An Intentional, Colorful, Inviting Small/Cool Space

Name: Courtney Cripps

Size: 248 sq ft

Home type: Apartment

Location: New York, NY

Years lived in: 2 years, rented

Household: My partner, Jules

Have any design professionals worked on this space: No

How did you use color in your space? We both separately value and employ color in a variety of ways day to day, so when we decided to merge into one household, it was important that we keep our prized individual pieces — pillows Courtney collected from South American travels, a wall hanging made by Jules — as well as introduce new ways to add to that color, a tricky feat for a single room. We each independently, but not surprisingly, decided on the mustard futon (a big priority given visitors of days' past), giving us the added pop against the charcoal-blue wall, and were thrilled when it so effortlessly blended all of our pieces.

Describe your space:

Situated in the heart of the West Village, we feel beyond fortunate to have stumbled upon this space. Courtney loved living here first, but when Jules moved in, the space only improved, both aesthetically (by desire) and functionally (by necessity). We love that despite the madness of the city, it feels like a safe haven, cozy and warm. We’re learning to live with less, optimize more, and really embrace the notion that despite minimizing, we can live in artistic and uncompromising abundance.

Did you DIY anything in your space? And, if so, what's your favorite DIY?

Most of the space is a DIY, beginning with removing built-ins, carpeting the loft, changing the kitchen cabinet color and hardware, and painting every wall. In addition, the thing we’re most proud of is the Ikea Hemnes shoe rack that, after endless searching, seems as if it was made especially for our tiny, awkwardly sized wall. Once white with silver hardware, we painted the Hemnes to reflect our color palette, resurfaced the top with metal edging, and adorned the piece with mother of pearl knobs to provide us with a dresser, one thing we desperately needed when creating our first shared home.

How do you make your small space work for you and feel bigger than it really is?

With one person living in 248 square feet, it’s important to optimize space, and with two people, it’s imperative. We store our books in the fireplace, custom cut aluminum sheets to conceal our storage shelves of luggage and other infrequently used personal items, use another shelf as our “bar cart,” maintain the organization of every drawer of a repurposed vintage storage cabinet from the Brooklyn Courthouse, and use a dual-purpose cedar chest built by Courtney’s dad for linens and more. There isn’t one inch of this place without purpose!

How does your home reflect you?

Our home somehow perfectly embodies both of our styles, as well as our combined style. Not only is the heavy work done by the two, but the wall hanging behind the couch, a huge contributor to our style and color, was made by Jules. Other important components are those touches we’ve gained through our travels, both together and separate. We love fresh flowers, plants, and of course, cacti, and make it a priority to keep growing our indoor garden, most recently with prickly acquisitions from a West Coast desert road trip.