My secret to living in a 235 square foot studio as a design editor.


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A second opinion is always helpful when going to an apartment open house. So on a sunny morning in November 2022, I asked a trusted friend to meet me in Manhattan's Gramercy Park neighborhood to check out the studio I'd found on her StreetEasy the night before. As soon as we stepped into the 235 square foot box (13.5 x 17.5 feet to be exact) she said, “I don't think I can live here, but I'm sure you can.'' I took that as a compliment.

Because what she really wanted to say was you Style editor of two design magazines, we got this. Ignoring the square footage for a moment, I began to see all the perks that most New Yorkers value. The rent was high, he had two big windows facing south, and somehow he even had a dishwasher. The pros outweighed the cons, and the next thing I knew, I had my keys in hand and a smart storage idea for my mood board.

My previous apartment was a spacious loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that I shared with two roommates, and it would have been nice to have a haystack as a couch. It had great bones. But there was nothing architecturally inspiring about my new studio. We had to create that beauty from scratch. My first task is to paint something other than white. Just before moving day, I soaked everything that touched the walls, including IKEA Ivar cabinets and simple shelves from Home Depot, with her Skylight from Farrow & Ball. My thinking was that if everything matched, my not-so-cute storage essentials would look less like huge boxes and more like custom built-ins. And my landlord said I could paint the walls as much magenta as I wanted as long as they were primed when I moved out, so I had nothing against it. Fast forward 48 hours (allowing enough drying time is key to a successful paint project) and I had a complete picture of the space before I even brought the first box inside.

After consulting with my good friend Paris Fabricant, I only considered one furniture layout. Paris Fabricant conveniently studied interior design at Pratt Institute and is also an AutoCAD pro. As if we were decorating a hotel room (because, let's be honest, that's the size of what I'm dealing with), we didn't put the Malm storage bed in the corner, but on the back wall facing the front door. I decided to place it in the center. That way you won't be sleeping right next to the kitchen. It might seem space-wise to tuck the sofa into the foot of the mattress, but I wanted to create a walkway to and from the kitchen and bathroom, so I added about 1.5 feet between the two sofas. I left it. I work from home most days, so a desk was non-negotiable. I found a narrow glass one at Horseman Antiques in Brooklyn. I love how the see-through top creates the illusion of more space.

desk

In such a small space, it's not only a problem where Not just the furniture, but the look as well. I wanted the overall atmosphere to feel calm when entering the front door, so I chose the same cool, calming color scheme for the core areas. Gabrielle from Sixpenny was a true love-at-first-sight story, so it didn't take long for her to find a couch. (She first noticed this while styling Jen Levy's Baltimore home.) It blends my two styles of hers perfectly. Slipcovers give a relaxed cottage look, while angular frames are clean and minimalistic. And with the back cushion removed, it's the perfect size at 72 inches long and 31 inches deep, so your guests can sleep comfortably. I've owned it for a year and a half, and I've never liked a sofa as much as I did.

Achieving an impressive focal point wasn't the goal because frankly, this small room can't handle it. Now that I know that adding just one patterned cushion to the sofa can clutter up an entire apartment (I promise I'm not being dramatic!), I decided to We try to keep it simple and consistent. That being said, when the duvet first matched the color of the walls perfectly, I realized that I might have gone too neutral throughout. So I started experimenting with more textured and dynamic bedding options.I ended up with a toast quilt (also similar) and although it was a splurge, it demands just Just the right amount of attention.

bed.

vintage nightstand.

Art is where I really like to mix and match. Large and small, rectangular, and circular parts make up the TV frame asymmetrically. Each one reminds me of a different place: a print of Christo and Jeanne-Claude I picked up at Yvon Lambert in Paris, a pair of fish glasses I found at Maple Lawn in upstate New York, a vintage yoke I found at Rischen in Brooklyn.

Detail of the TV wall.

She has no shortage of vases, bowls, and books, and is also a style editor. Before heading out for a photo shoot, I often pull out objects from my collection. I have things like cords and cloth napkins hidden away in Ivar's freshly painted cabinet, but there are also lots of items that are fun to see in person, like a terra cotta bust and framed pieces I found at the Santa Monica Airport flea market. new york A magazine cover featuring my ex-roommate's dog is sitting on a shelf above my desk.

Desk details.

Small space challenges you haven't conquered yet? Cooking and entertaining was something I loved even in my previous apartment. I've invited up to four people to dinner, but it's never a glamorous affair. We sit around the coffee table. This is a Danish mid-century piece that I composed over six months of searching for the perfect piece in Brimfield, but usually ends up in bed by the end of the night. Of course, I'd love to have a proper dining table, but until then I'll enjoy living in a shoebox.





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