A First Apartment in Boerum Hill

Alex Kalita House Tour

For the past five years, interior designer Alex Kalita has rented the top floor of a brownstone in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill neighborhood, her first adult apartment. Her antique-filled home has been a source of happiness and stability, and helped her become an expert at decorating a small space on a budget. Here’s a peek inside…


Alex Kalita House Tour

Daybed: vintage, recovered in Knoll’s Hourglass fabric in Gull. Sconce: Workstead. Throw pillow: Knoll Textile’s Sherman in Earth. Alpaca blanket: souvenir from Argentina. Portrait: Housing Works. Plant hanger: Primitive. Coffee table: vintage. Bud vase: Marimekko. Leather pouf: vintage; similar here. Rug: Dash & Albert.

On adaptable furniture: I don’t own a proper sofa, mostly because I didn’t want to invest in a temporary one that might not fit in a future apartment. This daybed could go in a living room or bedroom or nursery or guest room, wherever I move. It belonged to a friend of my mom’s, and I used to sleep on it when I visited her in Greenwich Village as a child. When I graduated from college, she sold it to me for nothing and I had it re-covered. It reminds me of waking up in her beautiful apartment, listening to the the sounds of downtown that seemed so exotic to me.

Alex Kalita House Tour

On mixing and matching: Most people in their twenties don’t have a lot to spend on decorating. My approach has been to gradually collect individual pieces I love whenever I can find one at low or no cost, and not worry too much about cohesiveness. If you buy great pieces you truly love you can add pillows and textiles to unify them, or mix and match them in infinite ways. The Panton light (above) was a steal from Craigslist. I got the black Workstead lamp at a sale. The Eames base of my dining table was $40 from eBay. The paintings of Brazilian bathers were in my parents’ house growing up.

Credenza: Organic Modernism. Candleholders: Heath Ceramics. Lamp: vintage Pantella by Verner Panton.

Alex Kalita House Tour

On podcast love: I’m really into listening to podcasts at home. My current favorites are StartUp (as an interior designer, I can totally relate to the “oh shit” moments of starting and running a business), 99% Invisible, which is about the undercurrent of architecture and design in everything around us, and ReplyAll.

Alex Kalita House Tour

On fresh flowers: My favorites are all in bloom in the spring — ranunculus, peonies and lilacs — so I go nuts then. I’ll go to the wholesale flower market in Manhattan. In the winter, I’ll buy a bunch of juniper, which smells so great and lasts forever. With tulips, I drop a penny into the water, which is chemistry magic.

Alex Kalita House Tour

Photo prints: Artifact Uprising. Ceramics: collected from travels, including Heath Ceramics, Michelle Mendlowitz, Heyday Design, Raging Bowl Pottery, Mociun and Fajalouza.

On Swedish shelves: A few years ago I became obsessed with Swedish modular “string shelves.” If you’re like me and stalk Swedish realtors on Instagram for design inspiration, you’ve seen that these shelves are ubiquitous there. They look awesome and aren’t expensive, except if you try to ship them abroad. Eventually, some friends traveling to New York from Sweden surprised me by lugging a shelf home for me in their suitcase!


Alex Kalita House Tour

Wooden crates: salvaged from grandparents’ basement. Hooks: Ikea. Ball of twine print: Roy Lichtenstein poster. “It Is What It Is” print: Toronto’s One of a Kind Fair. Grocery bag: Whisk NYC. Jacket: Fjällräven. Ceramic dish: Michelle Mendlowitz. Water bottle: Bkr. Booties: Rachel Comey. Sneakers: Nike.

On learning from instability: Last year, I went through a savage breakup and I fell into a pretty rough depression. It felt like everyone was moving onward and upward and leaving me behind. Now I have good days and bad days, but overall I feel like me again. I’ve taken antidepressants, but I’ve also thought a lot about what my natural pick-me-up is, and now I know it’s absolutely this apartment. Making this place my home has been extremely therapeutic and empowering.


Chair: Hand-me-down from great uncle. New from Emeco.

On meditation: I like the guided meditation app Headspace. When my depression and anxiety was at its peak, I was diligent about doing it every day in front of a sun lamp. It makes meditation approachable if you’re the kind of person who thinks it’s a little out there or you find it hard committing to routines. It taught me not to be so skeptical of self-care. I work out and try to eat and sleep well but meditation is an extra step I learned to appreciate while going through a rough patch.



