A One-Bedroom Becomes Two in a “Traditional Glam” Manhattan Rental

updated Apr 30, 2019

A One-Bedroom Becomes Two in a “Traditional Glam” Manhattan Rental

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Square feet
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Name: Chelsey Brown and roommate
Location: Manhattan
Size: 750 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, renting

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Chelsey is a fiery go-getter who lives in a small Manhattan apartment with a roommate. No bunk beds are needed here, though; Chelsey transformed this one-bedroom apartment into a two-bedroom home by having temporary faux walls built! An editor by day (for the Dr. Oz Show) and an interior designer by night, this New Yorker does it all. No really — she also got out her toolkit and tightened up some of our camera gear that got knocked around on the subway.

“I love neutral colors and unique statement pieces and I wanted to create a space that felt glamorous yet super inviting. I am obsessed with silver and gold and wanted to create a home where I could incorporate both. It took about a year to find the right decor and furniture to combine both, but all in all I’d say I accomplished the look I was going for,” says Chelsey.

The design process took a long time. She wanted the base of her apartment to be all neutral, with the occasional burst of color. She also didn’t want the apartment to look like anyone else’s — it was very important to keep her space as unique and “Chelsey” as possible.

She’s always decor hunting and changing little bits and pieces of her apartment around. She has an obsession with furniture and decor shopping, so she says, “I wouldn’t be surprised if my entire apartment looks completely different a year from now!” Be sure to check out her blog and follow along!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Traditional and Glam

Inspiration: I seem to find inspiration all around me when it comes to designing my home. I love the idea of having traditional and timeless pieces that will never go out of style, but adding flair to it with glamorous touches. I never would want my home to look like anyone else’s — it’s so important to keep my space as unique and “me” as possible. I love home décor shopping and just finding that special item that catches my eye.

Favorite Element: Currently, my favorite element of my home is my feature wall in the living room: It only cost $6! I wanted to make a statement without breaking the bank and thought, how can I do this feasibly and fiscally? I live in an apartment and knew wallpaper couldn’t be an option and then it hit me: TAPE! It took me a few days to experiment and find the right pattern but eventually, it came together the way I wanted.

Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge was setting up and designing the living room. It’s just so small! I wanted it to look stylish yet still be comfortable and usable. My roommate and I always have friends over and we wanted enough space and seating to hold everyone. After about a year of re-designing and moving furniture, I think we found the perfect balance of style and space.

What Friends Say: They all love coming over and we love hosting! I’ve actually helped a few of my friends with the design of their apartments as well.

Biggest Embarrassment: Don’t think I have one

Biggest Indulgence: I have the most beautiful bookshelf in the entryway of my apartment. It was a $600 étagère from Ballard’s.

Best Advice: Before you check out at a store, think of $1 for every day you are going to use something. I live by this advice! Whenever I find an item I like in a store, let’s say for $50, I think, “Am I going to use this 50 times?”


Mirrored Cabinet – HomeGoods
Bookshelf — Ballards
Gold Vase — HomeGoods
Mirror above cabinet – Jacks
Rug – H&M
Candle holders — ZGallerie

Couch — World Market
Rug — Overstock
Bar cart — Target
White mirror — Flea Market
Gold and White pillow — Target
Bench — Target
Coffee table — Ikea
Artwork behind couch — ZGallerie
Small table — TJ Maxx
Acrylic Chair — Amazon
Gold Skull — ZGallerie

Bedding — Bed Bath & Beyond
Throw Pillows — Pottery Barn, Bed Bath & Beyond and HomeGoods
Sheep Skin Rugs — HomeGoods
Dresser — Ikea
Hardware — Home Depot
Bench — T.J Maxx
Leaning Mirror — West Elm
Skull — Etsy
Bed — Sleep Number

Thanks, Chelsey!

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