Apartment Therapy Takes a Tour of my New York City Apartment

Apartment Therapy reached out to me a few months ago after finding photos of my New York City apartment on Instagram. I was stoked. My apartment is an embodiment of my personality, the things/people/places I love and making it become a home has truly been a therapeutic process. I was thrilled to share it with Apartment Therapy and it’s readers. Photographer Chinasa Cooper came to my little Greenwich Village apartment to capture it and hear my story. This post was created for and originally published on Apartment Therapy.

Mandy Ansari, founder of Girl and the Bay, found inspiration for her NYC apartment design from her favorite places: her birthplace of France, her hometown (the Bay Area), and her happy place (Palm Springs). (Image Credit: Chinasa Cooper)

This Cozy New York Apartment’s Decor Was Inspired by Three Important Places


Name: Mandy Ansari
Location: Greenwich Village — Manhattan, New York City
Size: 850 square feet
Years lived in:  1 year, renting

Mandy Ansari is the founder of Girl and the Bay, a blog dedicated to helping others “chase their happiness.” She’s designed her apartment to evoke three places that are near and dear to her heart: her birthplace of France, her hometown (Bay Area), and her happy place (Palm Springs). These locations have inspired the design in her apartment; elements of these places can be found in the “colors, prints, textures, wallpaper, or plants” within the apartment. The wallpaper in her office features inspirational and significant figures from the Bay Area. Her kitchen chairs were inspired by a rocking chair from her childhood home in Oakland. And a gorgeous gallery wall [Mandy’s proudest DIY] features photos and maps from the places she’s traveled to.

In capturing these locations in the design and decor, Mandy shares part of her story with anyone who walks through the door. One friend described the apartment as “a museum of trinkets and things that I see in cutesy gift stores and want to buy, but think ‘I don’t have a use for this’.” For Mandy, that comment sums up her approach to decorating. “If something feels like ‘me,’ I’ve got to have it,” she says. “I love that my space feels like an embodiment of my personal brand. It’s my first place on my own without roommates and it should feel and look like ME.”

When decorating a home, Mandy has three tips: “comparison is the thief of joy”, “good things take time”, and use “the process of elimination” to understand what you don’t like and hone in on what you do (see survey below for more depth).

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Mid-Century Color Chic

Inspiration: Home is where the heart is and for me, my heart is in many places. A piece of my heart forever belongs to France (my birthplace), a big chunk is with the Bay Area (I grew up in Oakland and moved to Manhattan from San Francisco), and my happy place is Palm Springs. All three of these locations inspired me. Whether it be colors, prints, textures, wallpaper, or plants—I wanted to make sure there were elements representing the places I love to help make my New York City house (errr, apartment) a home. 

Favorite Element: There are so many things I love about my apartment decor because I truly collected and thoughtfully curated each piece. From the oversized macrame rope lights in my bedroom and office, my Michelle Obama candle, Leonardo DiCaprio Jesus, and “Mrs. Doubtfire” prints, to the Bay Area Toile wallpaper from Flavor Paper in my office/guest room space—it’s hard to pick just one piece! 

Biggest Challenge: I truly feel so at-home and thankful for my space, but not having a dining table can be a challenge because I love cooking, entertaining, and hosting. That’s why I was intent on making use of my kitchen counter space and utilizing it as an island. Growing up, my dad would always sit on a rocking chair we had picked up on the side of the street in Oakland for free. When we eventually moved out of my childhood home, I was so sad we parted with that treasure. It was a cane Breuer rocking chair and I always wanted to have a similar piece when I was old enough to have a place of my own. I searched high and low to find stools that were affordable, yet the classic Breuer style. I was so happy to find four beautiful pieces that looked just like the rocking chair I had as a child, but with a modern twist. 

What Friends Say: Friends always make comments that my apartment is as colorful as my personality, and that looks like an embodiment of my Pinterest boards. My favorite recent comment by a friend: “Your apartment looks like a museum of trinkets and things that I see in cutesy gift stores and want to buy, but think ‘I don’t have a use for this.’” I think that comment perfectly sums up my sense of joie de vivre. If something feels like “me,” I’ve got to have it. I love that my space feels like an embodiment of my personal brand. It’s my first place on my own without roommates and it should feel and look like ME. 

