A 500-Square-Foot Rental Features DIY Art, Including a Huge Piece Painted Using a Ketchup Bottle
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Name: Natasha Natarajan and my partner, Bill
Location: Washington Heights — New York City, New York
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 500 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I moved into this adorable one-bedroom apartment with my partner in Washington Heights when I started medical school at Columbia University. The apartment has everything a New Yorker wants: a dishwasher, in-unit laundry, hardwood floors, and four massive closets! It is a smaller size than we were used to in California, but perfectly matches the needs of our lifestyle. We’ve also come to love our Washington Heights neighborhood for its vibrant and welcoming sense of community. This is the first time we have ever been friends with all of our neighbors in the building!
This apartment was the first home I moved in together with my partner and an opportunity for us to start building something that was equally each our own. Through picking out furniture pieces and contributing custom art to the walls, we’ve only just begun to build our collective design sense and create something truly collaborative.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Modern, Geometric, Warm, Artsy, Cozy
What is your favorite room and why? The living room, with the massive teal velvet sectional, steals the whole show! It is the perfect showcase of my partner and I’s blended design vision. He loves muted colors and mid-century modern design. I love warm and bright accents. And together we picked this bright teal sectional with a clean and structured modern frame.
As a computer programmer and healthcare professional, it was important to us that our home is a place where we could express ourselves. I would not normally call myself an artist, but this apartment has allowed me to tap into my creative side and switch out a scalpel for a paintbrush. I painted the main art piece hanging in the living room after searching for something similar online for months.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The gold crushed velvet pillow in our bedroom from West Elm.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Follow your gut instincts! Everyone told me that buying this massive couch would overwhelm my small living room when in fact it actually opened up the space and made it feel larger. Similarly, people expressed their doubts of painting a large black mural for the bedroom thinking it would make it darker and smaller when it really ended up brightening the space. Listen to your heart and be bold! As they say, go big or go home (to your small apartment).
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.