Our series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all five boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to interior decorator Habiba Koroma’s apartment in Central Harlem. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
Habiba Koroma always had an eye for design, but she never imagined her passion could be pursued professionally. It was not until her mother became ill that she gained the courage to follow her decorating dreams. But it wasn’t simple. After leaving her job at a nonprofit, Habiba went on many informational interviews, held an internship at a residential firm, and received her degree from the Parsons School of Design. Now as an interior design consultant for Restoration Hardware, Habiba has been able to surround herself with the latest trends, all while learning about materials and getting inspiration for her own place.
Both Habiba’s skill set and enthusiasm for design are on display in her Central Harlem apartment, which has been featured on Apartment Therapy and wallpaper company Spoonflower. Not only has she expertly mixed colors and patterns, but she’s also created a special–and kid-friendly–space for her three-year-old son Miles. Habiba transformed an IKEA bunk bed into a fun hideout for Miles, filled with books, toys, and a whiteboard. There’s even a colorful ball pit on the top bunk. Ahead, meet Habiba, tour her apartment, and learn how she keeps things Miles-friendly without ever sacrificing style.
Meet Habiba and tour her pad
Our series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to artist Ed Higgins‘ Lower East Side apartment. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
In 1976, with a recently earned art degree, E.F. Higgins III moved from Colorado to the Lower East Side. A small advertisement in the Village Voice led him to a rent-stabilized place on Ludlow Street for just $100 per month. Forty-three years later, Ed has never lived anywhere else. As expected, his rent has risen over the last four decades. He now pays “$500 and change” for his one-bedroom.
Upon arriving in Manhattan, the Midwestern-born artist became part of an art scene that was antithetical to what was happening anywhere else. Ed was a founding member of the Rivington School, a group of anti-commercial artists who took the city’s open land as their own, creating make-shift gallery spaces and performance centers in basements and on vacant lots. A painter and printmaker by trade, Ed is a part of the mail art movement, which involves sending art through the mail via postcards, decorated objects, and original stamps. 6sqft recently toured Ed’s apartment, which is full of his own Doo Da Post stamps, mail art that was sent to him, paintings, hand-written notes, and so many tchotchkes it’s hard to discern one room from the next.
See inside and meet Ed
Our series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to artist Iris Scott’s Bed-Stuy loft. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
Nearly ten years ago, while living in Taiwan, artist Iris Scott didn’t feel like washing her blue-stained paint brushes. Instead, she used her finger to finish the piece and, to her surprise, discovered that this childhood arts and crafts project works really well on her own oil paintings. She searched online to see if any artists out there were already dedicated to finger painting and found no one. “I was like, it’s my purpose!” she told 6sqft during a recent tour of her Bed-Stuy studio.
Iris, who grew up on a farm outside of Seattle, started posting photos and videos of her vibrant animal and nature-centric artwork on Facebook and instantly received feedback from what she calls a “virtual crit group.” She began selling her paintings online and because her Taiwan apartment was just $100 per month, was able to immediately work full time as a finger painter. Iris, credited with starting the Instinctualist movement, calls her career trajectory a “magical path.” “I’ve always wanted what I have and I’ve always felt what I have is more than I expected I could have.” Now, a decade later, Iris has her first big solo exhibition in New York City, a Ritual in Pairing, at Filo Sofi Art’s pop up space at the High Line Nine, which closes June 6. Ahead, see inside Iris’s sun-drenched corner loft in Brooklyn and learn about her 20-piece solo show, her fierce love of animals, and why she finds it flattering when children like her paintings.
Meet Iris and tour her studio
Our series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to Jeanie Engelbach’s East Village apartment. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
One might assume that a professional organizer’s home would be streamlined and sparse, but before our current obsession with ridding our homes of everything that doesn’t “spark joy,” home organization had many different forms. Case in point–Jeanie Engelbach’s East Village apartment. Jeanie started her career creating professional scrapbooks and soon landed a role as the visual manager at ABC Carpet & Home. Her knack for mixing styles, integrating color and pattern, and not taking design too seriously started attracting the attention of clients, and before long she was helping them not only organize their homes but create spaces representative of their personalities as apartmentjeanie. And this is on display nowhere more than her one-bedroom rental at the new 14th Street development EVGB.
Jeanie moved into her pad about a year ago, after living for nearly 25 years at an apartment building down the street. She loved developer Extell’s attention to detail and the building’s amenities. But she also loved the layout of the space, which allowed her to put up the funky wallpaper she’d been eyeing for years, set up displays for her collections (at last count, she had 650 Piz dispensers), and still keep the place feeling bright and orderly. We recently paid Jeanie and her bulldog Tater Tot a visit to check out these retro, kitschy collections in person (she also collects bobbleheads, vintage lunchboxes, and Carnival Chalkware), see how she infused a touch of pinup-glam, and learn about her organizational skills.
Take the tour!