Biggest Embarrassment: Definitely the fact that each closet requires extra force (literally, you’ll need to put your back into it) to close. Lord help the person who opens up one of my closet doors because this New York City apartment’s every nook and cranny of storage is filled to brim. 

Proudest DIY: DEFINITELY my living room gallery wall. I had a vision of creating a floor-to-ceiling gallery wall that had a certain je ne sais quoi. I’m a big ball of organized chaos, so the perfect gallery wall was very much imperfectly perfect in my head. I love that people notice something new every time they look at this wall. I have everything from my parent’s favorite records to photos I’ve taken on my travels to framed greeting cards making up my wall of art. There is so much happening on this wall, but the simple white backdrop makes every piece feel very deliberate and the entire wall somewhat organized. The mixed mediums create a great layered sense of texture on the wall, and I love that the gallery is floor-to-ceiling and incorporates the furniture so it flows seamlessly with the room.

Biggest Indulgence: I wanted to invest in a dresser that would withstand the test of time (aka me stuffing each drawer with as much clothing as humanly possible). I loved my bedroom set in San Francisco, but it didn’t make financial sense to move it cross-country. My mom was in need of a new set and luckily the bed, dresser, and nightstand I had fit her needs perfectly. In exchange, she surprised me with a version of the same dresser that would work for my new space. It was a lovely housewarming gift that I would have had a hard time purchasing myself (moving into a new space in Manhattan isn’t too easy on the bank account) upon moving in. 

Best Advice: We live in a time where entire homes appear to be completely redecorated in the span of one TV show and blogs make DIY projects look super easy and totally affordable. My best advice is broken into three tips:

Comparison is the thief of joy: Don’t compare your square footage, budget, speed, or taste to anyone else. It’s easy to get discouraged when you compare and that’ll take the fun out of the decorating process. It’s not every day you move into a new place or have a chance to redecorate. Don’t rob yourself of the joy that comes with the process.

Good things take time: Creating a home is like a never-ending love story. Allow yourself time to find those special pieces. Don’t make hasty decisions. Don’t cut corners because you’re pressuring yourself with an unrealistic timeline to finish the process. Allow yourself space to let your style evolve (I intentionally left blank spaces on my gallery wall because I knew I’d see prints in NYC that I would want to add. I still have some open spaces and I’ve also filled up a few).

The process of elimination: It’s so much easier to express what you dislike than what you like. When you make a list of the things you dislike, you can easily eliminate and hone in on your personal aesthetic. For example, an abstract print might remind you of something in your childhood that you don’t want in your own space, or a leather chair might bring back memories of being sent to time-outs for annoying your little cousin. In the same way, a certain material might evoke feelings of nostalgia that are important for you to feel cozy. These memories and reactions are super personal and unique, but are what make up your decor aesthetic.



Sven Sofa — Article

Marble Top Pedestal Table — West Elm

Velvet Haverhill Chairs — Anthropologie

Media Stand — All Modern

Fuchsia And Aqua Persian Style Amira Area Rug — World Market

Candlesticks — Collected from Flea Markets, Thrift Stores and Travels

Round Decorative Mirror – Target

Macramé Hanging Plant Holders – CB2

Gallery Wall Frames – Minted, Framebridge Instagram Frames (So fun! I printed images straight from my Instagram Account) for corners to frame the wall in clean lines – everything inside the borders is thrifted (collected from Brooklyn Flea, Grand Bazaar NYC, Housing Works)

Velvet Seashell Pillow — Adaptations NY

Hanging Monkey Light — Wayfair

Vega Brushed Light Fixture — CB2


Bar Stools — Seats & Stools

Austin Light Fixture — Illuminate Vintage

Dinosaur Cookie Jar — Adaptations NY

Lauren Wall Shelf — Urban Outfitters


Avalon Channel Stitched Velvet Bed — PB Teen

Macramé Rope Light — Mission Loft

Clementine Tiger Wallpaper — Anewall

Audrey 6 Drawer Dresser — West Elm

Mendelsohn Vintage Persian Rug – Rugs USA

Round Decorative Mirror – Target


Acrylic Desk — CB2

Macramé Rope Light — Mission Loft

Bay Area Toile Wallpaper — Flavor Paper

Neon Woven Wall Hanging — Shop Leo Kids

Eames Chair — Poly & Bark

Circle Wall Shelf — Target

Navy Velvet Curtains – Amazon

Twin Sleeper Sofa – Wayfair

Cozy Rainbow Morrocan Rug – Urban Outfitters

Gold Wire Rolling Cart – World Market


Gold Wire Rolling Cart – World Market

Neon Shower Curtain — Quiet Town Home

Macramé Hanging Plant Holders – CB2

Vintage Barbie and Ken Prints — Vintage Barbie and Ken

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Planning your next vacation or family reunion? Consider heading to Florida and booking a stay in The Sweet Escape candy-themed mansion! Located in Mount Dora, FL (about 35 minutes away from Orlando and Disney World), this 8,400+ square foot vacation home is a sweet retreat for kids and adults alike!