Cabinets, countertop, hardware and appliances: Ikea. Shelf: Universal Expert for West Elm. Copper tea pot: CB2. Rug: vintage.

On cooking: Home-cooked meals are a big deal in my family. When I was little my dad worked in Latin America, and we lived in Manhattan. He’d fly home on Friday nights and spend the entire weekend cooking amazing food for my mom and me and storing it in Tupperware labeled Monday through Friday. A funny story: A couple months ago, I was scarfing fast food at home when my dad texted that he was on his way to surprise me for dinner. I quickly opened the windows to air out the tater tots smell, lit a scented candle… and ate a second dinner.

Alex Kalita House Tour

Dining table: formica tabletop on a vintage Eames Aluminum Table Base. Dining chairs: antique. Acrylics on canvas: Edmond Caputo. Hallway runner: John Derian.

On favorite recipes: I’m in a food loop lately where I’m making salmon tacos up to three times a week. For guests, I love to make Grand Central Oyster Bar’s Oyster Pan Roast. The oysters at the local farmers’ market are pretty affordable, and I just learned how to shuck them myself. My friends and I also team-cooked Food52’s amazing birthday lasagna to celebrate my half-birthday this winter.

Alex Kalita House Tour

On building a collection: Last summer, I started picking up old blue and white dish ware whenever I saw a piece I liked — thrift stores, yard sales, eBay. (My friends call them my “break-up dishes,” because I was in the midst of mine.) And I love to collect pretty ceramics when traveling; I roll them up in clothes in my luggage and so far I’ve never broken anything.

Alex Kalita House Tour

On a backsplash: I bought a set of traditional Spanish tiles on vacation recently. They’re designed to create a chevron pattern but I installed them in a random grid, inspired by the Bauhaus textile designer Annie Albers. I cut a piece of plywood to the size of a backsplash and covered it with mastic glue, and then I stuck the tiles on there. I used a french cleat to secure it to the wall and then painted the trim of the plywood the color of the wall. I love how the backsplash turned out and it was a renter-friendly approach. You could even use industrial Velcro if you didn’t want to drill holes. The project set me back about $50 — the tiles were less than a dollar each!


Alex Kalita House Tour

Swing-arm lamp: vintage. Pine desk: vintage. Sketch on paper: Nick Weber. Bed: West Elm. U.S. Navy blanket: hand-me-down from grandfather. Linen pillowcases: Pottery Barn. Cotton bedding: Restoration Hardware. Striped rug: Williams-Sonoma.

On waking up: I’m an early riser, but I don’t vault out of bed. I like to re-enter slowly. I’ll jot down my dreams. I recently woke up to this memo I had unconsciously written on my phone at 2:34 a.m.: “head sound start. shining Seinfeld Pokemon owl dream, painting exit clown,” plus a string of random numbers.

On bedding: To save money on bedding, my trick is to skip the top sheet. They just get tangled and if you don’t buy a top sheet you can afford better sheets!

Alex Kalita House Tour

On making things: I’ve taken a few classes in woodworking, upholstery and sewing. I don’t have a sewing machine so I sometimes rent time at the Brooklyn General Store. There’s a pile of floor pillows in my bedroom that I made there, and whenever I fall in love with a textile I’ll buy a yard or a yard and a half and I can make two relatively inexpensive pillows. I also made this bedside table (above). It’s lovely to make something for yourself and use it every day.

Alex Kalita House Tour

Dresser: West Elm. Ceramic bowl: Danny Kaplan. Lamp: vintage. Tree photograph: Tommy Kwak. Cowhide butterfly chair: Calma Chicha.

On funny rituals: Friday nights are for my business bookkeeping, and I try to make it fun. On my way home, I rent a documentary from an awesome neighborhood video store. (Apparently I’m not the only person in the world who still likes to rent DVDs.) I go in and explain what type of mood I’m in and they hook me up. Then I go to Free Range Wines for a pre-chilled can of rosé or red from an Oregon vineyard called Underwood. It’s fantastic wine, and the can equals about two glasses. I’ll sit down with dinner, wine and my movie and then get into Quickbooks and start invoicing clients and doing expenses. It feels like Friday and I’m unwinding, but I still get work done.

