This Art Collector’s 800-Square-Foot West Village Rental Maximizes Every Stylish Inch

published Apr 28, 2023

This Art Collector’s 800-Square-Foot West Village Rental Maximizes Every Stylish Inch

published Apr 28, 2023
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Alex Bass, the founder of Salon 21, an “art advisory, design firm, and multi-disciplinary event space for creative programming,” had been living in a stylish West Village studio apartment filled with cool furniture and even cooler art. But a little over a year ago, she and her boyfriend decided to move in together, and the hunt was on for a slightly large space. A self-proclaimed “avid Streeteasy searcher,” Alex admits the NYC rental market wasn’t the best, so she and her boyfriend “took what we could find based on the time we were moving,” she admits. “I’m always confident that no matter the space, I can turn it into a home I am proud of and happy living in. The most important aspect of living in NYC for me is the location, meaning that I would rather forgo square footage to be in an area I enjoy walking around.”

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Her current home, this 800-square-foot, one-bedroom find in the West Village, certainly gave her more room to stretch out and show off her impressive art and vintage furniture collection. When it came to designing this apartment, Alex was surprised by what ended up being the biggest challenge. Or rather, what wasn’t a challenge. “Combining my style with my boyfriend’s was initially what I thought would be the biggest challenge, but that turned out to be quite seamless,” she admits. “We share a lot of similar interests, one of which being art, so aesthetically we mesh well. We are also very opinionated so if one of us doesn’t like something, we’re not afraid to say it, which is SO helpful!”

Alex also made the small space stylish despite not owning it, getting clever with renter-friendly ideas, such as tweaking a Wayfair bench to look like a custom, built-in dining banquette, taking the doors off of a cabinet for an elevated storage look, and replacing light fixtures. She also made sure to maximize space wherever she could. “My boyfriend and I both work from home some days of the week, so we needed to create office areas. We set up a desk for him in the bedroom, and I have my desk in a nook by the entryway. In a small space, you need to use every square inch!” she writes.

Perhaps most importantly, Alex advises to “[l]et your space reflect your personality and make sure it is functional for what you need it to be. And if you want to hire a professional for advice and design, like Salon 21, we specialize in improving small spaces and sourcing on a budget.”



  • Laurinda Spear Ripple bench — Reupholstered by Modern Love Furniture
  • Pink desk lamp — Globe temple lamp
  • Wallpaper — Target



  • Sofa — Mario Bellini 
  • Coffee table — Chairish “1960s Mid Century Chrome, Glass & Wood Coffee Table”
  • Gold side table — Milo Baughman
  • White tile side table — Ikon København
  • Iron bookshelf — ABC Carpet & Home sale
  • Credenza — Anthropologie
  • Samsung Frame TV
  • Art lights — Home Depot
  • Wassily chair — Home Union
  • Mid-Century Modern 1950s Italian Bar 


  • Milo Baughman burlwood headboard — Coming Soon
  • Luigi Massoni Dilly Dally Vanity — Form Vintage
  • Sconces — Vintage from Etsy
  • Noguchi lantern
  • Bedspread — Dusen and Dusen
  • Ettore Sottsass Ultra Fragola Mirror

Thanks Alex!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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