In the spring of 2013, I moved into a pre-war townhouse in Brooklyn Heights after living in Manhattan for 11 years. I’d loved New York City since the day I moved here as a wide-eyed 23-year-old with big career aspirations and an even bigger sense of uncertainty. And while I quickly made Manhattan home, soaking in all of the experiences it offered, spontaneity and risk-taking were not core to my being. Which is why jumped at the chance to veer outside of my comfort zone and cross the East River for a new experience.
Something about this home spoke to me the moment I stepped inside, up the steep stoop and two flights of stairs. The apartment had wonderful details like built-in bookshelves and hearty crown molding, not to mention an outdoor space I’d been seeking for years. But it also had a creaky, carpeted stairway that smelled nostalgically musty, like my grandmother’s old basement. And shutters worn and yellowed from years of handling. And floors that slope slightly east…..you get the point.
Finding this place was a bit like like falling in love. I’d always recognized the things I was looking for in my mind, but then other elements spoke to my heart and gave me that inexplicable feeling that it’s right, despite its flaws – and actually because of them. And I had no choice but to surrender.
And that I did, propelled out of my Gramercy neighborhood I’ve called home for years. It wasn’t a huge move geographically, but for me, it felt significant. On moving day, once I scrubbed the dirt and dust from my body and called it a night after a day of unpacking, I truly felt at home, and have ever since.
This blog is where I’ve been documenting my ideas and inspirations for transforming my space, perhaps inspiring others to do so as well. Since 2009, I’ve been honing my skills at NYSID, and my space serves as a design laboratory where I flex these muscles and create an environment that’s unique, inviting, and ideally one-of-a-kind. Musty smells and all.
– Kate Snyder – designer, urban gardener, and lifelong furniture re-arranger