6sqft’s series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to social media expert and doodle mom Paige Chernick’s studio on the Upper East Side. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
Paige Chernick’s Upper East Side apartment is immaculate, with everything in its place, no clutter in sight and not even one strand of dog hair. Besides the poufy poodles greeting you at the door, there are no immediate signs that dogs really live here. And then, upon closer examination, you’ll see the basket of plush dog toys in the corner, the framed photos of sister doodles Charlie and Sawyer wearing bathrobes in a tub and the spacious closet reserved just for their stuff.
While you may not be familiar with Paige, who is a Long Island native and social media manager, you probably know her dogs. On a joint Instagram account (@puppynamedcharlie), rescue doodles Charlie and Sawyer have amassed over 90,000 fans from around the world, all who follow the adorable duo’s adventures across New York City and beyond. Self-described dog ‘momager,’ Paige has turned this hobby into a legitimate side-hustle. Paige and her pups recently gave 6sqft a tour of her spacious studio, which she describes as “metallic, minimalist and modern.”
Can you tell me about yourself? Where did you grow up and how long have you lived in New York City?
I grew up on Long Island, not too far from the city. I frequently came into the city with friends and family throughout my life. It was always somewhere I knew I would end up living as an adult. I moved to the city approximately 5 years ago.
You started your own social media consultancy business. How did “Paige Knows First” come to be?
I had always worked in Social Media Marketing on some level, both during college (in my internships) and after college, at my first job. While working for a large company and handling all of their social channels, I saw the growing need for Social Media Management for businesses and decided to start my own company and represent different brands along the way.
Charlie works her angles for Paige
And your second full-time job –as you describe it in your Twitter bio– is being a dog “momager” to your two adorable pups. Tell us more about rescuing Charlie and Sawyer.
I started an Instagram account for my dog, Charlie, a few years ago. It was meant to be just for fun. The account was a way for me to post photos and videos of her without saturating my own personal feeds. But then people all around the world started following her and actually became interested in her daily life and travels with me. I then adopted my second dog, Sawyer, a few months after making the account, and after featuring the two of them together, it really took off.
Instead of just a hobby, it became a “side hustle” for me. It’s very much tied into my existing business since most of their influencer campaigns and marketing opportunities are related to Instagram. I consider them to be my two cutest clients. You can follow them at @puppynamedcharlie on Instagram.
Sawyer (left) is two years old and Charlie (right) is five years old
How did they become Instagram famous? Any advice for dog parents who aspire to put their pets in the limelight?
I would say that the ones who are trying too hard to make their pet “famous” are the ones who will probably fail. Instagram works well when things happen organically. You can definitely tell the difference between those who are trying, and those who just have really interesting and unique content. I never went into this saying “I’m going to make my dog famous.” Our fans really enjoy seeing the special bond that Charlie and Sawyer have. It’s the random, unposed, and unexpected posts that get peoples’ attention.
Can you tell us how you landed on the Upper East Side neighborhood? Was it difficult to find a dog-friendly building?
I originally knew I wanted to live on the Upper East Side when I was ready to move into the city. I loved the neighborhood feel. I was also considering the Upper West Side but felt more at home on the East Side (and closer to Long Island, where I am from). When I left my last apartment on the Upper East Side, just a few blocks away, I was very attached to this neighborhood so I knew I wanted to stay close by.
Finding a dog-friendly building is definitely getting easier as time goes on because more and more people are getting dogs and there is certainly a demand for it. Typically the luxury buildings and rental buildings allow dogs more than the brownstones do. When I moved into this current apartment, it was a bit of a challenge for me to find a building that would allow not one, but two dogs! That is certainly more difficult to find.
Paige found this mirrored Anthropologie vanity, one of her favorite pieces, on Craigslist
In a few words, how would you describe the aesthetic of your apartment?
I really hate clutter, so I tried to have a minimalist approach when I was choosing furniture and decor. I’m really into pieces that offer storage without appearing bulky. Luckily I have a LOT of closet space in this apartment, more than I’ve seen in most one bedrooms, so I am able to stay very organized and utilize the closet space efficiently. I also love combining mixed metallics and mirrored items. I would say my apartment is pretty much “Metallic, Minimalist, and Modern.”
