorker"--right? I moved here in 2008, right after I graduated college, thinking I'd stay for a few years and then move somewhere a bit less crazy. 5 years flew by, then 7, and all of a sudden, I was coming up on a decade in the city and applying for a mortgage. Somewhere along the way, it became home. What made you choose your apartment? The natural light. The big (for NYC, at least!) kitchen. The neighborhood (Lower East Side). I've always lived below 23rd Street on the east side, and when I started looking for a place to buy, I focused my search on the areas I knew best: East Village, Alphabet City, Lower East Side. I looked specifically for a pre-war building, knowing that if I was going to make a giant investment, I wanted it to be in a place with character. My place had it in spades (even though I had to tear a bunch of it down and remake it): Original hardwood floors. Penny tile. A beautiful courtyard. And my favorite part of all: exposed brick. Do your own or rent? Own (in a coop building). How many square feet is your pad? Around 700. It's not huge, but the light and the relatively open concept (I tore down walls between the kitchen and living room when I renovated) makes it feel bigger than it is. And since it's just me and Penny Lane (my tabby cat!), it feels like plenty of room. Tell us the pros and cons of living in NYC? WHERE DO I START?! New York makes you strong in a way that other places don't. It knocks you down, then gives you a hand and says, "here, let me help you up." It's a city that won't judge you when you're crying on the sidewalk (which I've done many times), and will teach you how to walk with purpose once your crying jag is over. It's full of SO MUCH LIFE at all times (something that as a writer, I love--this city is positively BRIMMING with stories!). There's amazing food around every corner. There's always a show to see, a street musician to applaud, a subway dancer to tip.
That said, it isn't always the easiest place to live. The lines can be insane, the subway can feel like a sardine can, and the smell of hot garbage in the summer is the absolute worst. That said, all of these things are small problems that pale in comparison to how much I love this place.
If there’s anywhere else you would live in the world where would that be? I get this question a lot, and it's so hard for me to answer! Can I pick more than one?! I love London (I studied abroad there in college and feel quite at home there). I'd also love to buy a place upstate--another gut job!--and restore it. And I wouldn't say no to a place on the beach. What’s your favorite item in your home? My clawfoot tub. I bought it for $300 off an old client of mine, had it stripped down and refinished, and squeezed it (literally JUST BARELY by 1/4 of an inch!) into my tiny bathroom. I've always wanted a giant soaking tub, and let me tell you: it was worth every penny.
Let's Take a Peek into Sarah's Apartment
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