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 grad with big career aspirations and a bigger sense of uncertainty. And while I 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 my home spoke to me the moment I stepped inside, up the steep stoop and flights of [slanted] 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. In my mind, I knew all of the qualities I was looking for. But there were other elements I couldn’t quite name, which spoke to my heart and gave me that inexplicable feeling that it was for me. I had to surrender.
And that I did, propelled out of my Gramercy neighborhood to Brooklyn. It wasn’t a huge move geographically, but for me, it felt significant. On moving day, once I rinsed the day from my body and called it a night, I truly felt at home.
This blog is where I’ve documented my ideas for transforming my home. At the same time, you could say I’ve transformed my life path a bit, earning my design degree at NYSID and pivoting from an ad sales career to one in interior design, where I get to help clients do their own transforming every day.
In the meantime, like many designers, I’ve found my home will never be “done”, and that’s how I like it. It continues to be a design laboratory for all of my ideas, where I can flex my muscles and create – again and again – a home that’s unique, inviting, and one-of-a-kind. Musty smells and all.
– Kate Snyder – interior designer, urban gardener, and lots in between