A Midtown Apartment That’s Cozy and Spacious at the Same Time

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 Midtown East home of Lainy Hedaya, the blogger behind Haute Inhabit. Our intentions behind the creeping: to learn what she’s all about.

Neighborhood, # of rooms:

Midtown East, 1 bedroom

What do you do?

I run a blog called Haute Inhabit, I paint, I do photography and a couple of more fun creative things.


Who do you live with, animals included?

I live by myself. It’s nice. 😉

What do you like about the neighborhood?

Everyone in fashion lives here but no one talks about it.

What’s the best thing about your home?

I have beaming sunlight with east-, south- and west-facing windows. I also live in a very old building so the finishings are incredible — real hardwood floors and ceiling beams. It’s the nicest apartment I’ve lived in to date.

Do you ever work from home and if so, what’s that like?

Working from home is not hard when you have a space to work from, like a designated area for a desk or workstation. You have to make sure you’re constantly cleaning, though. Which is annoying. I’m not just coming home to what I left in the morning, because I’m home all day. If I am really alone and don’t feel well, I work from bed.

What did you think about when decorating? What was the process like?

I decorate as I go, and find pieces I love over time. I enjoy fixing and building things and buying vintage. I don’t believe in decorating all at once. But some people do, and some people need someone to do it for them. I studied Visual Merchandising, which is basically a form of interior design, so I am lucky I have the skill to do it myself. I hired a decorator a few years ago, it was so much more stressful than helpful and the apartment had no personality. I felt like I was in a hotel room. No one will ever know how you utilize your space like you do.

Did you have an overall vision in mind when you started decorating? What was it and where’d you get it from?

A bit minimal and bright so I can focus. That’s really it. I have a lot of stuff and I need to feel like nothing is distracting my work.

What are your favorite home “scores” and where are they from?

My favorite home score is the bench in my foyer, which I got on Etsy. (I got the clear chair that I reupholstered in faux-shearling on Etsy, too.) I also LOVE my art. No one really notices my white paintings in my kitchen, but they add great texture. I painted them a while ago and figured it would be nice to put them where I cook. The coffee table in my living room was super cheap; I got it off some guy on Craigslist like two years ago.

For someone young and trying to nest, what are your top three tips when it comes to finding/buying items for the home?

1. Don’t feel weird about buying used if it’s a quality piece.

2. If you’re renting, don’t spend too much on the large pieces because they will need to move with you.

3. Books are always nice to have around the house, and you can get them in bulk at Strand Bookstore. It’s probably the best accessory — and a fun time for a bored guest.

What are your favorite household goods/home decor stores?

The Line, Roche Bobois, Wayfair, Restoration Hardware, Barneys and all vintage shops.

Most unexpected place to find great things for the home?

Craigslist… but just be careful on there.

Where’s your favorite place online to look for apartment inspiration?

I really just do a lot of searching on Google and Tumblr. I find that when I search for what I like, something I need to see is going to show up. The internet is a vast vast place. My hashtag #hautehabitat is where I post all my favorite interiors.

What’s the one thing every home should have?

Art that makes you happy.

Photos by Emily Assiran.

Get more Fashion ?
  • Adrianna

    I recently moved in with my partner, and I knew we’d be waking up to a wall of dressers every morning. I opted for white so they would blend into the wall. He didn’t really understand my logic until they were installed in the space. Similarly, I chose a white bookshelf for our office to minimize visual clutter.

  • Frenchmochi

    “Books are the best accessory” yes they’re nice to read as well…

    • third_street_hats

      yeah who t f is this woman

    • Gurpreet Gupta

      She also said “… and a fun time for a bored guest” so I’d assume they are there for reading.

  • Maren Lindquist

    I really like the way it looks modern and still has hints of old Hollywood glamour at the same time. Gorgeous! If anyone can tell me where those golden mugs (?) are from I would appreciate it!

  • Cristina

    Ok now this one is what my dreams are made of. Minimalist but cozy and homey. I also really like how she used that ladder shelf and made it not look farmhouse-y. Saving that!

  • L Winfree

    Did I miss something? Where’s the kitchen with the white paintings?

    • Shivani Lakshmi

      Slide 12

  • Hannah Warner

    I cant read past the bulk book buying tip

    • Frenchmochi

      Same… honestly??

