As with clothes, the way you decorate a room expresses your personality. In its most ideal form, it signals to guests how you interpret yourself. In this round of Real Cool People, Real Cool Apartments, we check out the Lower East Side home of Eileen Kelly, a sex educator and the founder of Killer and a Sweet Thing. Our intentions behind the creeping: to learn what she’s all about.
Neighborhood, # of rooms:
Lower East Side, 2 bedrooms
What do you do?
Sex educator and the founder of Killer and a Sweet Thing (KAAST), a peer-to-peer sex education resource.
How long have you lived here?
Since March 2016
Who do you live with, animals included?
I live alone but I usually have a friend sleep over.
What do you like about the neighborhood?
It has great energy and a rich history. For me, it’s a total melting pot of people. It’s right next to Chinatown and Little Italy. It’s also perfectly centered. I can get pretty much anywhere downtown fast, whether I’m walking or hopping on a Citi Bike.
What’s the best thing about your home?
Do you ever work from home and if so, what’s that like?
I used to work at home, hence the second bedroom! It was an office space. However, when the brand grew and we got an actual office, I turned the bedroom into a guest room. My office is pretty close to home so it’s most efficient to do my work there.
What did you think about when decorating? What was the process like?
My process has largely involved adding things as I go, getting rid of old things to make space for the new things and then starting all over again! I used to have a big white couch that wrapped around the entire apartment but I decided to sell it and get a smaller couch. I’ve really learned to love change, so I’m constantly adding new things and getting rid of others. The apartment changes alongside my life. I went through a breakup after I moved into the apartment and I decided to change the whole bedroom around. It felt cleansing. I recommend that to anyone.
Did you have an overall vision in mind when you started decorating?
Not really. Sometimes I only like neutrals and whites. Then I added the hot pink rug. It changes along with my mood.
What are your favorite home “scores” and where are they from?
The rugs in the bedrooms! I got them off Chairish and I’m obsessed. I think a fun rug can liven up any space. Also, the art. I love the lithographs I have of the naked women. They’re from the 70s.
For someone young and trying to nest, what are your top three tips when it comes to finding/buying items for the home?
You don’t have to spend a lot to find nice things:
1. Buy plants! You can find them for very good prices and they liven up any space.
3. Cover your walls with posters or cheap framed art! It’s a great way to refine a room.
What are your favorite household goods/home decor stores — both brick and mortar, and online?
· Flea Markets
Most unexpected place to find great things for the home?
When I travel! I find a lot of knick-knacks when I travel. I love going to markets or flea markets. I have found so many great things for under $10.
Where’s your favorite place online to look for apartment inspiration?
I love finding apartment inspo on Pinterest. I love mid-century design. It would be fun to own a capsule house one day.
What’s the one thing every home should have?
Lots of books. I have so many books about sexuality and gender around my house that continue to inspire the writing on my website. I’m also launching a zine very soon that talks about millennials’ relationship with sex. Will keep you posted on that launch date.
Anything else you want to add?
Lighting is huge! It can create a total vibe. I have red lights all throughout the apartment and in the evenings, the whole apartment is lit up in this muted red tone. It’s super sexy. Also, I originally moved into this apartment because it reminded me of the apartment Joaquin Phoenix lived in and wrote from in the movie Her. I love sitting by the window and looking out at the city below.