A 425-Square-Foot Astoria Apartment Is a Couple’s Oasis

published Jul 16, 2018

A 425-Square-Foot Astoria Apartment Is a Couple’s Oasis

published Jul 16, 2018
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Name: Grace Flynn and her boyfriend, Tyler Tronson
Location: Astoria, New York
Size: 425 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years, renting

Grace’s studio is located in Astoria where longtime residents hang flower pots on their patios and wine bars host signs that kindly ask for smokers to stand by the tree, out of consideration for their neighbors. But every old-school block eventually runs into main streets with all the fixings for a hipster scene: bakeries, bars, vintage shops, and a film museum (Museum of the Moving Image). The 425-square-foot space where Grace and her boyfriend have made a home reflects this eclectic energy of old meets new. “This is our first apartment in New York,” Grace says, “and come this October, it’ll be five years.”

It’s a steal. The layout of the studio makes it easy to design as a small one-bedroom with the help of a divider to separate the bedroom area from the living room. Their home manages a flow that feels lived-in while remaining fresh, stimulating without feeling cluttered, and functional without being forced. “Around Christmas, our reading chair turns into the space for the Christmas tree,” Grace says while pointing at the orange mid-century chair in the corner of her living room. Every bit of the design is unapologetically cheerful, which is exactly the home you’d expect from a woman who can rock a shirt that declares disco as a core belief.

Grace is the founder of the doughnut diaries, an online blog where she shares her version of living in NYC through the lens of doughnuts and fashion. “I spend my days working in advertising and running paid social for big accounts! [T]his blog is my creative outlet and [I] hope you get a few smiles, inspiration and doughnut cravings.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Mid-century modern with a colorful, eclectic twist.

Inspiration: This was hard to nail down, but ultimately, a lot of my inspiration stems from what makes me feel happy…as corny as that may sound! For me, these are items that are colorful, sometimes elegant, a little Palm Springs and ’70s disco. I can say with confidence almost every item or piece in our apartment made me feel happy at first sight.

Favorite Element: Our living room’s cozy vibe. In the morning, the sun pours in, lighting up the entire space. The (real) plants look fresh and green and the disco balls are twinkling. In the evening, it is cozy and the lava lamp and candles are giving off a soft, relaxing glow. It feels like we are in our own oasis.

Biggest Challenge: Obviously space and storage are a huge challenge in any small apartment, but this becomes particularly worse around the holidays. Having a Christmas tree is an absolute must for us, which means the corner of our living room needs to be a flex space for 11 months out of the year. This probably sounds ridiculous, but trust me, the apartment is at its peak with a trimmed, glowing tree!

What Friends Say: Cute, cozy, looks like it came out of a Target ad.

Biggest Embarrassment: The unfathomable amount of cords. Outlets were not strategically placed, unfortunately.

Proudest DIY: My marble-contact paper counters and removable tile back-splash! It could definitely use a little bit of a refresher now, but it made such a big difference.

Biggest Indulgence: The couch!

Best Advice: If you have a vision, follow through! Don’t let a lease, small space or non-believers stop you from doing what will make you happy. This is YOUR space. Why not be happy in it?

Dream Sources: Anthropologie, CB2, West Elm, Target


Pom Tassel Curtain — Anthropologie
Peggy Sofa — West Elm (similar here)
Peekaboo Acrylic Coffee Table — CB2
Ashik Wool Rug — West Elm (out of stock)
Mill Mini Console Table; White — CB2
Cube C Side Table — West Elm
Green Velvet Medallion Square Throw Pillow — Target
Pleated Velvet Round Throw Pillow — Target
Reese Tufted Fabric Retro Chair — Target
Round Decorative Wall Mirror Brass — Target
Disco Ball — Amazon
Lava Lamp — Amazon
Solid Textured Throw Pillow — Target
Banana Leaves Floor Pillows — Society6

Pegboard — Amazon
Marble Contact Paper — Amazon
Removable Backsplash — Amazon

Metalized Glass Table Lamp + USB – Large (Pearl) — West Elm
Threshold Sheets — Target
BirdRock Home Folding Butterfly Bamboo Hamper — Amazon
LILLÅSEN Desk — Ikea
PERSBY Floating Shelf — Ikea

Thanks, Grace and Tyler!

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