Over the past 10 months of residing in New York, I've become fascinated with watching design-conscious apartment dwellers take a small space and turn it in to a place they can call home. As I struggle to arrange and then rearrange my own 100 sq-ft bedroom and make it a space I feel good about, I love reading stories and seeing "before" and "after" photographs of small-space transitions. One stylish New York apartment I recently came across is shared by two best friends from Austin- Dustin O'Neal and Valerie Nguyen. They both moved to New York after graduating from the University of Texas and chose to settle in to a small, 300 sq-ft Lower East Side apartment. The space has 2 bedrooms and 1 tiny kitchen that they share. As you can see from the photos, the apartment is TINY, yet every inch has been carefully considered and designed with an effortless, Austin-Texas vibe:
When Nguyen and O'Neal moved in, the space was a white box. They picked a daring paint color, Behr's Dark Cavern, for the kitchen cabinetry and walls. While traditionally dark colors are thought to make a space feel smaller, in this case it gave the kitchen definition, and both feel that when light trickles in the darker color actually makes the space feel larger.
2 serape rugs found in El Paso, Texas, are layered on the floor underneath the kitchen table. 2 folding chairs Hunter found at a Design on a Dime event serve as table seating. The chairs can easily be carried upstairs to their rooftop terrace overlooking the city.
Hunter's room is my favorite of the 3 spaces. As a PR agent for architects and designers, he was able to call in a few favors from his friends to keep the cost down. The geometric wallpaper on the ceiling is by Black Crow Studios, and Hunter paired it with a sultry mauve wall color. Artwork he's collected over the years hangs on the wall, and the tartan lumbar pillow fabric is by Ronda Carmen Fine Fabrics.
O'Neal chose a large mirror to sit above his dresser in order to create a larger sense of space:
Nguyen's room features a sexy faux bois wallpaper by Innovations, a desk chair from LexMod, and a sheepskin rug from Sam's Club.
Valerie and Hunter's budget-conscious apartment exudes beautiful design, quirky details, and conversation-starting elements that create a unique place to call home, right in the heart of the Lower East Side. I've never seen 300 square feet look so good!