Eye Spy: Astoria


On a fairly regular basis, I find myself nearly walking into sign posts or tripping off of curbs whilst walking down the street as I’m straining my neck in order to peer into stranger’s half open windows. I’m terribly nosy and I don’t mind being inappropriate about it. If you’ve invited me into your house and dare to leave me alone long enough for you to use the bathroom, it’s likely that when you return you’ll catch me peeking into your fridge or abruptly shutting a junk drawer. I love seeing how people live. It’s why I was a real estate agent for three weeks.

However it’s not often that we’re granted unrestricted access into people’s abodes, so I decided to do ya’ll folks who are as meddling as me a favor and start apartment tours right here on therheeldaze. Seeing as no one has offered to allow me to snoop around their own quarters with a camera crew thus far, I’ve decided to start with mine in Astoria, Queens.

C’mon in!


When you first enter my apartment you’ll be bombarded by pretty much my life story. I had a whole bunch of my favorite photos printed onto foam board. It was slightly pricey but cheaper than buying a hundred little frames and you can continually add to it with ease. If a guest is interested in my picture wall, it serves as an immediate conversation piece, and if they’re not, well then they can just get the hell out.


You can click on any of the photos to make them bigger.

What I love most about my apartment is how much all of my friends have contributed to it. The frog mosaic on the wall is one of my favorite pieces and was made for me by my friend Philip and the stained glass window was featured here and put together by my uncle George.

fridge collage

The fridge is always a perfect place to clutter with random stuff that you know you want displayed but can’t quite fit into any other space. My aunt Nicole made me these clothespin magnets that you can stick pictures in and my friend Jackie got me this steamed vegetables sign as a house warming gift because I’m all vegetarian now.

living room

This wasn’t intentional, but my living room seemed to develop an Africa theme the more I added on to it.

living room collage

People are always asking me if I made these animal heads, which in turn makes makes me wonder if my friends think I’m extraordinarily gifted or that they look ridiculous. I did not make them. I got them from Anthropologie. However I did come up with the idea for these bamboo shelves. I ordered a bunch of the sticks online and bought some cheap metal brackets to fasten them to. All you need to know is how to use a drill. Luckily I’ve got a great tutorial for you right here.


This is a bathroom. My toilet has the kind of handle you’d use your foot to flush if you were in a bar or at the train station so it makes me feel right at home.


 I found this painting in the garbage.


Sometimes I feel like I’m sleeping inside a Tiffany’s box.


I bought this jingly sash-type thing at a flea market in Bosnia because my friend Lisa and I like to shake it at the Sunday night drum circle in Clearwater. I was so excited to have authentic gypsy gear for us to adorn ourselves with until I got there and saw at least twelve other people wearing the exact same ones. I have since come to find that you can find these at pretty much any Renaissance fair and sometimes Target.

bedroom collageWe had this flower bottle in the upstairs bathroom of the the house I grew up in and these Jesus candles I bought in preparation for hurricane Sandy. I was mainly worried about the electricity going out but I’m guessing going with God never hurts. The frog prince is from my grandmother. On it, she’s attached a note that says “Just one kiss, Kelly Muffin?” I think it’s her not so subtle way of telling me I need a man.

haunted slippers

I swear these slippers are haunted.


Finally, of all of the wonderful things in my apartment, the little Kitty is my favorite by far.

Dan and Kim

Thank you so much to Doctor Dan and Nurse Kim (seriously) for coming over and taking such beautiful pictures with their super fancy camera. This was a really cool project that I recommend for anyone who hearts their home as much as I do.

  • Lisa

    I absolutely agree about the picture wall. Dougie and I swore by it. If a person shows no interest when they first walk into your home, they really have no interest in you. It’s a fun little project that never fails! Haha. And…. I did not realize that your toilet flushes like one at a bar! That IS very cool! HA

    • Kelly

      I remember you and your picture books! I was really just kidding about dismissing anyone who’s not interested in my photos. I’ve had a number of people who walk straight by it and never say a word and that’s fine, but for those who do stop really seem intrigued by it and it’s fun to tell them stories inspired by what’s on the wall. One of my favorite stories to tell is about the two photos of you in front of the tank from when they were filming Godzilla in Herald Square. Love you!

  • Oma

    Yes Kelly, this week I totally like your Blog!!!! your Apartment is “COOL” as you younger ones say, and I totally am impressed.
    {It did not hurt nether that I saw some pictures on the wall from me in younger Days
    , so just for this I will give you an authentic Mask from Africa which I picked up on a Spartanburg International Fair.) See, I truly love you, Muffin.

