This New Yorker Turned a Small, Narrow Apartment into a Quirky, Colorful, Creative Home

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Name: Zubaida Rahman and cat, Mushu
Location: Hell’s Kitchen — New York, New York
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 550 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months, renting

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Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: This is my first time living without roommates or family (and first time living in NYC!), so this cute one-bedroom railroad apartment is really important to me.

The years leading up to this, I’ve been working hard on discovering myself and creating a brand for myself consisting of all things I like and that make me feel good.

I’m from Bangladesh and currently an MBA student at NYU, so I’ve tried to find inexpensive-yet-creative ways of filling this home and bringing my culture and heritage as well.

Colours everywhere & Peel and stick tiles have been the best find!

My personality really comes through in the way I’ve decorated this apartment. Anyone who’s visited my apartment says it’s so me. I love vibrant colours and funky and cute pieces. I’m also all about coziness, and my cat, Mushu, has found cozy spots everywhere (it’s intentional!).

Fridge got an upgrade!

Every item in this apartment is intentionally chosen/made/placed. I’m always getting inspo from interior decorating shows and influencers on how best to portray my identity in my home and I’m so happy here at the moment.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or fewer: Colorful and quirky.

Every detail has to be cute

What is your favorite room and why? The living room/dining area/desk area (it’s one long room). I spend the most time in this part of the house. I’ve never been the person who hangs out in her bedroom too much other than to sleep and that’s still true no matter how cozy and cute I make my bedroom! That’s why I filled the living space with my favorite pieces.

DIY TV console, wavy shelves, colours - everything I love.

I painted my TV console lilac and added the cutest knobs I got on Etsy — it used to be a white IKEA KALLAX. This was the first thing I DIY-ed as soon as I moved in. Every single piece in this space is a different color that contrasts and complements each other.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? This running man candle holder I bought from Resident Objects ,which was too funky to pass up! I hit check out before I realized it was too big to place in the shelf I wanted to but I made it work anyways somewhere else!

Cozy bedroom featuring running man candleholder

Any advice for creating a home you love? Pour yourself into it. Use those renter-friendly DIY tips — they changed my whole perspective on decorating. Create a space that you can be yourself in and feel good in! Small changes make the biggest difference.

cute mats + shower curtains - white lighting = cutest bathroom

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