This resort features the world’s only ice cream cone shaped swimming pool – complete with a Hershey’s chocolate slide, a cherry-on-top hot tub, AND an entire splash park. Plus, every room in the house features a different candy theme (including the bathrooms!). They even offer a 6-star service, so your family may never want to leave!

Around the estate, you can expect to find the following:

10 bedrooms
30 beds (enough for up to 52 people!)
5 1/2 bathrooms
2 enormous kitchens
3 living rooms
Several porches & decks
Indoor AND outdoor poolside movie theaters
Massage room with sauna
Enormous theme-park like grilling & entertainment area
…and more!

Here’s a peak inside The Sweet Escape vacation home:

The Cereal Killer is the smaller, less formal of The Sweet Escape’s two kitchens. It features extensive cabinetry, beautiful counter tops, and cooking supplies & appliances. You’ll also find a whimsical theme featuring characters from popular breakfast cereals.

This beautifully themed living room & playroom immerses you in the world of gum. You’ll be surrounded by large colorful images of people blowing their very best bubbles while a large mirror challenges you to create your very own! There are even dozens of props of chewing gum stuck to the ceiling in a tasteful way that makes them look almost like twinkling star lights.

No bedroom of its kind exists anywhere else in the universe! As you enter The Milky Way Galaxy Room, you’ll access your top secret mission via the in-wall computer tablet. It includes two themed bunk beds and has additional room to sleep even more people via air (space) mattress.

As you lay in the gorgeously decorated King-sized bed, you’ll be staring up at “clouds” of cotton candy floating on the ceiling. In front of you, is a huge carnival games booth that lights up—and is filled with decorative prizes, games, & more. This romantic bedroom is designed with adults in mind but also has plenty of kid appeal as well.

The Pepsi Room features incredible custom mural work, a classic pinball machine, Pepsi board games & books, a ceiling filled with Pepsi ad slogans from the 20th century, a flat screen TV & DVD player, & more.

You will also find a Coca-Cola room that features a vintage Coca-Cola machine, a ceiling covered with Coca-Cola ad slogans from the 20th century, and more.

The Lollipop Ball room is every child’s fantasy! The room is literally filled with thousands of colorful air-filled balls to play and “splash” in! On one wall is a mural of a giant TOE and next to it are orange and white packs of Tic-Tac’s velcroed to the wall. Players put the TIC-TACs into grid pattern squares painted over the toe— literally playing TIC-TAC TOE.

The Hershey Kiss Room is carried out in great detail from the customized art work on the walls to the “lips” loveseat. Guests typically report the Kisses room as one of the best places in the estate to rekindle romance! It even has its own private balcony!

At The Sweet Escape, even the bathrooms are incredible! Fans of the popular candy will want to “chase the rainbow” in the Skittles Bathroom.

Other bathrooms include The Candy Land Bathroom, The Toilette De La Tooth Fairy Bathroom, The Eye Candy Bathroom, The Cupcake Bathroom, and The Dental Hygiene Bathroom.

Sing, dance, play, and perform in the main house’s 1200+ square foot “ice cream social” night club with disco lighting, karaoke, an arcade full of commercial video game machines, and more.

Outdoors, your whole group will enjoy billiards, a candy themed putt-putt miniature golf course, volleyball, tether-ball, a human Candy Land board, giant checkers & chess, grilling station, pool area dining for 30+ people, & more.

Want to book a stay at The Sweet Escape?

Prices vary from $1,095-$1,875 per night, depending on the season. For booking information, visit their Airbnb listing or check out the current rates on The Sweet Escape website.

This Totally Rad Airbnb Property Will Take You Back to the ’80s!

The post This Candy-Themed Florida Mansion is The Sweetest Vacation Home We’ve Ever Seen appeared first on Hip2BeHome.

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