PHOTOGRAPHY by Lianna Tarantin

Antique Queen

MAC's VP of Global Communications gives us the 411 on small-space decorating & the art of display for the shoe obsessed

Name: Amy Focazio

Hometown: Fairfield, Connecticut

Current Location: New York City

Day Job: Vice President Global Communications, Fashion Relations & Special Events, M·A·C Cosmetics

Daily Uniform: All black (It’s a M·A·C mandate), but I go all out with colorful shoes and lots of jewelry.

Square footage: 730 sq ft

I always keep handy: Pellegrino

The gadget that changed my life: The French Press

You must have a lot of makeup perks. How do you store it all?
I have more makeup than you can ever imagine. Luckily, I have a good-sized linen closet, but I would be absolutely lost without baskets and containers. There’s no better way to keep everything organized, and when you’re looking for a specific product it’s much easier to find.

Best beauty tip? Apply one coat of mascara, curl eyelashes, then apply a second coat.

The beauty products I can’t live without: Bronzer, mascara, lip liner

How do you make everything you display look so damn good?!
I’m of the “less is more” school of thought. I feel that when you have one or two great pieces grouped together, it makes more of a statement.

I love how all of your shoes have their own little cubby homes. Can you tell us more about your shoe organizing method and where you get it from?
I’m a little shoe obsessed and just think they all deserve their own special little space. Before I figured out that stacking was the best way to store them, they were just in a huge ugly heap at the bottom of my closet… Not ideal when you’re rushing in the morning – which I always am. My dream is to have a separate shoe closet, but in the meantime clear containers are genius!

And where does the ugly stuff hide?
Under the bed of course! Dust ruffles have many purposes and hiding the ugly stuff is one of them.

Your schedule is packed! How does a busy lady keep her head on straight?
Ha, I’m not sure my head is on straight, but I certainly try. I’m a compulsive list-maker so that definitely helps.

Your closets are really something to see. Very OCD-chic! Tell us the method to your madness.
I blame the OCD on my mom. I have to say, it comes in handy when you live in a small apartment with limited storage space. For me, having order at home is super important. It helps me relax and feel in control after a crazy day. Get more out of your closet space by keeping your things in categories – scarves, sunglasses, beauty products, etc… It just makes sense. And as painful as it is, every once in a while you just need a good purge!

Any tips on keeping things pared down and well-edited?
I’m one of those people who believes that if you love it, then buy it, because you’ll always be able to find a place for it. But it’s not necessarily practical when you live in a smaller place! When your apartment gets cluttered, your cool, interesting pieces get lost because it gets visually overstimulating. I call my sister and pare things down over a couple bottles of wine. Sometimes you need that extra set of eyes to tell you “Toss it!”

You have quite the collection of unique furniture and art. Where is it all from?
I think 95% of my apartment is decorated with finds from flea markets, antique stores, and garage sales. I like mid-century modern furniture. It’s sleek and minimal and works well in my small apartment.

Where did you develop your passion for decorating?
It’s in my blood. I grew up with my mom dragging me and my sisters out of bed in order to get to the flea market before everyone else. You find the really good things early in the morning, before people have picked through everything. My sister is just as obsessed with decorating as I am, and it creates such a great bond. We wake up early, grab a coffee, and head off for a few hours of flea market shopping

Lastly, that dining room! What’s the story behind it? And that color – what is it?
I was definitely going for a Hollywood Regency feel. People think dark colors in small spaces make them look even smaller, but that’s not the case. There’s no denying that my dining room is super small, so I thought it would be fun to paint it a dark, dramatic color. Navy blue is super chic, and orange is one of my favorite colors so putting the two together was a no-brainer.

I found that table at the Chelsea Flea Market and it was terribly beat up, but nothing sandpaper and a little paint couldn’t fix. And when in doubt, Lacquer it. I lucked out with the sunburst mirror. It has a teeny crack, so I got it for a steal.

Amy’s Flea Market Tips
1. Get there early (before it gets picked over), and take your time looking at everything.
2. Going to the markets regularly is key. You get to know the vendors and they’re more likely to negotiate with you on price.
3. Bring cash – it gets you the best deals – and a bag to carry your finds.
4. Never pay asking price. It’s a flea market – they’re expecting you to haggle!
5. Keep an open mind. I’ve always gotten my best finds when I don’t have the goal of finding one specific thing.

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