Monday, May 23, 2016

A 300 Sq Ft Apartment in the Lower East Side

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!


  1. Replies
    1. I'd be interested to see that, too. My guess is it was too small to fit a camera in! ;)

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