Last fall we teamed up with sparkling red wine brand Fizz56 to bring two winners home makeovers. Our grand prize winner won a complete room redesign for her Chicago studio, while our second place winner, 24-year-old Amellia Quap, won a $1000 room restyle with items from one our favorite online boutiques, Lulu and Georgia! From the time she won, Amellia has since moved to a new apartment in New York City; her new roommate David Dailey just so happened to have killer taste and the apartment looked pretty fabulous in our opinion. So while the $1000 in Lulu and Georgia goodies went primarily toward styling Amellia’s bedroom, we asked the big city roommates if they’d share the full home tour with our readers. Lucky for everyone, they agreed! It’s amazing how much style they packed into their small, two-bedroom West Village apartment. Step inside…
Name: Amellia Quapp
Location: New York, New York
Current Title/Company: Assistant Merchandiser/Club Monaco
Educational Background: B.S.B.A. in International Business and a minor in French from the University of Denver
Congrats on winning the Fizz56/Lulu and Georgia Room Restyling! Tell us a bit about yourself. Where you’re from, what you do, etc.
Thank you! I grew up in Idaho, went to school in Colorado, and moved to New York about a year and a half ago; I am excited to have a place to plant my roots and call home. I work for Club Monaco as a Men’s Assistant Merchandiser and very much enjoy what I do. When I’m not working I love discovering the city, whether it’s going to a new art exhibit or strolling down a street I haven’t explored.
What was your first job out of college, and how did you land it?
It was at Juicy Couture as an ecommerce Merchandise Assistant. The 16 year old in me was ecstatic and I couldn’t have asked for a better team to begin my career with. I landed the interview through a recruiter, which was helpful because I didn’t have many professional connections in the city at the time.
How did you find your current place and what drew you to it? Do you rent or own? In any other part of the country it might sound bananas, but I met my roommate, David, on Craigslist. He had been living in the apartment for two years before I moved in and I knew it was the right fit at first sight! David had the apartment decorated beautifully and I couldn’t wait to move in. The apartment is in a great location, close to work and close to some of the best restaurants in the city. Its New York, we rent.
The Living Space
Amellia’s Bedroom Restyle
What were you hoping to get out of the winnings? Were there any accent pieces you’d always wanted but hadn’t invested in yet (accent pieces meaning rug, mirrors, art, pillows, window covering, decor, etc.)?
When I entered the contest, before I moved, my goal was to transform my old living room into an enjoyable place to entertain and comfortably live. I wanted to be able to step into my apartment and feel at home. I moved to NYC with almost no furniture or decor, and winning this contest was a great way to speed up the decorating process. Then I moved in with David, and the living area was already decorated, so I was able to liven up my bedroom! I was actually really excited to receive the rug in my bedroom and love the turquoise rug we chose! It really brings the room together and adds warmth, and had it not been for this contest I don’t know if I would have made the investment. But what an amazing difference everything makes.
What is your favorite new piece?
Definitely the ceramic French Bulldog. I feel like it brings a whimsical touch to my bedroom and it such an attention grabber. It reminds me of my dogs back home but thankfully won’t need to be walked in the dead of winter.
Tell us about NYC living! How do you best utilize the small space?
I have never lived in a more exciting city. No matter the day, there is always something to do or a new food craze to indulge in. One minor downside is the small space, but David and I have found great solutions to utilizing every nook. For example, there is storage under the couch. If you lift up my bed skirt, you’ll find the beginnings of an Imelda Marcos sized shoe collection. Another space saving habit is to not “stock up” on beauty product and toss clothing that we do not wear. We surround ourselves with things that we love and always live by my sister’s motto, “Buy nice or buy twice.”
From the time you won this contest to now, you’ve moved! Apartment hunting in NYC can be a challenge… any advice for people looking to apartment hunt in NYC? How did you find your place?
You could start looking a few months in advance, but chances are you won’t find ‘the one’ until about a month before you move in. Avoiding a brokers fee was a huge goal of mine, so I reached out to everyone I knew but nothing felt like the right fit. I had been looking on Craigslist and then I came across David’s posting! Once we met and I saw the apartment, I crossed my fingers and hoped that he was just as excited about me moving in as I was. Overall, my biggest piece of advice would be to be persistent and everything will work out.
Your new roommate is David, a guy with great style! Tell us about decorating the common spaces to reflect both of you! How did you go about doing that?
David has great taste and has taught me not to be afraid of updating a space with a little paint and creativity. I love his style, so when I moved in I felt completely at home. The apartment was a touch more masculine when I first moved in, but we have slowly added some feminine touches; though I must say that the Picasso was all David’s doing. Bringing in some simple white frames helped to finalize the gallery wall in the living room and tie back to the white Lulu and Georgia pillows. We brought in a little bit of Alabama (David’s home state) and Idaho (my home state) by framing our state outlines and hanging them above the stove. Together, we found the perfect way to reflect both of our styles through a balance of masculine and feminine pieces, unexpected accents, and personalized touches.
How will you be celebrating with your case of Fizz56 sparkling wine?
David and I plan to invite a couple friends over to celebrate my birthday in early October. We live in a small space, but the location is amazing and is a perfect meeting spot for our friends from across the city.
What advice would you give your 23-year old self?
Be spontaneous. I had always planned to move to New York after college and secure a job in fashion and at 23 I was so focused on achieving that goal that I sometimes forgot to live in the moment. Spontaneity is a quality I am always working towards and I cherish all the spontaneous adventures that have added quality and unforgettable memories to my life.
GET THE LOOK from Lulu & Georgia