This 320-Square-Foot NYC Studio Apartment Features an Incredibly Smart Shelf Staircase

published Apr 10, 2023

This 320-Square-Foot NYC Studio Apartment Features an Incredibly Smart Shelf Staircase

published Apr 10, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

Name: Mindy Lai
Location: Upper East Side — New York, New York
Size: 320 square feet
Type of Home: Lofted Studio Apartment
Years lived in: 3 years, owned

House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

“I’ve dreamed of owning my own place in Manhattan since I was 10 years old. The city just seemed so magical, and I knew I wanted a piece of it to call my own! I didn’t have a huge budget, but I had a goal,” writes Mindy Lai, who has owned this tiny 320-square-foot studio apartment in New York City’s Upper East Side for three years.

Credit: Erin Derby

“When I saw my home, I KNEW it was the one because it had sunlight, and a loft! The loft to me was an automatic ‘YES!’ because of the use of the space. Loft gets another major win because I’ve always wanted to have a treehouse and never had to chance to have one! Now I get to climb into my adult treehouse oasis to sleep every night!”

Credit: Erin Derby

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Modern boho

Favorite Element: I’m not sure I can pick one element! I love it all because I got to renovate it and put it all together. All the plants that I put into this tiny space… sometimes break my heart but add so much. I love my forever tiles in the bathroom along with the one-piece toilet (easy to clean). I love my kitchen floor to cabinet to counter! I love the living room because of the staircase bookshelf and loft and COUCH!

Credit: Erin Derby

Mindy’s advice for renovating a small home:

  • Interview multiple contractors until you vibe with one. It makes the experience so much better when you hire the right people. Be picky!
  • Measure your space and draw your own floor plan when shopping for furniture! The one that the realtor has isn’t always accurate!
  • When you begin to shop for furniture, carry your own tape measure EVERYWHERE!
  • Choose a one-piece toilet if you can; it makes it so easy to clean!
  • Create your space for YOU; it’s your home!

Resources

Credit: Erin Derby

ENTRY

  • Door mat – Anthropologie
  • Closet — Alfa from The Container Store
Credit: Erin Derby

LIVING ROOM

Credit: Erin Derby

DINING ROOM

Credit: Erin Derby

KITCHEN

  • Bins — The Container Store
Credit: Erin Derby

BEDROOM

  • Bedding — Target, they always have the best sheets!
Credit: Erin Derby

BATHROOM

Thanks Mindy!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
Share your style: House Tour & House Call Submission Form