This NYC Rental Is Jam-Packed with Smart Small-Space Storage Ideas

published May 1, 2024

This NYC Rental Is Jam-Packed with Smart Small-Space Storage Ideas

published May 1, 2024
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Bedrooms
Square feet
500
Sq ft
500

Mariellas Urrutia, the owner and founder of Nelson Jones Interiors, loves the block her 500-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment is located on; she’s actually lived in this spot for 10 years.

Credit: Erin Derby

“It’s important to me to live in a storybook street in the city. A girlfriend was living in one of the apartments in the building, and as soon as she heard there was an available apartment I jumped on,” begins Mariellas of her journey to this rental. “There was a young couple living here at the time and as soon as she opened the door, she said, you’re gonna want to take the apartment.”

Credit: Erin Derby

There was a lot to love about the space beyond just its location on the border of NoHo and the East Village, like the gorgeous morning light from the south-facing windows. But there was something she didn’t love: that it was a small space with no storage.

Credit: Erin Derby

But over the years that’s she’s lived in her small space (which she shares with her pup), she’s added in a lot of smart storage spots that any small-space dweller could learn from. For one, she hired a carpenter to build cabinetry in a couple of spots, but had a very specific and genius request. “I had him secure the cabinets on French cleats so that they floated,” she explains. “I didn’t want legs on them. I wanted a seamless look and room to store baskets underneath.”

Credit: Erin Derby

Mariellas also cites working with an organizer as a key to her small home staying so organized. She recruited Rachael Harvey, founder of Noice Spaces Organizing (and a fellow Apartment Therapy tour participant with her stylish and tidy 275-square-foot studio apartment!), to help come up with drawer and cabinet solutions to keep the space ultra functional.

Credit: Erin Derby
Rachael incorporated these clear spice racks for this cabinet's organization.

In the kitchen area (which is little more than small spot along one wall in the main living area), Rachael incorporated three functional but stylish utility baskets on top of the cabinets, which hold extra trash bags, electronic supplies, tools, and picnic supplies. The cabinets themselves got a rearrange of the plates, bowls, mugs, glasses, and spice cabinet organization. And the cleaning supplies are in the cabinet underneath the sink.

Credit: Erin Derby
The undermount paper towel roll holder can be found on Amazon.

Several closet cabinets in the living area got a redo, like the one that holds office supplies, a scarf/hat drawer, important documents, and designer project supplies. Baskets on the top shelf hold umbrellas and shoes.

Credit: Erin Derby

The cabinet next to the bathroom holds some hanging clothes, but below, also bathroom supplies, hair supplies, daily shoe supplies, baskets, and candles.

Credit: Erin Derby
Rachael used these woven baskets from Amazon in the cabinet. See a before and after of the closet on Instagram.

In the bedroom, the West Elm storage bed got refreshed, with all of Mariellas’ summer clothes refolded and shoes, linens, extra blankets, swimsuits, and tote bags all maximized for efficient space. The interior of the white cabinet has drawers with sweaters, sweatshirts, purses, bags, and more. The chest of drawers holds socks, T-shirts, pajamas, and workout clothes.

Credit: Erin Derby

Resources

Credit: Erin Derby

PAINT & COLORS

  • Living Room — Benjamin Moore “Victorian Trim”
  • Bathroom — Benjamin Moore “Blue Ink”
  • Bedroom — Benjamin Moore “Grey Skies”
Credit: Erin Derby

LIVING ROOM

  • Custom Fabric Sofa — Cb2
  • Lumbar pillow — Rob shaw
  • Lounge Chair — West Elm
  • Scalamandre pillow — William Sonoma
  • Cube hot pink table — Cb2
Credit: Erin Derby

DINING AREA

  • Vintage surf board faux marble — Sarineen table 
  • Sarineen purple chair — DWR
  • Office Swivel chair — Cb2
Credit: Erin Derby

KITCHEN

  • Fridge wallpaper —  Etsy
  • Storage baskets — West Elm
  • Task Lamp — Vintage find 
Credit: Erin Derby

BEDROOM

Thanks Mariellas and Rachael!

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