A Tiny NYC Rental Goes Bold with Stripes and Florals

published Aug 7, 2018

A Tiny NYC Rental Goes Bold with Stripes and Florals

published Aug 7, 2018
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Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Carly Fuller and her boyfriend Martin
Location: Hell’s Kitchen — Manhattan, NY
Size: 450 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years, renting

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There wasn’t much of an opportunity for Carly Fuller to add her own style to this small Hell’s Kitchen rental when she moved in with a roommate, who had already been living there. But when the roommate moved out a year ago, Carly’s boyfriend Martin moved in, and the blank space was ready to be refreshed and filled. Literally—Carly started from scratch when it came to furnishing the space!

After years of living with roommates in New York, Carly has approached designing this home’s interior with exuberance, though she doesn’t quite have a nameable “style.” Instead of sticking to just one genre of design, she’s taking chances, exploring bold ideas, and learning about herself in the process. And though she subscribes to the notion that you shouldn’t spend a ton on a rental, she was able to get creative and use temporary wallpaper to customize her small home without spending a lot of money.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Maybe you can tell me? I’m still unsure!

Inspiration: Mainly other Instagram accounts; I love seeing other people’s styles and where they find their goods!

Favorite Element: The high ceilings and the skylights because they really help it feel a little more open and less tiny. Also the gold-framed brick walls are fun.

Biggest Challenge: The five flights of stairs when we have groceries, laundry, deliveries, anything! It was very tough when I was redecorating a year ago and we had a lot of heavy furniture deliveries. Also keeping the apartment clean… the city is so disgusting, the amount of dirt that comes through the windows shocks me.

What Friends Say: They ask if I can help them decorate their apartments!

Biggest Embarrassment: Maybe the DIY chest of drawers I attempted, which is in the kitchen. And a couple other pieces of furniture that I need to replace but haven’t found the right piece yet.

Proudest DIY: I’ve done so many small ones, none are that great. I’m proud of the kitchen island we brought in for a breakfast bar and more storage, though, if that counts! Plus the floral wall in the bedroom, that was SO hard to put up.

Biggest Indulgence: I’m going to say the floral wallpaper; it wasn’t the most expensive purchase but it’s an item that can’t really be brought with us into our next home and I went against my own advice when buying it… but it was worth it!

Best Advice: When it comes to apartment renting, don’t bother spending a ton of money on anything unless you plan on bringing it with you to your next home. And also take your time; there’s nothing more annoying than having to return or try to sell something all because you were rushing and didn’t love it to begin with. Wait until you find the perfect piece that you love.

Dream Sources: Anthropologie, West Elm, CB2 and all the shops that are a little too expensive for me, but they’re so so beautiful so I use them for inspiration and leave empty-handed.


Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch — Flat black and flat white

Peel and stick wallpaper — Wayfair
Pink rug — Wayfair
Wall hooks — Etsy and then spray painted gold with Rust-Oleum spray paint
Assorted frames — Collected over time

Futon — Wayfair
Rug — Wayfair
TV stand — Wayfair
Small side table — HomeGoods and then covered in wood effect contact paper from Amazon
Footstool — HomeGoods
Side table — Had for a few years, used to be gray, painted it white and then covered sections with wood effect contact paper
Faux hydrangeas — Michaels
Hanging faux flowers — Online store which I can’t remember. I’ve had them for a while.
Silver vase and candles — Thrift store
Macrame — Etsy
String lights — Amazon
Large macrame — Facebook Marketplace, originally from Urban Outfitters, I tweaked it a little.
Round mirror — Wayfair
Wood panel effect peel and stick wallpaper — Target
Pillows — A couple are from H&M and World Market and others collected over the years
Tray on top of side table — HomeGoods

Blue chair — Overstock
Kitchen island — Top has marble contact paper from Amazon
Chandelier — Was already there!
Gold cabinet knobs — Amazon
Faux cowhide rug — Overstock
Countertop stools — Wayfair
Chest of drawers — IKEA
Gold studs and handles — Amazon and Etsy
Black and gold planter — West Elm
Gold shelves — DIY
Glass and gold shelf — Unknown

Gold mirror — Wayfair
Bed frame — Overstock
Side gold tables — World Market
Gray rug — Overstock
Vanity table — Had for years—unknown! Need to find another one.
Chest of drawers — Overstock
Bedding — Bed Bath and Beyond
Accent pillows — H&M
Curtains — World Market

Shower curtain — Bed Bath and Beyond
Leaf vines — Amazon
Silver shelf — HomeGoods

Thanks, Carly!

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