Alex Kalita House Tour

File cabinet: Ikea.

On renting in New York: I found this apartment with a friend I’ve known my whole life. When we lucked into getting it we joked that we would raise our families together under this same roof, because neither of us would ever give up such an awesome, affordable place. But last year, she was able to buy her own apartment, and even though it was a financial risk, I love this place so much that I decided to stay. New York real estate is full of ups and downs, but luckily I just found another roommate on Craigslist and am so glad I can afford to keep living here.

Thank you so much, Alex!

P.S. More home tours, including a California ranch house and a Brooklyn parlor apartment.

(Photos by Biz Jones. Styling in photos 2-4 and 8-13 by Zio and Sons. All others, except portraits of Alex, styled by Danny Kaplan. Interview by Lexi Mainland.)

  1. Sarah says...

    Can Alex do a Style Uniform? I’m curious if her design aesthetic translates into her wardobe.

    • Hi Sarah. Woah, I’m so flattered! I love, love that column, and feel like the women featured are many magnitudes cooler and more confident than I am :)

      I’m afraid my Style Uniform would be heavy on the “uniform” and short on the “style.” I basically wear striped or solid t-shirts with jeans or black pants. All navy, grey, black, white, ecru. (Although I did buy a red shirt this year! Change is happening! Lol.) Fashion is so deeply outside my comfort zone, that having a fool-proof and limited collection of stuff that all goes together has been super calming for me.

      Maybe after reading your comment, though, I’ll be inspired to try to channel my decor aesthetic into my wardrobe :)

  2. NICOLE TOOVEY says...

    Alex – A year later and I am still touched by your house tour. Thank you for being candid about your struggles. I hope you are in an even better place this year. The simplicity and cleanliness of you space reminds me to declutter and stream line. Having too much stuff/junk/treasure is not healthy for my depression. All the best to you.

    • Nicole! Thank you for this lovely comment. You know, I am in a better place. Revisiting this post, it’s remarkable to reflect on just how much can change in a year or two — but it also reminds me to monitor and take active steps to guard my mental health. I slipped up this January, allowing work demands to crowd out relationships and down time. I guess I will always need to be extra vigilant in the winter!

      Wishing you all the best, and strength in your struggle with depression. The “de-junkification” process is sooo liberating! If you find you’re too close to the stuff to make objective decisions about purging, I loved bringing a friend in recently to say, “um, no, Alex. This is garbage, you don’t even know what it’s from or what it’s for. It’s gotta go.”

  3. Ross Harbeck says...

    Awesome blog and apartment tour. It’s so nice and refreshing to see blends and mixtures of different styles to create a unique space! Also loved hearing how decorating is therapeutic and can help get people out of rut–I definitely feel the same way!

  4. meg says...

    what a lovely home! great decorating ideas and pretty relate-able. that said, i’d be hard pressed to describe this decorating as “budget” by any stretch. for those of us who have truly decorated on a budget, this is pretty extravagant, and far beyond the reach of most young people starting out in their first home. maybe try for a little more realism in your next “budget” post :)

  5. Meg B says...

    Just saw you had the color of the daybed fabric listed :) More coffee over here!

  6. Meg B says...

    I absolutely love your daybed! Can you share what color it was reupholstered in?

  7. S says...

    Cute place! I like the concept of a daybed, but as a stand-in for a sofa, I couldn’t deal with no back support. At some point you just need a proper sofa. I’ve been there waiting…and waiting – but when I finally got a new sofa that fit the place I was in and not waiting to see what the future held – I was wondering why I didn’t do it sooner! My personal opinion – that’s it!

  8. Paulina says...

    I love this apartment! Could you tell where the print above the credenza is from? ?

    • Hi Paulina. My parents bought in in São Paulo, Brazil in 1990! I wish I knew the artists name. It’s signed, but I can’t read the handwriting!) I’m so glad you like it — it’s one of my favorites, along with its mate. They’re reminiscent of Botero, don’t you think?

    • Christiane says...

      Hi! The name of the artist is Gustavo Rosa. His very famous here in Brazil. Loved the apartment!

