Name: Anna Membrino
Location: Astoria, Queens, New York
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 466 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, rented
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I’m a children’s book editor and author who went freelance right before the pandemic started (wild timing). I’ve been in the city for 11 years and have had 19 roommates (I swear I’m a good roommate, friends just kept cycling through the same couple of apartments for years as needed!) — and loved every second of that. Honestly I never thought I’d live by myself because living with people was so fun!
Last year, it really felt like time to find my own spot, and I was lucky that that feeling coincided with the pandemic rent dip. I doubt I could’ve found a solo place otherwise!
It was an adjustment for sure, but now I love living and being alone, and am completely delighted by the space I’ve created for myself. Woo, growth!
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Warm, intentional, and full of stories
What is your favorite room and why? I love my living room so much. It’s as beautiful in the morning as it is cozy at night, and every piece of art and furniture has a story or a memory attached to it. Even though I live by myself, my friends and family are really present in the things that surround me, and I feel their love every day! I’ve got plants inherited from a variety of folks (fun fact: I’ve never bought a plant), a credenza that a friend custom built for our last apartment, chairs another friend and I found on Craigslist the day before lockdown, art created by someone I used to coach, a shelf my dad and I built, my mom’s butcher block from the ’70s, and on and on. It’s pretty special.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Pay attention to how you feel when you look at or interact with the things in your home! As I was getting everything set up I’d scan the room and my eyes would get stuck on something if it didn’t make me happy or serve a purpose, or if it was out of place. Also, painting the walls white and hanging big mirrors has made the place feel much bigger than it is. Oh and don’t despair if your apartment has no closets (like this one), there’s almost always a creative solution if you’re down to dig into the puzzling process!
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.