These 4 Ingenious Hacks Make This Small NYC Rental Feel Bigger Than It Is

updated Aug 9, 2023

These 4 Ingenious Hacks Make This Small NYC Rental Feel Bigger Than It Is

updated Aug 9, 2023
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Bedrooms
Square feet
529
Sq ft
529

Name: Kirsten Ashley
Location: New York City, New York
Size: 529 square feet
Type of Home: One-bedroom apartment
Years lived in: 9 months, renting

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“I was really excited to move into this apartment,” begins kindergarten teacher and lifestyle content creator/YouTuber Kirsten Ashley. “The building was a new high-rise built in what used to be a more industrial neighborhood. The space is super cool in that it takes inspiration from many design styles. It is polished and sophisticated, and has allowed me to be super creative. I had to be really intentional about picking everything from the smallest decor items to my larger furniture pieces to bring home. I mixed modern, high-end pieces with handcrafted items to find my perfect balance of upscale trends and staple classics.”

Credit: Erin Derby

1. Choosing oversized furniture

It might seem like the exact opposite of what to do when you have a small home, but Kirsten’s rental apartment is proof that sometimes choosing large furniture when you have a compact space can make a room feel bigger. Many small pieces of furniture can highlight a home’s diminutive footprint while making it feel cluttered.

Whereas arranging a few large and luxurious pieces of furniture gives the impression of a larger space simply by being able to fit large furniture pieces in it! Kirsten’s compact and narrow living room feels plush thanks to the three-seat sofa with huge cushions, while two deep chairs with tall arms and backs create a dining room nook in the same small space.

2. DIYing high-end looking decor means custom sizing

Though Kirsten splurged on a few expensive items (that she knows she’ll keep for years to come), she was able to save money with a few stylish DIY projects without sacrificing her high-end tastes, like her faux marble pedestal, which is her proudest DIY project.

“I purchased porcelain tile and had the pieces cut so they were the right size then glued them together and painted over the rough edges. It saved me several hundred dollars!” she explains. But beyond just saving her money, she was also able to create a custom-sized side table that fits her living room corner perfectly.

Credit: Erin Derby

3. Using bedroom furniture in a unique spot

“Since my apartment opens directly into my kitchen, instead of keeping an entryway console across from it, I decided that a dresser would enhance the amount of closed storage in my apartment and be the most optimal way to conceal my clothing,” Kirsten writes. “I consider this my ‘Carrie Bradshaw moment.’ It’s not quite like keeping shoes in the oven, but close enough!”

Choosing a large furniture piece with hidden storage versus a more “typical” entryway setup keeps her home organized, uncluttered, and feeling much larger.

Credit: Erin Derby

4. Adding more counterspace with this cute shelf

Small items can make a big impact, like this adorable, rustic, wood shelf placed on the countertop. Not only does it add a little more surface area to a small kitchen, but, paired with some cute containers, it elevates everyday items to create a sophisticated and functional spot.

Resources

Credit: Erin Derby

ENTRY

Credit: Erin Derby

LIVING ROOM

Credit: Erin Derby

DINING ROOM

Credit: Erin Derby

KITCHEN

Credit: Erin Derby

BEDROOM

Credit: Erin Derby

BATHROOM

Thanks Kirsten!

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