    • Thank you, Christiane!!! I’m so happy to have his name. They’ve been in my life since I was 5 — this is my first opportunity to learn about them. Can’t wait to do some research.

  9. Inspiring Small Apartment with cute Details. Love it <3

  10. Maelle says...

    Love this place ! I’m in my twenties and also on a budget when it comes to decorate, so this appartment is really inspiring ! I went through a breakup lately and had to move to a much tinier place than what i had, and just like Alex says, decorating and making it a home for me really helped to feel better :)
    Also, I totally had to google ‘top sheet’ to see what you all were talking about; being french and living in Paris i had no idea that this existed, ha !

  11. Monica says...

    Alex, you’ve created a gorgeous apartment in a lovely spot in Brooklyn. I *heart* Brooklyn brownstones. If you get a chance, where is the little wooden clock in a cloche on the bookshelf from?

    • Thanks, Monica! It’s called the Suspend Mantle Clock by Umbra.

  12. Karissa says...

    Anyone know where the backpack is from?? I love the home tours!

  13. Rebecca says...

    How is this on a budget? The credenza costs $1000.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thanks for your note! She scouted everything on sale or on eBay or at thrift stores etc. i loved her point about decorating slowly to give yourself time to find these deals.

  14. I love this place — the clean lines, the thoughtful pieces of art and furniture, the way she clearly appreciates how she made this apartment her home. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Carin Garland says...

    I like the little shelf above the sink in the kitchen to hold sponges and stuff. Where can I buy one? I checked out the websites linked but nope, nothing.
    Let me know if you have any other ideas.

  16. This apartment feels so cosy, none of that high maintenance interior (which I love as well unfortunately) and so easy to live in. It feels like a true home.!

  17. Jaime says...

    I loved this post. Alex seems smart, funny, independent and an amazing decorator! I love how she has created a space that so beautifully reflects her life and history. Her mention of going through a tough breakup spoke to me since I recently did as well with a boyfriend I lived with or two years. I am in between places living with a roommate until the fall. I hope I can create a space a fraction as gorgeous as she did in a few months. Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Love her place. Pretty much sums up my aesthetic, with the here and there pieces. The light and open air makes it cheerfully cozy.

  19. Janelle says...

    What is the wall color? Love that it’s not stark white!

    • Hi Janelle! It’s Benjamin Moore’s Linen White.

  20. Estela says...

    Love how this post is so “real life”! Cute apartment

  21. Linda says...

    I just adore those kitchen chairs!!

  22. What is that window treatment?

    • They are Ikea’s Enje blinds, though I think they may have discontinued? Such a shame! They were super affordable and filtered just the right amount of light.

  23. Nina says...

    oh I forgot to say I love blue and white plates…I started collecting them and then made a whole wall of them…they make me happy.

  24. Nina says...

    Beautiful apartment. I love the open airiness of it and the pieces with history from friends and family. sometimes I see someone do something simple and think why do I complicate things so much? I have a very VERY ugly shelf I salvaged from the side of the road a couple years ago to paint and decorate and my decorating ideas were SO ambitious I haven’t even primed it.

  25. renee says...

    I can’t tell you how much I relate to and appreciate this post. I went through an awful breakup earlier this year, and have also found that furnishing and designing my apartment has been the best stress relief. It’s been so fun to create the place I always wanted. And while nothing beats coming home to the person you love, coming home to your dream apartment is a pretty close second.

    I really appreciate her being so honest with her struggles too. So often we see beautiful people with their incredible apartments and assume they have these perfect lives, when in reality they are dealing with tough stuff with too. Anyway, such a great post!

  26. LOVE this house tour and especially “it is what it is” print. I also completely understand the joy of making something yourself that you get to use every day. I took a pottery class and made some bowls and vases that I love having around and using in my every day life.

    How long did it take you to get into HeadSpace? I tried it once and could not concentrate because of my noisy neighbors upstairs :(

  27. Lauren E. says...

    Wow, this place is just gorgeous. I’m always a tiny bit jealous of people who think up things like having a collection of blue and white plates. I would never ever think to do that, and somehow it works seamlessly!!

  28. Katie says...

    She sounds like my kind of girl! My apartment is also a mish-mash of pretty things I’ve found affordably around town. I think it works. It makes me happy, anyways! I like that everything has a story.

  29. mika says...

