A 350-Square-Foot NYC Studio Feels Much Bigger Than It Is

updated Apr 30, 2019

A 350-Square-Foot NYC Studio Feels Much Bigger Than It Is

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Angie Teater
Location: Midtown East — New York, NY
Size: 350 square feet
Years lived in: 8 years, renting

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Have you ever seen a dining room, living room, and bedroom fit so elegantly into 350 square feet? Long-time New Yorker and avid traveler Angie Teater made it happen. She’s the owner and principal designer of Angela Leland Interiors and she knows how to make good use of small spaces. She’s also a master at styling a room. For her own space, she says she has a “champagne taste on a house wine budget” but waits for the perfect pieces at the right price. Patience is the key to designing a good room. Well, that and a keen eye for design.

Angie is also an avid traveler, thanks to the wanderlust bug passed down from her grandfather. She gathers design ideas from all over the world, especially luxury hotels that master the “art of high-style relaxation,” as she so perfectly states it. Angie has a whole bucket list of things she’d like to do. She’s setting out to achieve and experience 40 fabulous things before she turns 40. You can get ideas and follow along on her blog, The 40 by 40 Project.

You can also see her studio apartment before she decorated!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Sophisticated Vintage Travel — I like to give hints and nods to my travel obsession without being too kitschy or expected. My grandfather loved travel and when he wasn’t exploring new places he was pouring over travel photography, especially the works of Ansel Adams. I definitely inherited his insatiable wanderlust! So, I’ve surrounded myself with bits and pieces picked up during my adventures as a constant reminder to stay curious.

Inspiration: I get lost perusing luxury hotels like the Belmond collection and the Oberoi Hotel & Resorts — they have really perfected the art of high-style relaxation.

Favorite Element: I love my 1877 Victorian steamer trunk. The poor thing has never — and will never — be restored. It’s scraped, scratched, flaky, and bruised. It shows its age. The lock sticks. But I absolutely adore it! It’s real. It’s unapologetic. It’s feisty. It wears all its adventures and mishaps with pride. It has many stories to tell and I really love giving those stories a home.

Biggest Challenge: Learning how to work with the unique quirks of my apartment rather than fight them. I have champagne taste on a house wine budget, so I couldn’t simply have everything custom-made. Instead, I had to wait, hunt, shop, and pray to find the items that would work with my unique layout, including the former-Murphy-bed nook, tiny corners, and awkward closet — although, for the record, I’m exceedingly thankful for that extra little closet!

What Friends Say: “Is that you in the black and white photos?” — the answer is “I wish!” I had the photos commissioned by a local photographer using a model but I never imagined people might think it was actually me! They’re definitely a conversation piece!

Biggest Embarrassment: Recently my darling pup, Sadie, decided to nibble the corners off all my chairs and pillows. I suppose she wanted to contribute her own unique flair? I’ve replaced most of the pillows but, despite my desperation to replace the chairs, I’ve yet to find a pair I love. For now, I guess we’ll just call this style “puppy chic”?

Proudest DIY: My massive Ikea bookshelf. I put the entire thing together myself and even managed to wallpaper the inside with grasscloth.

Biggest Indulgence: The dining set from ABC Home — it fit so perfectly into the little nook that it feels custom. It was a splurge that I’ve never regretted.

Best Advice: Be patient. Rather than settling for something that’s “just okay” give yourself permission to leave that wall, room, floor, or nook empty until you find exactly what you want. Wait for pieces you truly love. Let your passions dictate your home rather than the trends. In design, as in life, perfection can’t be rushed but it’s always worth the wait.

Dream Sources: Blankets from Loro Piana, rugs from Stark Carpet, photographs by Mark Shaw, and practically anything from Donghia. I’d live in their showroom if I could!


“Onyx” by Benjamin Moore
“Skimming Stone” by Farrow & Ball

Chloe Velvet Tufted Sofa — Macy’s
Tufted Club Chairs — Overstock
Safavieh Adirondack Vintage Carpet — Safavieh
Amelie Mirrored Buffet — Horchow
Possini Euro Lamps — Lamps Plus
Abstract Print — Lindsay Cowles
Victorian-Era Trunk — antique Ebay find
Silk Ikat Pillows — One King’s Lane
Silver Beaded Floor Mirror — Horchow
Dining Table — ABC Home
Custom Queen Bed — Ethan Allen
Faux Chinchilla Fur blanket — Fabulous Furs
Black Bookcase — IKEA
Faux Foliage — CFD Flowers
Ebony Mother of Pearl Vase — Mecox Gardens

Martin 2-Door Console — Ballard Designs
Shelves — Crate & Barrel

Thanks, Angie!

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