    • Kelly

      I thought you’d like this one! Whew! The pressure was on from last week!

  • Rochelle Migliore

    I like this post a lot. A couple places ago, I bought a bunch of different colored/sized frames from the Salvation Army and put old Mark Ryden postcards in them, then played curator and hung them on my living room wall in different assortments. The postcards were cool, but didn’t have any special meaning to me, so I recently gave them away. Last night I put a picture on the SSR fb page of my office wall that I started putting pictures of dogs (and 1 cat) that clients have given me over the years on.

    Your place is great! :)

    • Kelly

      Thanks Rochelle. This one was a lot of fun to do! PIctures make everything so much more personal. Just look at how all of the comments so far about them. I love all of your dog pictures by the way. You do a really good job with them. I always love how they are from their vantage point and up close. Their personalities come through and I feel like I get to know them individually. Nice job!

  • Vanna

    I am in the midst of doing the guest room(your room) and am always looking for inspiration. Seeing as this whole house of mine is a project I can’t wait to spy in other peeps places! This apartment tour idea is fantastic!! And I too peer into strangers windows when I can…which sounds creepy but whatever!

    • Kelly

      Get it did and I’ll do an apt tour Minneapolis!

  • Gabriele

    Do you remember when we would drive past homes at night, and noitce how some people painted their living rooms and how they decorated the homes. There was one inparticular that we really liked. You went home and had dad paint his living room the same way. We made multiple trips past that place by Mountainview Ave for decorating tips. It was green and white. Sound familiar? I think we went too far when we started using the binoculars. One of the benefits of being a Home Care nurse is that you get to go to peoples homes and see how they live. The poor patient living with a view of the Hudson River would be gasping for air, asking for Oxygen, and I would also be beath taken… by the view…saying wait a minute. I have to see this. I also demanded tours of the homes from time to time. I went to homes that were palacial mansions over looking the Hudson and to the homes of hoarders where you couldn’t sit any where (or want to) and to people that lived in places that I thought was a detached garagem, not a home. It was the filthy hoarders who would want to offer me food. Ugh! Thanks, but no thanks. I saw tables that had “moving surfaces.” What the hell… yikes, they were covered with bugs! Abby & I would make visits and tell each other..you have to go to that home, it is soooo charming. Never mind how wonderful or sick the patient was. We have our prioroties. I also love my decorating magazines. Now that I think of it, with the spin you are putting onto the topic, I guess you could referr to them as “busy body magazines!” What’s in YOUR home! Love you!
    Love you!

    • Kelly

      You are truly an honor to your profession. Thanks mommy!

    • Lloyd

      The nut — err, apple, doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  • George

    I was thinking of something entirely different when you told you me you had a lot of hard wood in your bedroom. Thanks for clearing that up.

    • Kelly

      I was waiting for your comment telling me I was going to be dismembered for showing my apartment.

  • Auntie Nic

    First of all…thanks for the shout out. Always happy when I make the cut. Now all my friends will know I do in fact have fridge cred. I need to kick it up a notch. That frog mosaic is awesome. Secondly, back in the day of California living I used to go for late night walks around my ‘hood (Tortilla flats they called it and by late night I mean 3:30 in the morning but always with my dog because you know…safety first) and there were these two identically built houses but one was soooo inviting and warm and lovely and one was, well, just a house. It was so intriguing to me how differently people could view their space and express themselves to the world. Turns out, the cool one (as the kids say) was a Bed and Breakfast that in the actual light of day I could have walked into any time I wanted whilst the other one was occupied by people who I suspect were just trying to get to work on time without killing their kids in the process. The truth hurts. And I’m an idiot.

  • Jackie

    God, i wish my apartment was this organized. Great photos Kel. Love the angles. Love the kitty warming his paws by the radiator.

    • Kelly

      He gets right up on that thing! It’s ridiculously hot and he usually has his face pressed to it. Thanks Jackie!

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  • http://www.chimerikal.com Erika

    I looooove your apartment!!! Ahhh I love how homey it is and I crave such a personalized space!!!! (But I’m kinda lazy in that sense.) I also want to do that foam board thing… it’s funny, I was thinking about doing it and then realized I might be living with my boyfriend soon and do I have to add his lifestory too? And then I realized he probably wouldn’t care… and I’m sure I could find an appropriate place to showcase ME AND MY LIFE, hahahaha!