In Refinery29’s Sweet Digs, we take a look inside the sometimes small, sometimes spacious homes of millennial women. Today, 25-year-old food writer Gillie Houston shows us around her eclectic Brooklyn one bedroom. Do you live in Austin and have some sweet digs you like to share? Submit yours here.
When Colorado-native Gillie Houston moved into her first New York City apartment, she found herself in an industrial part of Bushwick. Immediately, she felt the shock to her system. "I grew up in the mountains of Colorado, so having trees and nature around me is super important, or else I feel suffocated," Houston says.
So when Houston decided to live solo, she sought out neighborhoods adjacent to greenery. Her search eventually led her to a gem of a one-bedroom in a 1940s building with rounded ceilings and built-in cabinets. The clincher: It was just two blocks south of Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
Get a grand tour of Houston’s apartment in the video above. Then read on below for her stories of travel, food, and StreetEasy.
How did you find the apartment?
"I found it on StreetEasy. It was a weird situation; they only had one sideways photo of the living room that was blurry, and I couldn’t see any other part of the apartment. But it was such a good deal for a one bedroom, so I was like, I’m going to see it. And I walked in and fell in love with the place. I was the second person to see it.
I paid a broker’s fee and a security deposit which was definitely not the best, but I’ve come to expect that in New York. The broker’s fee was one month’s rent, so not as bad as some other fees."
Did you have any competition for the apartment, or trouble signing it?
"It was the first apartment that I was applying for on my own, no co-signer. Plus, I was technically a freelancer. I had four different jobs at the time, so I had to piece it all together. I was like, Please trust me, I’ll pay rent. I didn’t have one consistent pay stub for them, so I was nervous they weren’t going to give it to me."
You write about food and travel for a living. How does that influence your home?
"When I travel, instead of bringing back a touristy souvenir, I’ll always try to find a piece of local art or something unique from an antique store. I’m also an obsessive flea market person, I’m a grandma at heart, so I have tons of antiques in my space, things I’ve found in different thrift stores."
What are your go-to spots around New York?
"I would definitely say Brooklyn Flea is great. I love Goodwill, or any little antique shop. I will say that New York is one of the most challenging places because there are so many people who want to find good deals. It’s much better upstate. I make a point to seek out little antique stores when I travel, too."
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Source: Refinery29 – Jessica Chou