6sqft’s series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the Lincoln Square apartment of news anchors Jamie and Brian Stelter. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
If these two friendly faces look familiar it’s because they grace your television screen daily. Jamie Stelter has been NY1’s traffic reporter for the past eight years, gaining fame not only for her onscreen rapport with Pat Kiernan but for her naturally bubbly personality (especially important when you go on air at 5am!), and Brian Stelter is a former media reporter for the New York Times and the current senior media correspondent and host of “Reliable Sources” for CNN. And while this might sound like a recipe for one intimidating couple, the Stelters are about as down-to-earth and warm as they come.
6sqft recently visited the couple at their Lincoln Square apartment and saw what a typical afternoon looks like, from putting their adorable eight-month-old daughter Sunny down for a nap to Brian dashing out the door to CNN’s nearby offices (and Jamie and Sunny watching him on tv just a few moments later!). We were also treated to a tour of their boho-meets-family-friendly home, which is filled with DIY projects, adorable personal mementos, and a long list of Jamie’s stylish finds from her favorite Instagram feeds.
How did you two meet?
Jamie: On Twitter! I was tweeting during the big Christmas snow storm in 2010 that shut down the subway system and he was like WHO THAT GIRL?! Brian DM’ed Pat Kiernan, asked if I was single, and the rest is history.
Your first place together was in the West Village. What do you miss most about that neighborhood?
Jamie: Tortilla Flats
The living room rug is from the Brooklyn Flea, and the coffee table is from Etsy. Jamie made the art piece above the dining table based on something similar she saw on Instagram.
Why did you decide to move to the UWS?
Jamie: We needed another bedroom and because of the 24/7 nature of Brian’s job we wanted to be closer to CNN.
What are some of your favorite spots in the area?
The emoji wallpaper in Sunny’s room is another Etsy find.
Speaking of, Sunny Ray is such a beautiful name! How did you come up with it?
Jamie: Sunny is half because Brian is such a weather geek and weather played a big part in our dating life and the other half because it made us smile. Can you say Sunny and not smile? Try, you can’t. And Ray is for Ray Lamontagne. We went to his concert on September 26, 2011, and that’s the night I decided I didn’t want to date anyone else.
What’s the hardest part about having a baby in the city? And what about the best things?
Jamie: Lack of elevators at all subway stations. Otherwise, I think having a baby in the city is easy and so much fun. Going for really long walks, discovering new parts of Central Park, showing her all of our favorite spots — it’s awesome.
Jamie, you’ve been with NY1 since 2010, and you recently started a new, live three-hour morning show “Mornings on 1.” What about this new opportunity are you most excited about?
Jamie: The ability to talk more about the stories that matter, to react to news as it happens during the morning, and do more than just traffic during the show. It’s been a blast.
You’ve reported on traffic all over the tri-state area… What’s the best thing about doing so in NYC?
Jamie: That it’s information people actually need and use every single morning and that because I’m already at work reporting on it, I never have to sit in it 🙂
There are so many big issues affecting New York commuters today. What do you think will be the big story of 2018?
Jamie: Fixing the aging, struggling subway system and planning for the L train shutdown in 2019
What’s your subway pet peeve?
Jamie: People who don’t let you get off the train before they try and muscle their way on.
What does a typical day look like for you? How has your routine changed since having a baby?
Jamie: Everything has changed since Sunny — for the best! The days are long and exhausting but I’m so lucky because I have great what I call “mom hours” — I’m up at 2:54am, on air from 5:08 through 9:38 every morning, then I try to workout and prep dinner for Brian and me before relieving our wonderful nanny. Then it’s the best part of the day–Sunny time! We play — Brian too, when he’s home — until she goes to bed around 5:30pm. Then Brian and I have dinner and maybe watch a show before I go to bed… by 7-8pm’ish.
How do you coordinate your different work-sleep schedules?
Jamie: Lol, coordinate? We’re constantly strategizing. We’re lucky that Brian can be home a lot during the late afternoon hours before Sunny and I go to sleep, so we try to make the most of that time.
I hear you’re a new coffee drinker. Any recommendations for best coffee shops?
Jamie: I wish I drank coffee more leisurely but the truth is I need it fast and I want it strong — so it’s usually the Nespresso machine at work and home.
Jamie and Sunny watch Brian on CNN–he was in the apartment just 10 minutes earlier!
Brian, you mentioned that part of the draw of this apartment is that it’s within walking distance to CNN’s studio. Do you come home for lunch?
Brian: Every day is different. Some days I’m home for every meal and some days I have to heat up Jamie’s latest creation hours after she’s made and eaten it.
How do you transition from the very serious news you’re covering to a more relaxed home life?
Brian: I don’t? but Sunny giggling is a good reality check.
“Reliable Sources” focuses on the American news media. Obviously, there are many huge topics affecting the nation today. What do you think will be the big story of 2018?
Brian: How the Trump age and the #metoo movement intersect at the ballot box for the midterms.
The big planter next to the window is from Pop Up Greens. There are a couple more throughout the apartment.
What aesthetic were you going for when decorating the apartment?
Jamie: I like an eclectic bohemian vibe. I want it to feel like my parents could have lived here in the ’70s. Then make it as cozy as possible.
Did you have any challenges mixing your styles?
Jamie: No, because Brian didn’t bring any specific style with him? 🙂
What about Sunny’s nursery. How did you incorporate a baby-friendly theme without going into all the old-fashioned pink and ruffles?
Jamie: I really wanted the nursery to feel like an extension of the rest of our place. We didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl but I didn’t want that to mean that everything was grey with cute animals. I’m really not into ruffles or cutesy decor, so I decorated the room the same way I did the rest of the apartment — but I added a furry stool and furry rug because I thought a baby would like the extra soft touches.
So many of your finds are from Instagram. What are some of your favorite accounts to follow?
Jamie: Most of my follows and purchases begin with the cool moms I follow from overseas: @jetsetmama @innikachoo @little.winnie. Otherwise, for decor and apartment stuff, I get ideas from @thebloomingloom @modernmacrame @sara_waiste @houseplantclub, and OMG I’m loving/following @mandymooremm‘s house renovation.
You’ve added a lot of macrame touches. How did you get into this and where do you find them?
Jamie: Like everything in my life, I first saw it on Instagram. Then I did some digging on Etsy and became a bit obsessed. They make them in all shapes and sizes, at all price points. So we have a giant thick intricate one above Sunny’s crib, a looser one hung as a sort of curtain in our bedroom, and smaller ones throughout the rest of our place.
This old safe is one of Jamie’s Brooklyn Flea finds.
You mentioned a lot of your furniture finds are from the Brooklyn Flea. Is it important for you to shop local and support small businesses?
Jamie: It is. I love the stories behind old pieces — things that have lived many lives before coming into mine, and more recently as I’ve done a lot of shopping on Instagram and Etsy, I like to support women-owned and operated businesses.
Do you have a favorite piece of art or decor?
Jamie: I love the framed picture of Sunny as an embryo from the day of our IVF transfer that we hung above her changing table. The DM that Brian sent to Pat that’s framed and hanging above my nightstand is another favorite. And the yellow painting that hung in my mom’s childhood bedroom growing up, that’s now in our entryway is forever my favorite piece of art.
© All images taken by James and Karla Murray exclusively for 6sqft