I love the sense of disconnect my home brings in the evenings when I get home from work, and the laughter that comes out of it when my friends visit. Not to mention the courtyard downstairs, which has a “Melrose Place” feel and adds entertainment space for visitors. I've been here for just over a year, and before moving I lived in a 2bed/2bath for two years. The transition really forced me to downsize by only holding on to “things” that were being used, and possessions that had personal significance. Most of the furniture is IKEA, and the decor pieces I've purchased on my travels or inherited from family members. I enjoy displaying records I borrow from my dad’s collection and photos I've taken over the years as artwork. These items remind me of places I've been and the people I love.
We knew the apartment was perfect for us from all the natural lighting and the open floor plan. Although we are only on the third floor of our apartment building, we live on a hill that gives us great elevation so we can see the Manhattan skyline and the bay. Also, the second bedroom that we decided to utilize as our living room gives us the space to accommodate guests, and there is never a shortage of guests when you live in NYC.
The light! For our first three years in New York, we lived in a studio that faced a brick wall. Now, we wake up to daylight every day and love how it illuminates our entire space. Even though we've upgraded to windows with a view, one of the most challenging aspects of life in Manhattan is still the price tag - not just for square footage, but for furnishings and decor. In our effort to create a beautiful apartment on a budget, we've mixed old with new, high-end with flea-market, and store bought with DIY. Without a doubt, our favorite pieces are the ones with a story, or that we've made ourselves. Though, don't get me wrong, we wouldn't mind trading in my aunt's hand-me-down sectional segment for a new couch!
I love the high ceilings that make the house feel larger than it actually is. The rugged hardwoods in both bedrooms add character. And, I love all of the natural light the living room and hallway gets. As I continue to collect new items, my home is an ever changing reflection of me and my life!
New York is known for tiny spaces, and we’ve lived in plenty, but when we walked into this apartment in a former knitting factory, we knew it was the one for us. We love the blank-canvas nature of the space.
Our apartment has one small closet dominated by a water heater, which forced us to make design decisions focused around adding storage. Our IKEA wardrobes (which grew in number when Joni and our puppy, Ernest, moved in) serve double duty as note space We designed our bed when we couldn’t find a ready-made solution that would keep the open flow of the space, provide privacy when we have house guests, and hold/hide our things in an unobtrusive way.
The 12-foot ceilings make the space feel larger than it is and let us share our art in unique ways, like the series of Albers lithographs that crawl up each column and the mobile that hangs above our bed.
To me, there is no better feeling than coziness and that is exactly how I feel when I'm home. Nearly everything in our home has been thrifted, found at a flea market, or picked up from side of the road. I love that we've created these collections together, and surrounded ourselves with them in our own little place in the world.
We love the filtered sunlight our home gets throughout the day, we rarely have to turn on a light until the sun goes down. We also love how we were able to make a cookie-cutter rental into a cozy space that reflects each of our styles.
After a long day, I love coming back to my apartment, plopping down on my couch, and then looking around at the distinct spaces around my room to plan out what I need to do for the remainder of the day (cleaning, dining, organizing, etc). That's one of the benefits of having a small home, and having everything you own open and aware to your view. I like how the narrow space of my apartment and the enclosed brick wall makes the place cozy, and yet I've incorporated light fabrics and colors to give it an open, airy feel.