A 600-Square-Foot, $1950-a-Month New Jersey Rental Feels Much Larger than It Is

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French bulldog sits on top of leather sectional in living room.

Name: Victoria Buckley; partner, Andrew Sutton; and 4-year-old French Bulldog, Theodore
Location: Downtown Jersey City, New Jersey
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 600 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting
Rent: $1950/month

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: Andrew and I have lived here for two years with our 4-year-old French bulldog, Theodore (“Teddy”). We absolutely love this neighborhood; we live blocks from the Grove St. Path station downtown, which makes it really convenient to get to work when we go into the office. We both work in the city and love the quick commute! We also live around the corner from Van Vorst Park, which is our favorite place to hang out, or go to the dog park or the farmers market on Saturdays.

Our apartment is only 600 square feet, but it feels much bigger to us with the tall ceilings and tons of sunlight we get during the day. We love to just hang in our living room with a good book and enjoy all of the natural light.

Decorating was definitely a work in progress over the past two years. We both really love color and wanted a space that felt warm and inviting, yet relaxing at the same time. We started with the bigger pieces of furniture and built around them. The bike table is actually from Bob’s furniture and we liked it so much we actually bought it before we even had an apartment; it sat in my parents attic for a few months!

We wanted everything to be super functional, so both our couch and our bed have tons of storage underneath. Our nightstands also have two really large drawers to fit a ton of stuff. We really loved the challenge of finding a way to fit all of our favorite things into a small space without it feeling too cramped or crowded.

This is our first apartment; we’re both in our mid-20s and wanted decor that felt youthful and fun yet still mature and clean. We wanted everything to feel super fun and happy to look at. We both try to be really positive and I think our home helps a lot with that! When we’re relaxing at home or even working during the day, the whole atmosphere feels very positive and motivating. A lot of friends and family who have visited our apartment have said it definitely represents us really well.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or fewer: Colorful, calm, relaxing, bright, makes us happy!

What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is probably the bedroom! I love how relaxing it feels; it really feels like the perfect place to unwind after a long day. We have a ridiculous amount of pillows and blankets on the bed, but I love how it feels like a “hotel bed” when it’s made. I always love coming home to it all done up. We make the bed every morning together — a made bed always makes me feel more productive throughout the day.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last thing I bought was actually the neon sign above my desk! I wanted to get something a little silly that also represents me, and Andrew always jokes that I’m the biggest dilly dally-er there ever was. The sign is from crazyneon.com; I love how you can customize the color/font/size and it even has a dimmer!

Any advice for creating a home you love? Bring in things that make you happy to look at and make you feel like your best self!

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