Bailey's Cozy, Bookish Space
Name: Bailey Heldmar
Size: 200 square feet
Home type: Studio apartment
Location: New York, NY
What you're looking at:Once I signed the lease, I immediately began planning out storage. I hired a handyman to hang the long shelf above my bed/dresser before I moved in. It made unpacking so much easier! (Image credit: Bailey Heldmar)
Once I signed the lease, I immediately began planning out storage. I hired a handyman to hang the long shelf above my bed/dresser before I moved in. It made unpacking so much easier!
Figuring out a work setup was the hardest part of configuring the space. I found this table on West Elm that I knew would work perfectly and was lucky that someone was selling it on Facebook Marketplace for a fourth of the price. I'm also in love with the lampshade from Urban Outfitters!
Years lived in: 10 months, rented
Household: No one
Have any design professionals worked on this space? No
Do you currently live in your Small/Cool space full-time? Yes
Describe your space:
I never thought I'd be able to afford living on my own in Manhattan, but I got a great deal on this ground-floor studio. It doesn't get great light, but I've tried to lean into that and make it really cozy and warm. I've hauled much of the furniture across the country with me. The chair, armoire, coffee table, and kitchen storage shelf are all hand-me-downs from family. The bed frame and dresser were both thrifted from previous apartments. I had to figure out how the pieces that were important to me would fit before I bought anything else.
Did you DIY anything in your space? And, if so, what's your favorite DIY?
It's so hard to get a good picture of it, but I painted the bathroom a really pretty sage green, hung a shelf above the toilet, and used black contact paper to cover the awful vanity. My upholstered chair and my bed frame are both a minty sage color that's also in my rug. It's all been accidental matching, but I wanted to continue the scheme to the bathroom. It's such a tiny space, but it feels spa-like now with the soothing wall color, a simple shower curtain, and the bamboo mat.
How do you make your small space work for you and feel bigger than it really is?
I had the perfect couch envisioned, but with supply chain issues, it would have taken months to get something. I came across my couch on Pottery Barn Teen and it was in stock, the exact size I needed, and the seat cushions have storage inside. It's not a forever couch, but it's absolutely perfect for right now. The armoire is another unexpected storage solution. I have three or four of those hanging shoe organizers in there to hold my many pairs of shoes. A pegboard in the kitchen, under-bed bins, and the shelves I installed are other ways that I keep things organized.
How does your home reflect you?
Decorating is such a creative outlet for me, and every inch of my home reflects me — from all the books I’ve read to the art I’ve picked up on travels to finding the perfect place for my favorite furniture pieces. Besides all the furniture I’ve already mentioned, the straw hat hanging on my mirror belonged to my mom, who passed away when I was in college. She's wearing it in so many of my memories of her, and it's important for me to have it in a prominent place. I also have a sketch she drew of me as a toddler sitting atop the armoire.