This Couple Effectively Fit Their ‘Big’ Furniture in a Small 450-Square-Foot NYC Studio

published Jan 25, 2023

This Couple Effectively Fit Their ‘Big’ Furniture in a Small 450-Square-Foot NYC Studio

published Jan 25, 2023
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Name: Chandler Benzinger and Lucy Benzinger
Location: Upper West Side — New York, New York
Type of home: Studio Apartment
Size: 450 square feet
Years lived in: 9 months, renting

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“When we moved back to New York City in the spring of 2022, finding an apartment felt nearly impossible, explain Chandler and Lucy Benzinger, who are both actors and content creators. “We had applied to five different apartments at the time and we were initially denied to the apartment that we currently are living in. Because the initially accepted applicants dropped out, we were second in line and were happy to finally secure a home only a week before we were flying out to New York. The process was very stressful, and we were so happy to finally have a place.”

The newlyweds continue the story of their home: “When looking for an apartment, we knew that we wanted to be living in the Upper West Side, since that was the neighborhood we were living in before the pandemic. We love the Upper West Side for its convenience, families, and cozy neighborhood vibes. We also love being so close to Central Park and Riverside Park.”

Credit: Jason Rampe

“We initially were looking for a one-bedroom but after looking at what we could get with our budget, we knew that we would be compromising on amenities. After applying to multiple one-bedrooms, the apartment we are in now is actually the first studio apartment that we applied for. Although we were initially resistant to the idea of a studio, given the fact that we both work from home, we were amazed that we could find an apartment with a doorman and in-building washer and dryer.”

Credit: Courtesy of Lucy and Chandler

“Because we were living in California when we were approved for this apartment, we signed sight unseen. Luckily we had a good friend tour the apartment for us. We were still nervous about the lack of space but because this studio had the same dimensions as the living room of our one bedroom in California, we decided to map out the space with tape. What really convinced us that we could make a studio work is by simply mapping out where everything would go and trusting that it would all work out together for our good.”

Credit: Jason Rampe

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Our Style is a mix between organic, modern, and cozy.

Credit: Jason Rampe

Inspiration: Our main inspiration was a simple, dark color palette. We wanted our home to be an ode to our love.

Credit: Jason Rampe

Favorite Element: Since we got married recently, many of the pieces in our home are either from our wedding or gifts. Our favorite part of our apartment is the conglomeration of all the pieces that remind us of our love on that special day. We also are so thankful for the amount of natural light we get. It brightens up the space and makes it feel larger.

Credit: Jason Rampe

Biggest Challenge: We had a small budget for New York standards. The market was really tough when we moved, so the majority of places we were able to get were going to be 500 square feet or less. Neither of us expected to be living in such a small space, so our biggest challenge was figuring out how to make everything fit without it feeling too cramped inside. Since many of our big furniture pieces were wedding gifts, we didn’t want to get rid of them when we moved across the country. Therefore, we made our space fit our items, rather than our items fit our space. It was a fun challenge.

Budget: We pay $2,500/month.

Credit: Jason Rampe

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? We have a large bookshelf that hangs over our two main windows in the apartment. Although we don’t have many books for display, we decided to hide some of our miscellaneous items in wicker baskets, making the space feel more organized and clean.

Credit: Jason Rampe

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: There’s no need to shy away from large furniture pieces in a small space. If you navigate it well, it can make the space feel larger, because you don’t have a bunch of tiny pieces filling out your space. A lot of New York apartments have very little closet space, so making sure you have space underneath the bed for storage is key.

Credit: Jason Rampe

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Get married and have a wedding registry hahaha! But seriously we feel so grateful for all of the friends and family that helped us put together our first home. It was so special to build this space together. Our best piece of advice would be for those who feel like decorating isn’t really their “thing” — and to them we would say “dream a little, get outside your comfort zone, and believe that you can make a space feel beautiful by just being you!”

Resources

Credit: Jason Rampe

LIVING AREA

  • Axel Leather Sofa — West Elm
  • Lucas Swivel Base Chair — West Elm
  • Rosette Sideboard — Tiffany Hunter Home
  • Slope Cement Coffee Table — CB2
  • Raw Marble Table Lamp — CB2
  • Xbase Black And White — CB2
  • Allis Black Taper Candle Holders set of 3 — CB2
  • Steelcase Series 1 Office Chair — West Elm
  • Matte Black Floating Shelves — CB2
  • Barabantia Matte Black Dual Compartment Touch Bin — Crate & Barrel

Thanks Lucy and Chandler!

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