    • Anna

      Yeah…you don’t believe in decorating all at once and yet you’ll buy books in bulk as “accessories”???

    • third_street_hats

      just goes to show you how completely out of touch these people are

    • Sarah

      I think she just meant that you can get a lot at once!

    • Olivia C.

      maybe if you read a little more you would clearly see she buys the books for guests to read

      no reason to be snarky

    • Hannah Warner

      ***you can buy books in bulk at any bookstore, because it’s literally the only item a bookstore sells

  • ByeBeckz

    Love the decorations and color scheme and the conscious effort to stay minimalist- but I’m missing the SMALL part? That living room is huge- and it has a separate bedroom? and we didn’t even see the kitchen!

    • Sarah Hassan

      That’s what I was thinking – this place feels quite large for a 1BR in Manhattan! Where is the kitchen?! Is it hiding in a closet, or under her couch? 🙂

    • Harling Ross

      hey! You’re right that “small” was misleading. “Cozy” is a more accurate description, so we changed the headline to reflect that. Thanks for the callout.

      • ByeBeckz

        Didn’t mean to callout! Was just wondering what I was missing but cozy definitely seems more accurate 🙂

        • Harling Ross

          a kind and much appreciated callout! 🙂

  • I love her apartment! Wow! Im also obsessed with those bedside tables. She made them feel much more chic and unique than coming out of West Elm.

    Eva | http://www.shessobright.com

  • coffeebee

    Gahhh, get those perfumes off the sunny window ledge. Sunlight and heat will ruin them.

  • third_street_hats

    I’m sorry, this apartment is “small”???? I guess we all can’t live off daddy’s dime in Manhattan as we try get famous from our blogs and “photography”

    • Emma

      Hey, I’ve noticed that you’ve posted several comments on this thread that are really negative. There’s absolutely no indication that she’s ‘[living] off daddy’s dime in Manhattan’, but even if she is, it’s actually none of your business. She’s been nice enough to open up her home for MR readers, and though I don’t agree with her ‘books as an accessory’ tip, it doesn’t open her up to personal attacks about her lifestyle and career. The only person coming off badly here is you.

      • third_street_hats

        Sorry not sorry you don’t like my negativity. Welcome to the real world. You think her blog is paying for this 4k per month apartment? I don’t support giving a platform to women who are living off their daddy’s dime. Let’s showcase women who are paying their own way and supporting themselves.

        • Lisa

          I think $4k is what a lot of these girls get paid for one post and from her Instagram it looks like she posts a lot. Wouldn’t be surprised if she lives there comfortably off her own dime. So I wouldn’t say she’s living off her daddy.

          Welcome to the real world.

          • third_street_hats

            PLEASE show me some evidence that she makes 4k per Instagram post

          • Lisa

            What about evidence that she gets support outside of her business? Girl, let it go. No one cares.

          • third_street_hats

            bb you responded to me! have a good day, dear

          • Emma

            I don’t think you get how this works. No one needs to prove anything to you. How she lives her life is absolutely NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. In any case, this post is about her apartment, how you can extrapolate and make assumptions about the rest of her life is beyond me. I pity you and anyone else who feels the need to attack someone they don’t know on the internet. It’s mean-spirited and pathetic.

    • Marty Funkhouser

      maybe she has a rich husband

  • Jennifer

    Geez…haters are always gonna find something to hate about!
    Love the apartment- it’s clean, bright, and spacious. Love the pop of red from the roses on the round table.

  • fortinbras

    That is one big one-bedroom. Especially in NY.

  • Kayla Sweeney

    Like some others in this thread, the book comment was a little hmmmmm…. but this apartment is gorgeous! And I don’t skate but that Derek Lam skateboard is so cute! (And only ~$50!)

  • That couch is giving me and my PMS a big ol’ anxiety attack.

  • Cynthia Schoonover

    So crisp and fresh-looking. However, I would not put my perfume bottles on a window sill because sunlight is not good for perfume. I keep my perfumes in a dresser drawer.

  • Natty

    Love me some white n’ bright decor, but that living room is just asking for a giant vintage oriental rug 🙂

  • Raq

    I’m curious why there are two desks/computers if it’s just her?