In Refinery29's Sweet Digs, we take a look inside the sometimes small, sometimes spacious homes of millennial women. Today, Salt House founder Sarah Schiear shares her Brooklyn home.
When 34-year-old Sarah Schiear and her fiancé moved in to their current home, it was pretty much given that Schiear would take the lead when it came to design. It was her job, after all.
Schiear, a former finance professional, had given her life a quick about-face when she started cooking, starred (and placed third) on The Taste, and created e-commerce and lifestyle website Salt House.
So of course "we both knew that I was going to do it up in terms of decor, but it was a bit tough for him," Schiear says. "You know, he had to let go of a lot of his stuff." In other words? "I made him throw all his shit out."
To be fair, there wasn't anything wrong with her fiancé's old decor, she clarifies. "It was typical New York bachelor pad, and at first he felt some of this identity wrapped up in his items," Schiear says. Now, almost a year later, both her and her fiancé feel settled in their duplex home.
"Even when it was halfway done, he was like this is amazing this is a palace, this is the nicest place I’ve ever lived in," Schiear says. Watch the video above to see why — and read on below for a few of Schiear's picks and decor tips.
How did you find the apartment? There's so much space for New York.
"We found it on Streeteasy. I was just obsessed from the minute we walked in. I was like, Oh my god, we're signing a lease on this place today. He was a bit more apprehensive because they were doing construction right next door."
Was there a broker's fee or anything?
"We had to pay a full broker's fee, so that was the opposite of fun. It was 15 percent of the yearly rent. It's crazy. The security deposit was, I think, just one month's rent."
What was your first impression of the space?
"Honestly, just the amount of space. The combination of the outdoor space and the two levels. The feeling is so open."
Do you have any decorating rules or tips?
"I tend to find a photo of one thing for inspiration and that will start informing everything else. Like I saw a photo of a blue wall, and that started the whole process from there for the living room. But just like with anything else, the more you practice, the better you get, and the more you evolve.
I also think you have to work with the apartment, especially if you're renting like we are. There are some elements of this apartment required me to keep it more modern, as opposed to some places that are older, where you can do some cool vintage-looking pieces. We have this marble staircase with a glass railing with a walnut handrail, so that kind of feels more mid-century modern, so we had to work with that."
Did you learn from anyone in particular when it came to design?
"I grew up in a home that wasn’t that nice, and I also grew up in a broken home, but I was really close with my aunt. Part of what I loved about her place was how beautiful it was, and I think that must have inspired me in some way to want to create something like that for myself."