A 325-Square-Foot NYC Rental Studio Uses Light and White to Feel Larger Than It Is

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Serene sleeping area next to window
Credit: Brian Wetzel

Name: Chad
Location: Astoria, New York
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 325 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: The majority of my apartment is white with light and neutral pops of color — a mix of glam and contemporary vibes. I used these light colors to make my small space seem larger, open, and airy. Ever since I moved in, my home has been my sanctuary, but it became monotonous to see the same 325 square feet over and over. 

Credit: Brian Wetzel

During quarantine, I became an artist. As I started to paint, I noticed that my heart was craving color. Occasionally, my art canvases are thrown sporadically around my apartment (mostly in the foyer), and these pops of color invigorate the entire home. They stay there until they make their way to my storage space — or until I can afford a separate atelier.

Credit: Brian Wetzel

I identify as a simple, creative, Black woman. After working in hospitality for about a decade, I really understood what makes a home a home. Constantly hosting, whether through restaurants or hotels, I noticed that people want to be comfortable. People want to connect. People want to see beautiful things and they want to be joyous. These are all things I attempt to bring into my home in the most understated way, whether through design, aroma, or just my mere presence. 

Credit: Brian Wetzel

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Minimal, glam, contemporary

Credit: Brian Wetzel

What is your favorite room and why? I live in a studio, so it is all one room, but I do have a balcony that has turned into my favorite spot especially during the warmer weather. It’s a great way to get fresh air without a mask these days!  

Credit: Brian Wetzel

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I’ve got a wish list of everything I’d like to buy, but so far, I’ve only bought a really adorable cake stand in an attempt to unleash my inner Martha Stewart. I place my store-bought pastries in there when I want to feel fancy. I’d really like a new table lamp for my nightstand/coffee table, but I have yet to find one that I like and that is in stock. In the meantime, I revamped a cheaper lamp that I found in Marshalls. I also have my eye on a vintage chair in my grandfather’s apartment, but there’s no space for said chair in my home at the moment. 

Credit: Brian Wetzel

Any advice for creating a home you love? Two things you probably won’t regret are greenery and unique art. Listen to what your heart wants and don’t second guess it. Choose things that you feel drawn to and that have a story behind them.

Credit: Brian Wetzel

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