Real Cool People, Real Cool Apartments: Katie Sturino

As with clothes, the way you decorate a room expresses your personality. In its most ideal form, it signals to guests how you interpret yourself. In this round of Real Cool People, Real Cool Apartments, we check out the one-bedroom home of The 12ish Style’s Katie Sturino. Our intentions behind the creeping: to — what else? — learn what she’s all about.



Katie Sturino


FaWeChe (Far West Cheslea, a very important distinction for me).

How long have you lived in this apartment?

Five months

Who do you live with?

My three dogs, Toast, Muppet and Pants

What do you like about your hood?

I lived in the West Village for a long time, and while I love the cobblestone streets and the CHARM, CHARM, CHARM of it all, I was always running into people. It’s refreshing to be able to walk out your door in a onesie at 7 a.m. to get coffee and not bump into a work contact. I also love that there is so much new construction happening around FaWeChe. My block has the charm of the West Village but there is potential for new construction. I hate 8th Avenue, though, and stay away at all costs.

What about this apartment?

Working from home means that my apartment has to be a special place or I will end up feeling weird. I need light. I need views. And I need charm. This apartment is on the corner of the top floor of the building and EVERY room has a window. (Even the bathroom.) The windows are the old kind that make you feel like you are in Paris and it has a working fireplace.

What’s the worst thing about the apartment?

I wish the kitchen opened to the living room. I mean that isn’t really a “worst” thing.

What’s the best?

The windows. There is so much light and it makes me so happy.

Since you work from home, is it important to you to have a dedicated work space or do you work from bed/couch?

I get fully dressed and work from the table every day. I try to put away my work stuff after I’m done, but I rarely do.

What did you think about when decorating? What was the process like? Did you start with one piece and design around that or has it been add-as-you-go?

It was actually a lot more stressful to make all those decisions than I thought! I had to buy pretty much everything from scratch. I wasn’t bringing in any furniture from my old apartment so it was a completely new energy and vibe. All of the furniture came from Joss & Main. They have a big selection so I was able to get most of what I wanted there. I worked with Homepolish on the project and I think I would still be pinning things if they were not involved. I wanted a cross between the vibe of a Nancy Meyers movie set living room and a Ralph Lauren western vibe. The bedroom was supposed to feel like the Beverly Hills Hotel and my Chasing Paper removable wallpaper was the essential component to making that happen. I wanted the entryway to feel fun and light to set the tone of the apartment.

What are your favorite apartment “scores” and where are they from?

A giant framed photo called “Sheep at Lunch” that I got from It makes me feel at peace when I look at it. In the center of my dining table there is a giant brass banana from Jonathan Adler that I love and makes me laugh. And my dining table from Joss & Main because I love the color and the size makes me feel like an actual adult who can have more than one person over for dinner.

Tell a story about one thing in your apartment.

My cactus! I had so much help from Homepolish for apartment project, but my cactus was something I had to find alone. No one knew where to get a cactus, including Amelia’s dad, so I was on my own.

I decided to try the Flower District and got up way too early for a Saturday morning. I had no idea if cacti were sold there and no idea how much one costs. After several attempts, I found a shop that sold the kind of cactus I was looking for (shaped like an emoji cactus). Cactus tip: the ones with multiple stalks are just as big and half the price. I had it repotted and delivered. It’s about 20 years old so I feel a great sense of responsibility for it. I also feel somewhat like an expert on cacti.

For someone young and broke and trying to nest, what are your top three tips in finding /buying for the home?

Craigslist, Craigslist, Craigslist. You can search by brand. Furniture does not hold its value, so a two-year-old fancy couch is a fraction of what it costs new. NYC has an amazing Craigslist because people are moving in and out everyday! Sudden job transfer? Guess you have to sell that amazing mirror and TV stand. Breakup? I will take your fancy dining chairs. People can be grossed out by the concept of CL, but I have lived in nine different apartments in NY and used Craigslist every time!

Anything else you want to add?

The decor in this apartment was especially important to me because it is the first time I have ever lived alone. I wanted to walk in and see things that made me smile. It was very important that the space reflected my own personality and tastes. It is rare that you do not have to consider another person in your space and I took this opportunity to do exactly what I wanted. Giant brass banana and all.

Follow Katie on Instagram @the12ishstyle and visit her site The 12ish Style. Photos by Nicole Cohen.

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond is a writer, creative consultant, and Man Repeller alumnus living in New York City.

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