Harlem NYC Home Tour with Celia & Sean
December is ending on a high note with great expectations for 2021 and a pending snow storm. The highlight of this month was a visit to Harlem, NYC to share the home of Celia Williamson - @celiadw who created an Afrocentric haven filled with colors, patterns and textures. Celia shares her apartment with her fiancé Sean and cat. To boot, they're expecting their first child and you can feel the love when you step into their abode.
As the year closes out; I want to wish you all a Happy New Year and Best wishes to you and your loved ones.
Celia's Take on Living in NYC
1. How long have you lived in NYC and how many square feet is your apartment?
I will have lived in NYC for 12 years this April. When I came as a young single girl I had no idea I'd be here this long! For all it's strengths and weaknesses NYC has become home. My current apartment is just under 800 square feet. The place I lived before this was just about 300 square feet so this is a mansion!
2. Where are you originally from and what inspires you to decorate your apartment?
I'm originally from Cleveland, Ohio and I always had dreams of living in NYC. I'm one of the people Sex and The City tricked into thinking NYC was a place where your salary can afford you endless nights on the town, a fabulous apartment and equally fabulous wardrobe. I now know better lol. I started with a love of fashion, but as I grew up that morphed into home decor. When you're not shaped like a model clothes can let you down but rugs, wallpaper and throw pillows fit everyone!
3. How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I am a lover of mixed patterns and lots of texture. I would call my aesthetic vintage global boho.
4. Name your favorite colors to add to your home decor?
Right now I'm having a real love affair with mustard yellow. It's basically a neutral to me at this point. It goes with everything!
5. Why do you love design and what sparked the idea of starting a YouTube and Instagram feed?
I started making YouTube videos because as a viewer I found it frustrating that so few creators who made content I liked, looked like me! It's free to upload content and my partner Sean and I discovered it was something we enjoyed doing together so it was a tofer! Now that the channel is growing we're excited to see where it takes us on and offline. Instagram is just an extension of that for me. I love stories because I love connecting to people. YouTube has to be edited and brief but we can dig into a conversation on IG.
6. If there's any place in the world you would live other than NYC; where would that be?
LONDON!! I'm so British in my spirit! I spent a summer there just after college and it was a struggle to leave! The Brits have a way of doing quirky that we just don't have here in America. Back then the fashions were my draw but now the amount of quirky maximalists spaces I see based in the UK just makes me feel like that's where my people are. America tends to lean more contemporary in its interior choices.
7. Ice cream or Gelato?
Ice Cream all day! Cherry Garcia by Ben and Jerry's to be precise. Delicious and the company has a conscience!
8. Can you list a few of your favorite spots in NYC?
This is tough! The pandemic has made me forget what outside feels like lol! The African Market on 116th St is a gem that I LOVE and never want to see leave. Jacob's Soul Food is arguably the best soul food in Harlem. The flower and plant district always makes me happy when the streets are full of plants. Every single park in the city because sometimes the concrete jungle is just too much! The Shrine, Yatanga, Lido and The Edge are a couple of my favorite Harlem eateries. Excellent food and people watching during the summer when dining outside. Urban Garden Center is a long standing Harlem go to go for plants and plant accessories, I've wasted a lot time wandering around there.
9. Where do you see yourself living in the next 5 years?
As much as I love NYC I'm ready for more space! We're expecting our first child in March and as someone who grew up with a yard, I need to give that to my child(ren?). I'll likely return to my family in Ohio for a while, and then, who knows! I don't know if I'll be away for forever, there really is no place in America like NYC.
10. What is your favorite color/s?
My favorite color has changed so many times over the years. Right now I'm going with Red. Not for interiors but for clothing. I always feel so good when I'm wearing red!
11. Which travel destination was the most memorable and why?
It's tough to pick, I'd say it's a tie between Marrakech, Morocco and Cape Town, SA. The main reasons I love both are the food and the crafts!! They're both places so full of history, good and bad, but the people make the most beautiful and unique art. You eat organically without trying, the wine in SA is phenomenal, and you can get a good mix of contemporary and local eats. Some of my most prized possessions are things I have carried home from these 2 cities. My living room rug, some throw pillows and some beautifully painted bowls from Morocco, a rhinoceros made of recycled wire, a vintage mask and an oversized dress that always makes me feel good from South Africa. Traveling the world and peppering my home with my finds is my most favorite thing.