A 300-Square-Foot NYC Studio Is Packed With Smart Small-Space Living Hacks

published Feb 15, 2023

A 300-Square-Foot NYC Studio Is Packed With Smart Small-Space Living Hacks

published Feb 15, 2023
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Name: Tiffany Payne and cat, Jinju
Location: Manhattan — New York, New York
Size: 300 square feet
Type of home: Walk-up studio apartment
Years lived in: 1 year, renting

“When I started my apartment hunt, I knew I wanted to have good natural light, lots of storage space, and an open kitchen since I am an avid cook at home,” writes Tiffany Payne, who shares her favorite spots to eat yummy food and recipes she makes herself, all on her Instagram, @lifethroughbites, and her TikTok. “When I toured this apartment I loved how there were windows in every room for my plants and an open concept kitchen that would allow me to whip up recipes every night.”

Credit: Erin Derby

Apartment Therapy Survey

My style: It’s hard for me to pick an exact style, but I would say somewhere between eclectic and mid-century modern. I love mixing in items I’ve collected over the years with newer pieces.

Inspiration: I think a home should be a representation of a person’s life story and bring them joy and comfort. I wanted my apartment to showcase my travel adventures and for the colors in my home to put a smile on my face every day. Watching other DIYers on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok helped inspire me.

Credit: Erin Derby

Favorite element: The gallery wall above my couch is by far my favorite element of my apartment. It features nature photography I took myself as well as pieces of art from local female artists and from my grandparents’ home.

Biggest challenge: The hardest part was figuring out ways to store all my belongings without it feeling cluttered. It was really important for me to have most of my belongings tucked away neatly and for me to feel like I had space to move. I focused on finding pieces of furniture that could be multi-functional and/or easily stored when not in use. I also made sure I maximized the use of my walls. Adding shelving and hooks throughout the apartment really helped keep everything neat and provide more floor space.

Credit: Erin Derby

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Maximize your use of hidden storage! I love using wicker baskets to hide miscellaneous items like office supplies or cat toys. My coffee table is a pop-up coffee table, which is great because it serves as a desk/dining table throughout the day, but also because I can hide games and photo albums underneath and pull them out easily when I need to.



Credit: Erin Derby


Credit: Erin Derby


Thanks, Tiffany!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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