    I loved this post and Alex seems like the sweetest. Her space is beautiful, but I appreciated how open she was about her depression and anxiety. I can relate to turning to creativity for inspiration during those lows. I make clothes when I feel sad and this year I’ve made a whole wardrobe! I loved Alex’s tips on podcasts and mediation as well. :)

  30. It’s uncanny how you manage to strike such a refreshingly honest balance of beauty and truth. I love that she talked about depression and bumps in the road, as well as how meditation might be intimidating to some people.

    Whenever Cup of Jo comes up in my reader I know that it will be good. I use a lot of orange peel in dishes to brighten them, that’s what your posts do, they brighten my day.

    Thank you.

  31. Adorable flat! I think I am in love with all the details! I really like how she put together old furniture, new one and many accessories. And how she used tape to fix the pictures to the walls!


  32. Brigitte says...

    alex, what a lovely, charming apartment! thank you for this inspirational home tour!
    re string shelves: you could try and check out
    they ship worldwide!

    • Thanks for the tip, Brigitte! I’m running out of space on my shelf — it might be time for an add-on unit soon.

  33. The house tours are some of my favourite posts and this one certainly didn’t disappoint! What a lovely home, and so many great tips! A penny in tulips?!

  34. Love love love!!! So many inspiring ideas here! Thanks so much for sharing!

  35. What a beautiful esthetic and I love the blue “break-up” plates. I’ve been trying to find hat I want to collect. I wanted to start switching my colorful plates/ceramics for all white, but then I saw the blue plates and found them so interesting.

    Xo Lendy

  36. hi there! what a great tour–i love this place. I’m particularly interested in the bed in the bedroom. the label says its from west elm but the link directs me to pottery barn…is there a way to find the right link? i want to buy that bed!

  37. Alina says...

    These are legit GREAT tips and ideas. Totally inspired by this place. Thank you!

  38. Annie says...

    One of my favourite house tours! So many great little tips here.

  39. Sarah says...

    What a beautiful, refreshing space – I appreciate that it’s kept interesting with layered textures and worn, good quality stuff – not a lot of trends. Great job!

  40. Kate Paolucci says...

    I do love all the design posts but would love some variety. Dark and saturated colors. Diversity in design.

  41. I love how simple yet full of character her apartment is! Break-ups are always awful, but it’s great to see someone soldiering through and making beauty out of it. Cheers!

  42. Julie says...

    I LOVED this post. What a great apartment. Love her style.

  43. Erica H. says...

    Two thumbs up! I think she’s got a long, successful career ahead of her! XO

  44. Susan M. says...

    Wow, love it, and esp. the floors are intriguing as I look for ways to handle allergies. Is it expensive? does it weigh a lot? is it a DIY or job for professionals? Your floors look so amazing. Love the idea about noise insulation, as that is always such a problem in apartments. And I guess the landlord didn’t mind? Also loved the backsplash and reading about the Spanish tile makers. What a beautiful project!!! Thank you!

    • Hi Susan. Yes! I have allergies of all kinds and the concrete floors are a super solution. The brownstone was built circa 1900 and had fallen into some disrepair before it changed hands in 2011. The prior owners replaced the rotted wood flooring with poured concrete when they renovated it about 5 years ago, which also enabled them to install a radiant floor heat system (rather than trying to retrofit central heat in an old building or keep inefficient and damaged radiators). Pouring a concrete floor is definitely a job for the pros!

  45. what a lovely and cheerful spotlight on a home and the soul inhabiting it! not only is her design sense on point, but her candor about depression/anxiety is appreciated. to top it all off- i’m also a skip-the-topsheet for better sheets kinda gal. 5 stars! :-)

  46. Loved seeing a young, on a budget home. It takes such discipline and care to put together a beautiful home in this way rather than just heading out to purchase everything fresh – congrats on doing it so well! And I love the things you’ve made yourself. I’ve always thought woodwork seemed a step beyond me, but now you’ve got me pondering taking a class…

  47. What a lovely apartment. I really like the flooring as well.

  48. Julie says...

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for continuing to show not only beautifully cultivated homes of older, more financially secure people, but of people in their twenties who are working hard to make their space beautiful without a ton of funds to spare. Especially an interior designer! What a treat.

    • Madeleine says...


