Last week I was fortunate enough to accompany a friend of mine to New York for a short break. As my daughter lived in New York for 2 years, I’m quite familiar with the city and have spent many days exploring Manhattan and Brooklyn while she was busy at school. This time, however, with only a few days in the city my main goal was to relax and get inspired.
We arrived late in the evening and went straight to our AirBnB in the beautiful Greenwich Village. I’ve walked passed the stunning brownstone walk-ups in the neighbourhood before and always marveled at the beautiful homes that must lie within. So this time, I thought I’d find out. The studio apartment was stunning and a true example of design efficiency; something that Manhattan has learnt to do very well with its lack of space. With exposed brick, hardwood floors and two airy sash windows revealing the fire escape, we were definitely in New York. It was elegant and minimalist in decor, even a little bit quirky with a novelty crown hung from one of the old wall pins. Coupled with the paradise rooftop garden with views of the Empire State Building, this little studio was the perfect hideaway from the noisy big city. New York is a sensory overload, and as we went out each day to take it all in it was lovely to come back to a space designed to help us relax and clear our heads.
The energy in New York is ferocious and infectious. It is a melting pot of art and design and every time I visit I find myself in a constant state of inspiration. From industrial chic to pure opulence, here are a few of the places that got my creative juices flowing:
With it’s cobbled streets and converted warehouses it’s hard not to be taken in by the Meatpacking District. Industrial Chic is this area’s MO. I particularly love the polished concrete and iron framed bi-fold doors. There is also the old peeling door of Fort Gansevoort that I always stop and take a photo of for inspiration, I find the textures and colours irresistible.
The High Line
I love the High Line. It is one of my favourite places to walk in New York. The High Line is an old disused elevated subway track that has been converted into a park walkway. So often in NY you’re looking up at towering skyscrapers or looking down from towering skyscrapers. The High Line offers a different perspective as it weaves through the buildings 30 feet above street level. Along the way there is local artwork, sculptures, beautiful greenery and areas to sit and sunbathe. It always reminds me that all spaces, however small or awkward, have the potential to be beautiful.
The Baccarat Hotel
After being told that the Baccarat hotel was a must-see for designers, my friend and I headed over on our last day (there was also a promise of very delicious cocktails). We were not let down. The cocktails were stunning and the surroundings even more so. Baccarat is a legendary French crystal company whose artisans have mastered their craft for over 250 years in a tiny hamlet of the same name. They’ve now branched out into the hotel business and the interiors are incredible. The place is dripping with the most beautiful crystal - our cocktail glasses alone were worthy of wonderment. Having been to NY previously to visit my daughter, a student, this was a side of the city that I hadn’t really seen before. The luxury and opulence is definitely worth paying a visit to see.
While in town there are a couple of shops I like to visit and home accessories I like to stock up on:
Matches from HomArt - Their long colour-tipped matches are great and come in beautifully designed boxes.
Candles from P.F Candle Co - I love their woody scented candles. My favourites are Teakwood & Tobacco and Amber & Moss.
Anything from Whisk in Williamsburg - I bought a bamboo stir-fry spatula for $5 from Whisk about 3 years ago and it’s still one of my favourite kitchen utensils. The ironmongery at the front of their shop is also fun to see!
If you want to get inspired by New York too, check out our Pinterest board for this blog post!