Small On Space, Big On Style: 4 Lessons from a 450-Square-Foot Greenwich Village Apartment

Small On Space, Big On Style: 4 Lessons from a 450-Square-Foot Greenwich Village Apartment

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Cara Gibbs
Jun 21, 2017
(Image credit: William Strawser)
Small-scale living may be a "trend" throughout the country, a way for us to reclaim back our quality of life and be less house poor, but in New York (particularly Manhattan), it's a normal way of life. Let's take Jennie Cohen's 450-square-foot Greenwich Village apartment, for instance. Here, she perfectly balanced big style with a small space to create a home that feels open, personality packed and perfectly livable. Check out these four lessons you can use in your own home that make Jennie's pad work so well.

Pick a palette and run with it.

Personally, I'm less of a neutral girl and more of a play your bold card type. But what's most intriguing about this space is that it really marries neutrality with personalized style statements. The icy (almost white) blue—Benjamin Moore's Lily White—that cloaks the walls acts as a supportive backdrop for those pure whites that pop off its hushed hue. And, then there are those tonal grays that add contrast and allow the fun prints of the textiles and deep blues and bright oranges of the art and accessories that make the space feel special and thoughtfully designed.

(Image credit: William Strawser)

Acrylic and mirrors are your friend.

These reflective and clear pieces should be a design staple when assembling a small space. They create unobstructed sight lines and spatial illusions. Tips: Try and face a mirror toward a wall of windows. That way it feels like windows flank both sides of the wall and spreads light throughout a room that doesn't get the best light.

(Image credit: William Strawser)

Every space needs a purpose.

Sometimes in a small space you are forced to have one area take on multiple roles. But, when you can designate specific purposes for each area, suddenly that tiny space doesn't feel so tiny. It morphs into a home (in the traditional sense) where every area is meant for something a bit different. Here, there is a clear living room, bedroom space and dining room (which actually happens to be Jennie's favorite spot in her home).

(Image credit: William Strawser)

Bursts of white always make a space feel light and airy.

This isn't to say that dark, moody colors wouldn't work in a small space, but the allure of white is something that solves so many design issues. Here, Jennie opted for a white Saarinen-style table paired with white chairs, next to a white side table and crisp white linens (on her bed). This sea of white is pleasing to the eye and evokes the feeling of freshness, but she keeps things interesting with her colorful accents.

See more of Jennie's Greenwich Village home (complete with shopping resources) here:

A Colorfully Eclectic 450 Square Foot Studio in Greenwich Village
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