NYC Apartment Decor Inspiration: Decorating Small Spaces
Last Updated on February 17, 2022 by Dana Berez
NYC Apartment Decor Inspiration
Hi Friends, welcome to my NYC apartment decor inspiration! It has only taken me 4 years do get down to it, but you know how things go. I am excited to share with you my New York City apartment and some tips on decorating small spaces.
Just some background: I live in the East Village of Manhattan, a local neighborhood with traditional tenement style apartment buildings. You know, the classic style apartments with the fire-escapes!
I have called this apartment home for four years now, and I just adore this part of New York City. The streets are lined with bakeries, restaurants, street art, and boutiques. Definitely a neighborhood you can’t miss when visiting. Check out my Local’s Guide to NYC to find out more.
Now, these buildings are pretty old and the layouts are often a bit quirky. The majority are walk-ups, meaning if you live on the fifth floor, your legs are in for a daily workout.
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My NYC Apartment Decor Tour
My apartment is a two-bedroom but has no living room which I share with a roommate. There are a small kitchen and bath, and the entire apartment is under 300 Sq Feet. (talk about small living!) I won’t show the other bedroom, for privacy but let’s get into the tour on decorating small spaces.
After walking up a few flights of stairs, you are greeted with the small kitchen. Counter space is limited so I leave small kitchen appliances like my Ninja Blender, toaster oven, and Zojirushi water boiler for instant hot water in a small cabinet.
- Metal Command hooks saved the day and made this kitchen so much more functional. I have a hook for my kitchen towel, silicon sponge, and hot pads.
- Spice Rack: I removed the labels on my Trader Joe’s spices. It makes the kitchen look more minimalistic and clean. To remove labels, just soak the spice container in warm water for 30 minutes. After it should easily peel off.
Easy Summer Water: Stay hydrated with a simple cucumber and lemon water. I like to use a large glass pitcher to infuse fresh ingredients which are perfect for entertaining. The Cha Cha Pitcher from Crate and barrel is only $29!
Bedroom Decor Ideas
We have made it to my favorite part of the apartment: my bedroom! My bedroom serves more than one purpose. I sleep, work, eat, and relax all in one space, not to mention everything I own has to fit in this room. This room has high ceilings and a neutral color palette which makes the room feel bright and airy.
Having a smart and organized space is crucial to making it work.
This bedroom can fit a queen-size bed perfectly, however, I opted for a full-sized mattress to save more space. I love using all-white bedding to make the room look brighter, and it also reminds me of a hotel. I also used a white canvas Prada Art to add some interest above the bed.
Both my duvet and sheet set are from Amazon, and the quality really surprised me. High thread count, and at an affordable price. And if you have not tried Silk Pillowcases yet, you are missing out! These silk pillowcases are from Amazon and are only $24. There are so many benefits of a silk pillowcase like keeping your face healthy, retaining skin moisture, and reducing split ends.
Design DIY: To spruce up my basic Ikea nightstand, I bought a marble sticker roll to mimic the appearance of real marble. It is only $7.00 on Amazon, and you can use it throughout your home.
Space Hack: Use a high bed frame so you can utilize under-bed storage! I have large containers for out-of-season clothing, shoes, and suitcases hidden underneath mine.
I am also obsessed with my Tiled Margot Monogram Mug from Anthropologie. They have every letter in the alphabet, and I love the minimal and neutral design that has a bit of glam. It’s a perfect gift for family, friends, or even a significant other to match.
Easy Apartment Plants: Don’t have a green thumb? These indoor apartment plants are hard to kill and make a dramatic impact in your space. To the right is my ZZ plant, and to the left is a classic Snake Plant. Both were purchased at a local market in NYC and have been thriving in this space. These natural concrete planters from Target are a perfect home for these plants.
Planter: Project 62 Grey Concrete Planter
Design DIY: To add more interest to the wall I created my own art gallery. I picked up mismatching frames from Ikea and clipped out some photos from magazines or postcards. A fun DIY project for a custom gallery wall on a budget.
Space Hack: Many old buildings have a radiator that takes up space. Getting a custom shelf can get expensive, so I used a beautiful wood cutting board from Target as a shelf and displayed my plants! Be sure to turn off the radiator before putting anything on it.
Dresser & Makeup Organization
I admit I have a lot of makeup, hair, perfume, and skincare products. So this area needs to stay organized to be functional. My perfume is displayed on top of my Ikea dresser along with more plants.
I am also obsessed with this 3 tier rolling organizer from the Container Store. I keep my hair tools, hair products, and skincare organized there. Love that it can roll around the room and it’s under $30!
Container Store: 3 Tier Rolling Cart
Space Hack: Use mirrors throughout to create the illusion of more space. Mirrors bounce light throughout the room and can make your room feel so much bigger. This Ikea mirror is a classic, but if you don’t live by an Ikea, West Elm, and Target have similar styles.
Shop Mirrors & Organization:
While it is not the walk-in closet of my dreams, I made it work. I managed to fit all my clothes, shoes, towels, and linens in this space. I used large baskets to keep my sheets and towels organized.
My favorite feature of the closet is my shoe and purse organization using Ikea’s famous Billy Bookcase. This bookcase is completely customizable for your needs. It comes with 2 shelves, but I purchased an additional two to make space for my flat shoes.
Space Tip: While I love the look of wooden hangers, I only use them for jackets and bigger pieces. To save space, thin felt hangers actually allow you to put more items in your closet.
The coolest feature of this apartment has to be the fire escape! To add color, I planted some pink geraniums and my favorite herbs to the fire escape. I also put up outdoor string lights which are so fun for summer. Love taking advantage of the little outdoor space I have!
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Watch the Tour Here on my YouTube Channel
Hope you enjoyed this small space Design Guide! Follow me on Instagram to see what I am up to next in NYC.