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A Small Place in the Big Apple

We are taking a break from our regularly scheduled programming today to talk about a studio apartment in New York City that is near and dear to my heart! My oldest, the one whose bedroom is being turned into the guest room that we talked about in the last post recently moved into her own place on the Upper East Side of Manhattan!

My daughter and I went apartment hunting together in June and then last week my son and I went to visit her in her new, very bare home. We took a lot of measurements and talked through some of my ideas to make the best use of her space along with my daughter's ideas of how she wants to the place to "feel" - the most important part.

This is a photo that we took when we were looking at the apartment for the first time with the realtor. You had us at brick wall lol!

This picture may look like it is a small corner of the apartment, it is at least half of it though.

Graph paper/floor plan loving fans, here are the measurements of the space:

The main living space is eleven feet, eight inches wide and almost seventeen feet long. The entry is just about six feet long and three feet wide, not including the closet. The bathroom is accessed from the entry hall as well. The kitchen has an "L" of cabinets with the sink, fridge and stove all included so virtually no counter space.

The list of "wishes" and "needs" for the apartment includes:

  • Affordable, affordable, affordable

  • Separate areas for a "bedroom" and a "living/dining room"

  • An expandable table for dining/entertaining/desk that almost disappears when not in use

  • Foldable, easy to store chairs for eating/entertaining

  • A sofa that can also be used for guest sleeping space

  • Some type of side chair

  • Closed storage for clothing that can also serve as TV table

  • Rolling kitchen island for some counter space and microwave stand

  • Area rugs for each "area"

Here is the mood board for the space I put together which also has some existing pieces included on it:

The pieces from the board that are currently in the studio apartment are:

  • The sconces. Although these were purchased for the apartment my daughter moved into with roommates in Brooklyn last year they have yet to be used so they will feel like a new item.

  • The bar cart. This was a house warming gift from a very dear friend of my daughter's.

  • The shelf. Another item purchased for the Brooklyn apartment. This item was used and will be reused here. My daughter is an avid reader and the shelves are already overflowing with books.

  • The bed. My daughter has a full size bed with an eighteen inch high bed frame for much needed storage underneath it.

  • In addition to these items, there is also an open industrial wardrobe, similar to the bookshelf and a six compartment shelf from Target with bins housing some clothing. These are not on the list to stay. A big part of the "feel" of the space was to not be able to see all of the clothes and shoes. My daughter's bedroom in the Brooklyn apartment was very small and had no closet so we had to source furniture that was minimal in depth and appearance for that place.

  • The sofa has been ordered and should be delivered tomorrow. Yay!

The pieces on the board that address the "wishes and needs" are:

  • A coat rack. This will help alleviate a little space in the closet and make it easier to grab a coat and go.

  • A butterfly chair. These are so cool looking, can be folded if need be and do not take up much space visually.

  • A rug. This rug is eight feet by ten feet and will clearly define the "living space" in the apartment.

  • A rolling kitchen island. This one fits the space perfectly and my daughter says she is fine with a microwave on the bottom shelf so there you have it! Youth.

  • A gate leg table and director's chairs. This table is from Ikea and folds up to almost nothing and then opens up to be a dining table/desk over five feet long. The table also has three drawers to hold placemats, napkins, candles, etc. We considered a drop leaf table to go behind the sofa that could open up for dining when needed, in the end we decided that it would be too cumbersome though. These director's chairs are faux bamboo and have blue and white stripe seat covers - how can you go wrong?!? They also will fold up to nothing and can be put under the bed or tucked away in the closet when not in use. If you use the sofa and director's chairs as seating at the table, you could comfortably sit six and squeeze in eight. Not bad for a small place.

  • The chest. This is an Etsy find that we are trying to see if we can get to Manhattan without breaking many, many banks. I love it because it is unique and it will not introduce another wood tone into the space. The brass hardware ties in the bar cart and the black lacquer ties in the book shelves and the sconces. Also, my daughter really likes it and that's the most important part :-)

I think it will look so amazing and I am so excited to see it all come together!

Another look at the graph paper floor plan with the furniture placement:

The sconces will go on either side of the sofa and the coat rack will go next to the chest. The television will be placed on top of the chest. Over time we will look to add a coffee table or small ottoman in front of the sofa; an entry area rug; a rug to define the bedroom space; a small bedside table on the other side of the bed; and it would be great to have a standing lamp next to the bed (behind small beside table). All in good time. I think this is a great start. My twenty-year old self is feeling some serious envy. Dear daughter, please prepare for you mother to visit as often as I can!

Next week we will turn back to the bedrooms in The Sixth House. I hope to see you there!

Thank you for coming by today,





Hi, I’m Kerry, a true lover of all things home design.  Thank you for stopping by to check in on the journey.  Please feel free to reach out to me, I love to talk design!

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