Did you spend months decorating your apartment? Is your home historic or quirky? If you live in a unique or just plain beautiful space, 6sqft wants to see it! We’ll send a reporter out to your residence for a photo shoot and short interview and then feature your abode in all its glory for our Mysqft series!
How to submit your home!
Our series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to Scott Wiener’s Midwood apartment. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
How does one person amass 1,471 pizza boxes you may ask? After spending a few minutes with Scott Wiener, this will seem like a silly question. Scott founded Scott’s Pizza Tours 11 years ago, and since his first tour, he has become NYC’s resident pizza expert. In addition to his company’s signature bus tours, it now hosts daily walking tours, and Scott is often cited in both gastronomy and historical publications. But the real reason people from all over the world are keen to send Scott one of their pizza boxes is his genuine personality.
Whether he’s talking about the different types of flour used to make dough or discussing how he used 19th-century tax maps to unearth the various coal-fired ovens that once existed in the city, you can’t help give Scott your full attention; his passion is contagious. And he’s just a really nice guy. When a couple recently got engaged on his tour, Scott told us that he had been texting for months with the groom to make sure everything was perfect. 6sqft recently paid Scott a visit at his Midwood apartment and got to learn even more about him, from how he developed his pizza passion to what an average day looks like. Of course, we also got a behind-the-scenes look at that record-setting pizza box collection. Read more
Our series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to Blair Russell’s Midtown apartment. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
Florida native Blair Russell spends half of every month in Miami. And for the other two weeks, Miami comes with him to his New York City apartment. The curator-creative has decked out his Midtown abode, located in a 1910 building formerly home to an upscale children’s apparel store, with fluorescent colors, graffiti art, and international finds, all while mixing in a mid-century modern flair. Blair first bought his home on 35th and 5th one month after September 11, at a time when living next to the Empire State Building wasn’t exactly a selling point. “It used to be called the dirty 30’s when I moved here in 2002,” Blair told us.
A self-described third-generation artist, Blair made a career in Florida by helping developers outfit South Beach properties with art. Later, with housing experience under his belt, he began converting abandoned buildings into affordable housing for local artists. Now with real estate further in his rearview mirror, Blair is focusing on traveling and curating art for clients. “Everything I’ve done, I do it for one to 10 percent of the population. If more than 10 percent like it, it’s probably not going to happen with me,” he said. Ahead, see Blair’s eclectic apartment, from his orange-painted orgy centerpiece done by a Warhol protégé to a door he took from the last peep show on 42nd Street.
Take a tour
Our Renovation Diary has been following 6sqft writer Michelle Cohen as she takes on the challenge of transforming a Brooklyn townhouse in the historic Clinton Hill neighborhood into a site-sensitive modern home. She previously shared plans for the 150-year-old building and the first big steps she and her husband, a public health lawyer and antique lighting dealer, have taken to make their dream home a reality, including two years of hunting, planning the renovation, and assembling the professionals needed to make it happen (and how the homeowners made the best of all the waiting time). With Landmarks’ signoff and permits in hand, a year-long renovation began. Below, the results, with plenty of hindsight, advice, resources and construction photos on the way.
Hear from Michelle and see the transformation
Our series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to Cristiana Peña’s Prospect-Lefferts Gardens apartment. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
Cristiana Peña is one of those people who will make you feel like you’ve known her for years when you’ve only just met her–especially when you visit her at her equally warm Prospect-Lefferts Gardens home. After growing up in Rapid City, South Dakota (her father was in the Air Force) Cristiana moved to NYC for grad school in 2006 to study preservation. She quickly became a force in the field, working at Woodlawn Conservancy and Cemetery and lending her expertise and advocacy skills to countless groups across the city. Today, Cristiana also works as a social media strategist, a perfect fit for her creative and snappy personality and natural knack for striking up a conversation. So it comes as no surprise that her pre-war apartment is also full of personal stories. From a mobile that her dad got while deployed in Saudi Arabia to a lobster-shaped wine decanter she found while on a trip to Maine, nearly every eclectic find in Cristiana’s home comes with a childhood memory or a great tidbit about an antiquing outing.
Get to know Cristiana and take a tour of her home
Louise Phillips Forbes moved to NYC from Nashville to further her dance career on Broadway when she was in her 20s. When an injury forced her to change her plans, she fell into real estate, quickly realizing that not only had she found her home in New York, but also her true passion. For close to three decades now, Forbes has been a powerhouse in the real estate field; in fact, her sales team is the number one at Halstead with more than $3.5 billion in career sales.
But Louise has the highly coveted ability to truly balance her work and personal lives. At home, everything is about her husband and two sons and their time together. And when she renovated her Upper West Side apartment, this comfortable, welcoming feel was her number one priority. When she’s not closing sales or watching her sons’ hockey games, Louise can be found at her local Soul Cycle or serving on the board of Change for Kids, as well as the advisory committees for several non-profit arts organizations. To get a glimpse into how she does it all, 6sqft recently visited Louise, took a tour of her home, and got to know her a little better.
Take the tour and meet Louise