  49. Molly says...

    I was going to ask the same question as Judy… Tell us about your floors please! Your home is beautiful. I agree – making a space your own is incredibly therapeutic.

    • Thanks, Molly! I love living with poured concrete floors. Any dropped glass is a goner and some people find it hard on the feet / joints, but the pros outweigh the cons in my mind. It’s a joy to keep clean, introduces a different texture to the space and keeps noise transfer between apartments to a minimum (a real problem in New York!)

  50. Jackie says...

    Beautiful apartment! I’m curious—what is the print directly above the chair in the pic with the books (the chair is a hand-me-down from her great uncle)? It’s intriguing!

    • Hi Jackie! The artwork above the chair is a mixed media piece made and gifted to me by a very talented artist friend, Tara Zabor.

      She no longer has a website, but if you’re interested in her work, feel free to contact me and I can put you in touch:

  51. Katie says...

    Dude, this homie is crushing it! Such a beauty, inside & out. Marveling at her gorgeous & honest response to depression & anxiety. Kudos to she & C.O.J. for talking about mental health AS HEALTH; it’s exciting to see us normalizing something so common.

    • Anon:) says...

      +1! I love her balanced approach to mental health – combining traditional medicine with finding her best life. Right on! Beautiful house, beautiful interview.

    • Aw, thanks Katie and Anon! Reading all these supportive comments made my day :)

      Ditto on the kudos to Cup of Jo for cultivating a place on the internet (not always the friendliest place for women…or anyone, come to think of it) where we can feel safe opening up about our challenges. I’m very grateful to Joanna and past C.O.J interviewees for setting the precedent for vulnerability as strength, particularly the destigmatization of mental health.

  52. Judy says...

    Are the floors cement? Did you dye them? Your place is so lovely. Happy healing. It does come. Promise.

    • Hi Judy. Yep, the floors are poured concrete with a clear sealant but no dye or stain. Thank you!

  53. Malory says...

    These home tours are my favorite. Awesome apartment. And her tips are helpful… some tips you find on other lifestyle blogs are not so relatable or affordable.

  54. Elizabeth says...

    I love the idea of only using a fitted sheet to be able to buy nicer sheets (the top just gets tangled anyway) but find that very few places sell them separately! Do you have any go-to places for sheets to buy just a fitted rather than the set?

    • Hi Elizabeth! I recommend Parachute Home’s Venice Sets, which come with a fitted sheet, a duvet cover and two standard pillowcases.

      Here’s the link:

      According to their blog, 40% of Americans skip the top sheet (something Europeans have been doing for ages!) I wonder if we’ll start seeing a trend towards separates soon. The only downside to the “no top sheet” strategy is that you wind up washing your duvet cover as often as you wash your sheets. Depending on your laundry situation, that can be a hassle!

    • Julie says...

      The Sweet Home recommends some great sheets that are sold separately – I love their methodology for choosing them too! We just got some dreamy percale with a perfect summer crispness from their top recommended brand.

    • Elizabeth R says...

      Brooklyn Bedding also has some super nice sheets for wayyy cheaper than Parachute home and their brand comes with a top sheet as well as two pillowcases and a fitted sheet. Just depends on what you like I guess. :)

  55. Can relate to this when I lived in NYC on a shoestring budget in a loft. Love how down to earth and relate-able this post is. Thank you for sharing.

  56. Jessica says...

    Just what I needed to see today. I’m going through a devastating breakup myself and am on the hunt for my own place after living together for the past year and a half. Seeing this happy apartment reminds me of how much I am looking forward to my own fresh start.

    • I’m so glad it inspired you. Best of luck with your apartment hunt and fresh start!

    • Alice Quin says...

      I am the same way. Feeling unmoored after a break-up and this was a great reminder that life can go on beautifully. thank you for the honesty and inspiration, alex!

  57. Nicole Brant says...

    I love these home tours! Keep them coming :-)

  58. mette says...

    Beautiful home, and thanks for your honesty Alex! So refreshing.

  59. ari says...

    where is the backpack/messenger bag on shoe crates from? I love it!

    • christina says...

      i second this question!

  60. Beautiful! A great reminder that being patient is important to creating a welcoming, comforting, and gorgeous home. Inspiring me to dig through craigslist this afternoon and research some local consignment shops.

