A Midtown Apartment That’s Cozy and Spacious at the Same Time

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 Midtown East home of Lainy Hedaya, the blogger behind Haute Inhabit. Our intentions behind the creeping: to learn what she’s all about.

Neighborhood, # of rooms:

Midtown East, 1 bedroom

What do you do?

I run a blog called Haute Inhabit, I paint, I do photography and a couple of more fun creative things.


Who do you live with, animals included?

I live by myself. It’s nice. 😉

What do you like about the neighborhood?

Everyone in fashion lives here but no one talks about it.

What’s the best thing about your home?

I have beaming sunlight with east-, south- and west-facing windows. I also live in a very old building so the finishings are incredible — real hardwood floors and ceiling beams. It’s the nicest apartment I’ve lived in to date.

Do you ever work from home and if so, what’s that like?

Working from home is not hard when you have a space to work from, like a designated area for a desk or workstation. You have to make sure you’re constantly cleaning, though. Which is annoying. I’m not just coming home to what I left in the morning, because I’m home all day. If I am really alone and don’t feel well, I work from bed.

What did you think about when decorating? What was the process like?

I decorate as I go, and find pieces I love over time. I enjoy fixing and building things and buying vintage. I don’t believe in decorating all at once. But some people do, and some people need someone to do it for them. I studied Visual Merchandising, which is basically a form of interior design, so I am lucky I have the skill to do it myself. I hired a decorator a few years ago, it was so much more stressful than helpful and the apartment had no personality. I felt like I was in a hotel room. No one will ever know how you utilize your space like you do.

Did you have an overall vision in mind when you started decorating? What was it and where’d you get it from?

A bit minimal and bright so I can focus. That’s really it. I have a lot of stuff and I need to feel like nothing is distracting my work.

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

My favorite home score is the bench in my foyer, which I got on Etsy. (I got the clear chair that I reupholstered in faux-shearling on Etsy, too.) I also LOVE my art. No one really notices my white paintings in my kitchen, but they add great texture. I painted them a while ago and figured it would be nice to put them where I cook. The coffee table in my living room was super cheap; I got it off some guy on Craigslist like two years ago.

For someone young and trying to nest, what are your top three tips when it comes to finding/buying items for the home?

1. Don’t feel weird about buying used if it’s a quality piece.

2. If you’re renting, don’t spend too much on the large pieces because they will need to move with you.

3. Books are always nice to have around the house, and you can get them in bulk at Strand Bookstore. It’s probably the best accessory — and a fun time for a bored guest.

What are your favorite household goods/home decor stores?

The Line, Roche Bobois, Wayfair, Restoration Hardware, Barneys and all vintage shops.

Most unexpected place to find great things for the home?

Craigslist… but just be careful on there.

Where’s your favorite place online to look for apartment inspiration?

I really just do a lot of searching on Google and Tumblr. I find that when I search for what I like, something I need to see is going to show up. The internet is a vast vast place. My hashtag #hautehabitat is where I post all my favorite interiors.

What’s the one thing every home should have?

Art that makes you happy.

Photos by Emily Assiran.

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

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