Pratika's Colorful, Cheerful Space
Name: Pratika Appaiah
Size: 470 square feet
Home type: Apartment
Location: New York, NY
What you're looking at:I'm not a morning person, but the morning light in our living room makes me look forward to waking up every morning and sipping tea while being surrounded by my plants and art I've collected over the years. (Image credit: Pratika Appaiah)
I'm not a morning person, but the morning light in our living room makes me look forward to waking up every morning and sipping tea while being surrounded by my plants and art I've collected over the years.
My roommate found the armchair in our plant corner on Facebook Marketplace. It was originally a pattern of pastel blobs and brushstrokes that didn't quite fit our style. She painted it a solid white using a mixture of paint and fabric softener to fit more cohesively in our living room.
Years lived in: 5 months, rented
Have any design professionals worked on this space? No
Do you currently live in your Small/Cool space full-time? Yes
Describe your space:
Even though our home isn't very large, it feels a lot bigger because of all the natural light. When looking at apartments on the Lower East Side, the only must-have on my list was natural light and plenty of windows, because of my growing plant collection. After a long search, we were lucky enough to find a space in our budget that has windows in every single room — a rarity in NY! I love that our bright apartment is filled with plants and light. Coming home feels like a little plant oasis in the city.
Did you DIY anything in your space? And, if so, what's your favorite DIY?
My favorite DIY in the space is the plant wall. I have a fairly large plant collection that could only be housed if we went vertical with our space. Our living room had the perfect niche for built-ins in a spot that gets all the morning sunlight! After building our plant wall, we realized how much storage we could have by using wall shelves and installed narrower floating shelves in our kitchen to display all our teas and mugs.
How do you make your small space work for you and feel bigger than it really is?
Every large piece of furniture in our apartment has bins stored underneath with extra dishware, appliances, linens, and seasonal clothing. When I moved into the apartment, one of the first things I did was take down my closet doors and replace them with curtains. The old closet doors took up way too much space, and removing them gave me an additional 12 inches of depth in my closet, giving me plenty of room to store all my shoes and extra clothing.
How does your home reflect you?
My roommate and I wanted to make sure our home was the perfect blend of our personal styles. She loves bold pops of color, and I had a ton of art I'd collected over the years that I wanted to display. The gallery wall showcases pieces I've collected from past travels, flea markets, and gifts I've received, along with some of my own work. We chose to not be constrained to a particular design style or color palette in our living room and instead just surround ourselves with all the things that make us happy.