You found a lot of your furniture on Craigslist and discount sites. Do you have a favorite piece?
I think my two favorite pieces in the apartment are my bar cart and my vanity. In my last apartment, I wasn’t able to have either because of space constraints. It was really important for me to have both of these items in this apartment because not only are they beautiful to look at, but they both offer functions and storage space for items which I utilize a lot: wine and makeup! The bar cart was a Wayfair deal and it was actually the first piece I purchased for the apartment before I even moved in.
The vanity was a Craigslist find that someone was getting rid of. It’s from Anthropologie and it was in perfect condition. It’s all mirrored glass with beautiful etched details and crystal knobs. I was shocked to come across a piece this beautiful on Craigslist. I hopped in an Uber the minute I found it online and brought it back to the Upper East Side. It’s definitely the nicest piece in the apartment, but it was also the cheapest.
The apartment comes with a ton of closet space, enough for Charlie and Sawyer to have their own section!
Do you ever find it difficult to own two dogs in an NYC studio apartment? Do you have a spot in your home that’s strictly for dog purposes?
My entire apartment is dog-friendly. Wherever I go, they go. I grew up with dogs my entire life. They always slept in my bed, cuddled on the couch, and made my home into their home. I don’t think it’s necessarily the size of your apartment or home that matters, it’s your access to outdoor space that is important.
I live across the street from one of the best parks in New York City and my dogs are able to run and play every single day. They get more exercise than most dogs who have real backyards. My apartment also happens to be very long, which comes in handy for a nice game of indoor fetch on a rainy day. They are definitely happy in the space and have plenty of places to roam. They even have their own closet. Yes, really.
Above the bar cart, this world map shows all the places Paige has traveled. The red pins show where she, Charlie and Sawyer were born
Illustrations of Carl Schurz Dog Run, the trio’s favorite park
What are some of the best dog-friendly activities in your neighborhood?
I have to say, most of the people I know on the Upper East Side (and in the city for that matter) have a dog. Most of them I have met because of Instagram and it’s become an incredible community. Because of this, I have learned about wonderful dog-friendly spots and restaurants in the area. Our go-to spot is Carl Schurz Dog Run, a beautiful dog park right on the East River Promenade. On the weekends, you can find us in Central Park for the off-leash hours. Most of the restaurants with outdoor seating in my neighborhood are extremely dog-friendly and will even give your dog water and treats. I feel pretty comfortable bringing them everywhere, especially during the warmer months when we can be outside more.
What about people-friendly? Do you have any favorite spots that you recommend?
I tend to frequent the same restaurants and bars in my neighborhood because once you find somewhere good, you always want to go back. I love Cascabel Taqueria, Gracie Mews Diner, The Cantor Roof Garden Bar at the Met, Sarabeth’s, Bluestone Lane, DTUT, Pio Pio, Pick a Bagel, Vella Wine Bar, Shake Shack, Flex Mussels, Elio’s, Yura, The Auction House, Pressed Juicery, and Treat House. I know I am forgetting a few but those are the first to come to mind. Can you tell I like food?
How do you typically spend a weekend?
I am a morning person, so I love waking up early and walking to Central Park with the dogs. They have off-leash hours until 9 am, so it’s great to walk around the park and grab coffee with friends while the dogs play. It’s been one of my favorite weekend rituals for many years. Then I usually incorporate brunch into my weekend with friends. There’s always a new place to try or a classic to re-visit. Whenever I can, I try to get out of the city as much as possible. I love going upstate, or spending time on Long Island. I’m a big fan of the outdoors and I try to always be on the go.
Outside of the UES, which NYC neighborhoods do you like visiting and which ones do you hope to explore more?
I really love exploring more of the downtown neighborhoods: TriBeCa, West Village, Battery City. I feel like those neighborhoods are changing the fastest so it’s always exciting to see the new places, restaurants and sites that are developing down there.
I like going to different parts of Brooklyn to see friends who live there as well. Brooklyn is a lot of fun, especially in Williamsburg or Prospect Park. It’s very easy to stay in my UES bubble, so I have to remind myself that there’s an entire city to explore!
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Neighborhoods : Upper East Side