This Small NYC Co-op Cleverly Solves the “Home Office Issue”

published Jan 9, 2024

This Small NYC Co-op Cleverly Solves the “Home Office Issue”

published Jan 9, 2024
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Tracy Forzaglia and her husband, Thomas, have only owned this 650-square-foot, one-bedroom co-op apartment for a month, but they’ve done a brilliant job of creating tons of different “zones” in their small-ish space that allows them to both work from home and enjoy their many hobbies, too. They share the space, which is located in Manhattan’s Midtown East area, with their two cats, Spike and Dot. Forzaglia says they spent “$5K on a painting contractor and about $2500 on other things like furniture and accessories.” You can find more information about their apartment on Forzaglia’s blog, Midtown Century Modern.

Apartment Therapy Survey

Tell us a little about your home and the people who live there: We wanted to inject our new home with our personalities, while also tackling storage challenges inherent to living in the city and related to downsizing from a two-bedroom. Having hobbies like gaming, music, cooking, and art, as well as pets and lots of fashion, can be challenging, so I did a lot of research prior to moving in.

Bedroom view towards the office and window

We also both work mostly at home — Thomas is a software engineer and I do taxonomy and metadata work in the arts — so we needed to create distinct office areas where we could have virtual meetings without disturbing each other. To solve the home office issue, we got two identical desks so that our workspaces would be equal, but tailored to our individual styles and technology requirements. These are set up in opposite corners of the apartment, with his in the “office zone” in the living room and mine tucked away in the bedroom.

Zones were the answer to dividing the living room into a dining area, coffee bar, TV and gaming spot, conversation area, bar, office, and music space. It was hard to believe all these activities can occur comfortably in one large room. It was super helpful to have a bright and distinct color palette to guide decisions on objects and furniture to keep, as well as what to display versus hide in a cabinet or closet. Sticking to the color palette created a cohesive look across rooms and will allow for flexibility and change, as we hope to live here for a very long time.

Describe your home’s style in five words or fewer: Fun Deco Vaporwave Retro Collage

What is your favorite room and why? The dining area/coffee nook in the living room is a great example of creating zones for particular activities. I really love the deco, French cafe vibe of this corner, as well as my red Illy espresso machine. It’s a storage hack too — with the rich blue IKEA cabinet creating an extension of kitchen counter and cabinet space. Our marble bar-height table also offers more space for baking or making homemade cavatelli.

What’s your best decorating, shopping, cleaning, or organizing advice? Find ways to display the things that make you happy. Combine fun with form and function. Use lots of color. Be whimsical, but classy. Create moodboards and do lots of research. Always leave room for updates, cool new art, and more shoes and guitars.


  • White storage in the bedroom — IKEA PAX
  • Red espresso machine — Illy
  • Mr. Cold liquid soap dispenser — ALESSI
  • Custom pendant plug-in lights — Color Cord Company
  • Art Deco-style peacock wallpaper in the dining and coffee area — Fancy Walls
  • Find links to the paint colors used in their home on blog Midtown Century Modern

Thanks, Tracy and Thomas!

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