  61. Emma says...

    This is cool, you should also feature some homes that are owned and have been remodeled!

  62. Heather says...

    I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I had to google “top sheet”, as I couldn’t fathom which layer she was forgoing! I just found out that many countries don’t even use a top sheet. It wouldn’t have even crossed my mind to eliminate it! I will definitely still be keeping mine, as washing and putting the duvet cover on my comforter is my least favourite task and a top sheet allows me to wash it less often. Interesting thought though!

    • Nicole Brant says...

      That’s exactly what I thought! I’m too lazy to wash my duvet cover weekly so I’ll also stick with my top sheet. Nice idea though.

    • My mom detests putting the duvet cover back on the comforter too! That gene must skip a generation — I don’t mind stuffing the duvet back in, but I will do anything and everything to avoid doing dishes after 8pm. We all have our housekeeping aversions :)

    • Patricia says...

      One day I discovered how to put a duvet cover on more easily and I was so excited. (Maybe this isn’t a secret, but it was to me.) Turn it inside out, reach your hands in the duvet and grab the two end corners of the side that doesn’t fasten, then grab the matching two comforter corners, and shake it on. I usually stand on top of my bed as I do this so I have more room to shake and pull it on. Hope this helps (and makes sense).

  63. Michelle says...

    I love this apartment and the interview. So sweet and inspiring!

  64. Katie says...

    I love this apartment! So pretty and peaceful and interesting. I’d definitely hire Alex to be my decorator :-)

  65. lexi says...

    Wow, I’ve never seen poured concrete floors on the top floor of a Brownstone. That’s nuts!

  66. Joana says...

    I love everything about the apartment. It’s so cozy yet distinct! Simple pieces that still look like they were meant to be. Thanks for sharing this.

  67. Michelle says...

    CRAZY. My name is Michelle Mendelowitz, should I reach out to the ceramic artist in this post, Michelle Mendlowitz, and insist we be best friends?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      no way!!

      also, funnily enough, the only other person i’ve seen online with my same name (joanna goddard) is also a ceramics artist!

  68. jeannie says...

    Such a down to earth home tour – loved it! Makes me want to go out and make something!

  69. Katherine says...

    What kind of plant is that in the living room? Love it! Seems like a great affordable decor piece

    • Hi Katherine. It’s ivy! I wish I could tell you what variety of ivy it is, but knowing that it requires water once a week to live is the outer limit of my plant knowledge. Maybe an ivy aficionado reading the comments can ID it for us? I’d love to know too!

  70. Love seeing a younger generation represented on this tour. I always enjoy the home tours, but sometimes it’s hard to appreciate the chesty of it all because of their (seemingly) endless wealth. This one felt relevant to me.

  71. Natalie Brennan says...

    she seems like such a sweet soul! i would totally be her roommate if she hadn’t already found one, ha!

  72. What a lovely house :)

  73. yael steren says...

    My favorite piece is the wooden coffee table in the first photo! I would love to have a dining room table like that one day! xx yael

  74. A top sheet is just so you don’t have to wash the blankets as often.
    Her place is very cute.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i didn’t know that! how interesting!

  75. Zoe says...

    Alex lives right in my neighborhood! I’m about her age, and live in a teensy studio. I must admit I wish there had been a note further towards the top that Alex has a roommate. I was getting hugely jealous that she had so much space all to herself!

    • Hey neighbor – if only I had this place to myself!

      In truth, I probably wouldn’t trade my roommate for a home office / guest room (tempting though.) He’s good company and he tolerates my design tyranny over the public spaces. Craig’s List did alright!

  76. Willow says...

    What a gorgeous haven you have created. I love how organic and personal the decor is.
    Break ups can be so awful-be kind to yourself. With best wishes.

  77. So charming. Loved this tour. :-)

  78. Anya says...

    I love the home tours you pick and always find them to super inspiring (the backsplash here is such genius!), but would also love to see a rough floorplan to get a sense of how the spaces fit together and how big or small they are…

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      I always want to see floorplans too! Totally hear you. And we try to take photos that show how all the spaces in a home interconnect. The reason we don’t publish floorplans is that they can sometimes be reverse-image-searched and we want to protect people’s privacy wherever possible.