Small and Chic in Chelsea, in only 385 Square Feet

updated Apr 30, 2019

Small and Chic in Chelsea, in only 385 Square Feet

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Pamela Kaupinen
Location: Chelsea — New York, New York
Size: 385 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years, renting

If Pamela’s place looks a little familiar, there’s a reason for that. She was the winner of our Small Cool Contest—in 2016, her tiny, impeccable Chelsea apartment took the crown.

Although it’s smaller than many studio apartments, Pamela’s apartment is split into three distinct spaces — living room, kitchen, bedroom — which gives it the feeling of a “real house,” but in miniature. The scale of the rooms creates a distinct feel of coziness, and Pamela’s done a great job of filling them with just enough pieces so that the space feels finished but not overcrowded.

I think one of my favorite things about small apartments is the way they force you to be deliberate about what you bring home, so every piece of furniture is functional as well as beautiful. This is particularly true for Pamela’s apartment, where everything feels just right for the corner it’s in.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Modern bohemian.

Inspiration: Pinterest and Instagram, first and foremost. I greatly admire the work Homepolish is doing, and love Rue Magazine and Amber Interiors.

Favorite Element: My plants!

Biggest Challenge: The kitchen! It’s small, yet not technically small in the context of my apartment. It took me a long time to figure out how to best utilize the space but now I am thrilled to have a functional table and two chairs for intimate dining.

What Friends Say: … that I have the “smallest, coolest” apartment around! And award-winning. Thank you, Apartment Therapy!

Biggest Embarrassment: Purchasing a sofa that did not fit through the door of my apartment! #nycproblems I ended up having to sell that sofa on Craigslist (in a panic) and opt for a different one. Good news is: I now like the one I ended up with better than the original (failed) sofa!

Proudest DIY: My IKEA dresser which I added luxe gold pulls to. I’ll never grow out of IKEA!

Biggest Indulgence: The light fixture in the kitchen/dining room was my biggest splurge to date. It was custom made by Dutton Brown and purchased via Etsy.

Best Advice: Don’t underestimate your small space! Small is not an excuse, but rather an opportunity.

Dream Sources: One day, I’d love to partner with Homepolish or Amber Interiors to take my décor to the next level.


Bar cart — World Market
Stools — Houzz
Light fixture — DuttonBrown via Etsy
Rug — Overstock
Beach print — One Kings Lane
Fashion print — Conde Nast Store

Coffee table — Overstock
Sofa — Macy’s
Chair — Target
Plant stool — Serena & Lily
Plant stand — Anthropologie
Lamp — Urban Outfitters
Pillows — Etsy
Rug — One Kings Lane

Dresser — IKEA (pulls were added)
Mirror — IKEA
Bedding — Pottery Barn
Blanket — Anthropologie
Pillows — Etsy
Headboard — One Kings Lane

Thanks, Pamela!

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