Real Estate

Home Tours | From Bachelor Pad to Soft Retreat

Written by: Dena Landon

Photography by: Robert Socha

Sue Simpson’s first home in Hoboken, a studio in the renovated Hudson Tea building, was a great refuge from her busy life in NYC. But after ten years, she outgrew the space. She wanted to move, but to stay in Hoboken.

The moment I walked in, I knew I had to make it happen.

It took one quick phone call to realtor Kaja Bolton, whom Sue had met through other residents in her building, to list her current place. In just one week she’d received three offers and knew she’d have to act fast! Kaja showed Sue a one bedroom + den in Maxwell Place that met all of Sue’s needs.

“It was slightly out of my price range,” says Sue, “but the moment I walked in, I knew I had to make it happen.” Kaja expertly handled the ins and outs of closing on one place and buying another, and Sue jokes that she switched from tea to coffee when she moved buildings.

Her new one bedroom plus den had more space but a distinct bachelor vibe. The previous owner had wallpapered the den in dark plaid and installed a dark brown wall unit, great for a man, but Sue knew it was the first room she’d redecorate.

The old wallpaper had to go, replaced with soft gray paint. Then she put in a slider wall-unit with high-gloss walls to add brightness and a daybed for visitors. The strategic use of mirrors and lighting expanded the smaller, windowless room.

The open kitchen and living room had been painted white and gray, but Sue wanted a softer cream. The previous owner generously left behind a heavy cement coffee table, and she negotiated to buy the TV and on-trend wooden console table under it for a significant discount – everything else she made her own.

An avid traveler, Sue picked up items on her travels to add her own touch. Plates from Vietnam, which she switches out occasionally to change up the color scheme, sit on the coffee table, and a watercolor painting she found in Venice hangs on the wall. A hand-carved replica of a traditional wooden Colombian canoe holds her magazines and other items.

She’s learned that it’s nicer to have less stuff around and be able to enjoy the apartment’s open space, and accomplishes this by making every object in her home count. Dabbling in interior design gave her an outlet for her creative side, not often called upon in her day job in banking.

Sue loves coming home to a feminine space after working long days in the high-pressure world of trust management. The light grays, marble, and spacious rooms create a vibe that she calls “spa-like.” She can work from home on Friday’s and enjoy the Manhattan view from her desk.

Even though she’s an extrovert, Sue thinks that she could never leave her apartment and she’d be content. It’s the perfect, feminine, place to relax after a long day in the city.