Name: Katie O’Connor
Location: West Village, New York City
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years
Katie and her husband have lived in their West Village one-bedroom for the past two years. With an enviable corner unit, the living room is wall-to-wall windows, giving them incredible views of the city and sunsets. Situated right next to the southern entrance to the High Line, they also have a great people-watching spot.
Katie is the manager of editorial and video content for Dormify, an online resource for small space decorating designed for the fashion-minded. Unsurprisingly, her design-minded work has seeped into her beautiful home — a classic feel mixed with personal pieces and DIY creations. Both the credenza in the living room and bedroom were found for free on Craigslist and Katie sanded them down, added a fresh coat of paint and some stylish knobs, and quickly had two updated pieces of furniture. From the wine rack and chairs in her dining room to the shelves in her kitchen and the curtains in her bedroom, Katie has proved herself to be a master of DIY.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: It is ever evolving! I wanted our home to reflect our story — our taste, our family, the places we’ve traveled, the pieces we have collected. I am always adding to or swapping out pieces, keeping it interesting. The result is a mix of classic and modern pieces with subtle hints of pattern and color.
Inspiration: I get inspired by my experiences — places we travel, hotels we’ve stayed in, restaurants we eat at, museums we get lost in, projects at Dormify, magazines I read. I also follow some of my favorite designers: Paloma Conteras, Aerin Lauder, Mark D. Sikes, Sam Allen Interiors, and Kapito Interiors.
Favorite Element: A commissioned acrylic painting of our first dance by a close family friend who is an artist. And then of course, the natural light that pours in all day and glows in the evenings when the lights are dim and the city is lit up. An intangible element that is hard to come by in NYC!
Biggest Challenge: Saying no to bringing things into the apartment. We have three closets in the apartment (one for my clothes, one for my husband’s clothes, and one for everything else). So when I am traveling or shopping at a cute little homeware shop, I have to be discerning if it’s a “I can’t live without it” kind of piece. My husband has a one in and one out rule…and I’m not very good at abiding by it.
What Friends Say: Can you please come over and decorate my apartment? And “You guys sleep in a full bed?!”
Biggest Embarrassment: Trying to refurbish furniture in the apartment wasn’t one of my best moments. I thought I could sand our Craigslist finds in the apartment without creating a complete mess…I was very wrong. I created a dust storm in our apartment. I had to wait weeks to paint the furniture because it took me so long to vacuum all the sanding dust from every nook and cranny of the apartment.
Proudest DIY: My bedroom dresser and vintage credenza in the living room. Snagged both of these pieces for free on Craigslist and I sanded, painted, and replaced the hardware. They are my two favorite pieces in the apartment. They remind me of pieces my grandmother had in her home growing up.
Biggest Indulgence: Although they are not the most expensive pieces in my home, they are priceless to me — antique photos of my grandparents sprinkled throughout the apartment, as well as photos of special moments that I cherish.
Best Advice: Good things come to those who wait. It can be so exciting to move into a brand new apartment and want to decorate everything in a few weeks. Be patient and wait to find pieces that you can’t live without. Everything should be a reflection of you, whether it’s a book by your favorite author, a photograph from your favorite artist, or an object that reminds you of someone you love or a place you have been.
Also, while decorating, it was important to me that our apartment is a warm and inviting space for us to entertain guests. My advice is to make your home a place that your friends and family want to spend time in.
Dream Sources: I must say, Dormify has been a great, and affordable source for fun finds for the apartment. Homegoods too. It’s like therapy to go and wander through the aisles. And then there are the “dream sources” — Rugs from Stark Carpet and vintage finds from One Kings Lane.
Gold Metal Tall Nesting Side Table — Dormify
Vintage gold mirror — from parent’s house
Tortoise Umbrella Stand — Ballard Designs (no longer on site)
Hallway Art — Michelle Armas
White Resin Moose Head — White Faux Taxidermy
Paidge 2-Piece Chaise Sectional in Performance Velvet, Dove Gray — West Elm
Side Table — Wayfair
Coffee Table — Design Within Reach
Credenza — free off craigslist and I painted it white
Bar Cart — WayFair
Booze Decanter — Dormify
Champagne glasses — CB2
Bar Tool Kit — West Elm
Wine Cooler — Pottery Barn
Rosé All Day: The Essential Guide to Your New Favorite Wine — Amazon
Gold Wood Tray — West Elm
Carlisle Upholstered Armchair — Pottery Barn
Mongolian Pillow — Dormify
Desk — Ikea Malm Dressing Table
X- Benches — Frontgate (no longer on site)
Juju Hat — Etsy
Table Lamps — Baker
Area Rug — RugsUSA
Acrylic Desk Accessories — Dormify
Dining Table — Colette Reclaimed Wood Dining Table
Dining Chairs — Christopher Knight Home Tall Natural Tufted Fabric Dining Chair (I striped the legs and distressed them myself)
Dining Bench — Salerno Wood Kitchen Bench by One Allium Way
Handley 6 Light Crystal Chandelier — Wayfair (no longer on site)
Mirror — Walked Antiqued Glass Mirror
Frames — West Elm
Wine Rack — I spray painted them gold
Candle Sconces — World Market
Placemats — West Elm
Ginger Jars — Wisteria
Light Gray Kennedy Velvet Headboard — One Kings Lane
Hemnes Nightstands — Ikea
Mission Style Solid Brass Drawer Ring Pull — Look in the Attic
Dresser — (got free off Craigslist, painted, and replaced knobs)
Tall standing bureau — Home Decorators
Velvet Light Grey Curtains — Sewn on Greek key trim
Accessory chest — Home Decorators
Mirror — Homegoods
Gallery in a Box — Pottery Barn
Mongolian Rug — Dormify
Chelsea Hotel Duvet — Dormify
Velvet Ombre Pillows — Dormify
Shower Curtain — Dormify