This 330-Square-Foot NYC’s Rental Has an IKEA Closet Hacked into an L-Shaped Desk

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Bed layered with blankets in a small but bright white bedroom

Name: Aparna Sudhakar and husband, Simon
Location: Manhattan, New York
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 330 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My husband and I share this cozy little one-bedroom (almost like a studio) home in the bustle of the Big Apple. We’re both architects and love making custom things. The gloomy months of quarantine made us realize that our walls needed life and our tiny space as a whole needed a story. Starting with an organic growing living room wall filled with unique handmade art, craft, posters, and gifted items, our goal was to tap the maximum potential of every usable square foot in our apartment. A few months of layering our place with things we love and need gave it a warm makeover and became so personal to us. We love that we made our first apartment together as a married couple something beautiful, creative, and memorable!

We’re a couple that loves to design and make things. The artsy, crafty items that my husband and I made for our space that add more character outnumber the things we store-bought. A quick glimpse at any direction in our apartment will have at least one element that was made by us and naturally speaks about our interests and who we are as people. Walking into and waking up everyday in a space that reflects so much of ourselves inspires us to always keep creating things we love and things that make us happy! Our DIYs include our entryway, kitchen tiles/paint, wall art/craft, custom 3D prints, and our corner work desk space.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Creative, Cozy, Lively, Efficient, and Organized!

What is your favorite room and why? Our bedroom. This is the brightest room in our apartment and had the most potential for changing layouts. To make the most efficient use of space and to maximize room size, we made a corner work desk/window seat, which has been the best addition to our home so far! We dismantled our IKEA closet and re-used the panels to create a desk with a flip-open top and a connecting window seat. The L-shaped corner is now sun-drenched and is our creative work space.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? String lights! You can never go wrong with these, they will amp up the coziness of your home 10 fold.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Your home should be a place you want to come back to for respite at any point of time. Choose a room, corner, or even a small thing that you want as part of your home. You can build up eventually. The best thing about DIY is that it doesn’t have to be permanent, your home can evolve with your changing taste to best reflect who you are. Start making notes for yourself anytime you see something you like. I have a running list on my phone for all the things we want in our home but cannot have right now. If it is not possible right away, the right time for it is not far away!

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