New Yoker Dustin O'Neal has a very stylish apartment, and it's only 300 square feet. Recently Dustin realized, as he was taking a new direction professionally and entering into the second half of his twenties, that his apartment could use a bit of an overhaul too — so he embarked on a 'makeunder' that involved getting rid of a lot of unnecessary things, and taking his little space from dark and moody to bright and colorful.
Keep only what you need.
Living in a tiny apartment has a way of forcing you into a kind of extreme minimalism that can be strangely freeing — it forces you to think about what you really need, and what you can do without. Dustin's apartment has no dining table, and, in a really bold move, no couch. This might not work for everyone, but it works for him, and it means that his small apartment feels quite spacious.
Make your storage a design feature.
Next to the front door, a set of shelves displays objects d'art alongside more practical things, like shoes.
But conceal things when you need to.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, decorative boxes provide an attractive spot to stash things that need to be easily accessible but aren't quite as attractive. Don't underestimate the importance of opaque storage — chances are your apartment will look much better if you don't have to look at all your stuff all the time.
Don't be afraid of color.
Even in a small space, Dustin embraces color. We're especially taken with the gorgeous lavender hue of his bedroom, perfect for a sleeping space.
Add character without adding stuff.
Making your space more interesting doesn't have to mean adding more stuff. Dustin's space gets a dose of personality from the geometric wallpaper on the bedroom ceiling and the colorful stripe on the edge of the french doors — two things that don't take up any space at all.
To see more of Dustin's apartment, check out the full tour on Refinery29.
Bonus: You can see the apartment's old look in this slideshow from New York Magazine.
Re-edited from a post originally published 12.15.15-NT