Inside Homepolish CEO Noa Santos’s New York City Apartment

A thoroughly modern style we can all take notes from, no matter your taste.

By: Meagan Wilson
Photography: Alec Kugler

If there’s anyone we trust to have an incredible apartment in New York (nevermind the infamous size constrictions), it’s Homepolish CEO Noa Santos. In case you’re unfamiliar (really?!), here's a refresher: they connect anyone with a space in need of refreshing—home, office, whatever—with emerging interior designers, and make the entire process thoroughly modern and completely painless. Their calling card has become deeply personal and really cool and modern spaces that are actually accessible to pretty much anyone—you can work with their team by the hour based on your budget, too. They’re basically your one-stop shop to the home of all your wildest Pinterest dreams.

Keeping all of the above in mind, we should have known Santos’s own place would be a modern marvel of decor expertise and making the aforementioned occasionally limited New York real estate scene look like a breeze. Then again, he’s had practice—its his fifth apartment in almost as many years.

Click through to read about how he set up his space, and how to make any apartment feel more like a home.



“I always arrange things in spaces in three, or odd numbers. I don’t love my accessories to be terribly symmetrical. I like symmetry when it comes to my home and my furniture, but I like the accessories to be just a little bit more playful and haphazard. It helps me from keeping my apartment feeling like a museum.”

“We’ve always wanted a four-poster bed. This was my first opportunity to do it [laughs]. I grew up literally without a bed frame, and so when I discovered in magazines what a bed frame was, I always thought they were so luxurious. And so a four-poster bed was the epitome of that. It’s from CB2 or something, but I’m like, ‘Ooh, I’m going to be fancy’ [laughs].”

“The house itself is very much a collaboration between me and my fiancé. He is much bolder; he likes gold and trinkets and things. Frankly, if it was just me living in the house, I probably would have half as many things; but he would have trinkets everywhere, he’s very Marie Antoinette. The bedroom was really a mixture of the two of us, and it was meant to have a tailored feel, but also this sexy allure and high style about it.”

“The horn lighter on the coffee table is from Marrakesh. We went last Christmas. In the middle of the Medina, there’s this unmarked pair of double doors. It was floors and floors and floors of the most incredible foam inlays, taxidermy, rugs... Every corner was incredible. There’s no advertising, it’s completely unmarked, because people just come in and they just buy crates of things and then get them shipped out back to the U.S., or all over the world. We found this big bin of all these beautiful animal horn lighters and got several of them, one for us, and some for a couple for our friends.”

“I have a love-hate relationship with color. You’ve seen my wardrobe, it’s either blue or grey for the most part. Once in a while, I’ll throw in a curveball, but my closet is pretty much a uniform. I love texture because I’m confident in mixing furs and textiles, but I am not confident with color. But I’ve always wanted a dark, deep, saturated bedroom, and so I decided that I was going to pick a color. Ralph Lauren released this dark navy color, and I went to a restaurant and they had painted it in this color, and so I decided to paint my bedroom dark blue. My apartment is dark already, and I feel that if you’re not going to beat it, then join it. There’s no color I could paint my apartment to make it seem light.”

“My fiancé and I have been together for six years now, and in our first year together we went to Chelsea Flea Market, before it closed. I was perusing for things for my new apartment, walking around. I am not as audacious or even stylistically as confident as my other half is, and I was trying find a lamp, and he was like, ‘That’s the one.’ It was indicative of how we work together now, and that lamp has really followed me from apartment to apartment to apartment. At some point in my life, I would like my whole house to be filled with things that have that kind of a story.”

“I’ve been in pretty different spaces, but the decor is more of an evolution. Homepolish’s MO is that we want people to treat their homes like their wardrobes, where it’s something that constantly evolves as your life evolves. I’m sort of, eating my own dog food in that case [laughs]. My home evolves as I evolve.”

“I collect things that I really love. What I realized when I moved from my first apartment to my second apartment, I took, like, one thing with me. Then my next apartment, I took a couple of things with me. Now, if I move again, I can actually take 75 or 80% of the stuff with me, and I’m just kind of filling in the blanks. I think the goal is to achieve a home where basically everything in a space has meaning.”

“Even though it has space for one, the apartment doesn’t have a dining table. If you have met me or my fiancé, we drink far more than we eat [laughs], so instead we have space for a bar cart and a lounge-y living room where people can have cocktails. I love to entertain, so that was far more important than having a dining table that we frankly just wouldn’t use.”

“A small sheepskin rug is in every other home these days. I keep it there because I like it on my chair, and it’s comfy and I like to sit on it. And if everyone else has it, well, whatever, I’m not sitting on their chair! I don’t so much mind if I suddenly have something that I see everyone else having, but when it comes down to the accessories, it’s really easy to look in places that other people might not be looking.”

“My house is pretty dark. I don’t get a lot of natural light, I have black floors, and so the mirror, because of its size, is really just meant to kind of bend the wall. That mirror in particular, given its size and where it’s placed, if you take that away, the living room feels a lot smaller.”

“I’ve been in this apartment for, like, a year. It’s my fifth apartment in New York City; I’ve moved five times in six years [laughs].”

“I come from Hawaii, and my grandpa had this taxidermy ever since he was a kid. I went to visit home with my fiancé, and we had several pieces in my grandparents’ living room, and he was like, 'Oh my god, this is so cool.' My grandpa packed it in a box and I took it home on Hawaiian Airlines. They were like, 'What is this?', and I was like, 'It’s a head' [laughs]. That has gone with me from apartment to apartment to apartment and I think that probably the only other object that’s been with me longer than that piece is the lamp right under it.”