New York City has long been known as a place that inspires ingenuity. From cutting-edge architecture to outside-the-box art, New York is a place of invention, originality and innovation. It’s not surprising that this type of clever thinking trickles down to the places that New Yorkers call home. Even though residents here live in much smaller spaces than the average American, that doesn’t mean those spaces aren’t comfortable, efficient and even luxurious. Here are some of the ingenious ways New Yorkers are making the most of their small spaces. We hope they inspire you!
When you’re dealing with a small space, it helps if each piece of furniture can serve multiple purposes. Of course, there are standards such as Murphy beds and convertible sofas that let you tuck sleeping areas away when not in use. But what about a coffee table that turns into a dining table? Or an ottoman that can be used for storage? Or how about this ironing board that turns into a full-length mirror? By intentionally choosing furniture that can be used in multiple ways, you’ll save square footage and your home will feel less cluttered.
Another way to maximize a small space is to make strong and cohesive choices with your design. Choose a color palette that you can use throughout the whole space, which will help your eye move from one area to another. Subtle textures and patterns can add visual interest and dimension without becoming overwhelming.
Wall space isn’t just for hanging art. When you’re living in a small home, vertical space can be used for storage. Instead of buying traditional bookshelves, which eat up floor space, consider installing floating shelves on the wall. Floating shelves can also be used as nightstands, side tables and even desks. Instead of desk or floor lamps, use wall-mounted lighting to save valuable space. In addition, well-placed mirrors hung on walls can reflect light and visually double your space.
Even if your home is a studio apartment, you can create zones that will make your space more functional and feel bigger. Think about the ways in which you use your space – for sleeping, relaxing and eating, for example. Then create areas for each of those activities. You can hang curtains to create privacy or use bookshelves to delineate different spaces.
Nearly every big-city apartment dweller has a love/hate relationship with IKEA. While their designs are great for those short on space, not everybody wants that straight-out-of-the-IKEA-catalog look. Luckily, with a little imagination, you can turn that standard IKEA piece into something that makes a statement. The Internet abounds with ideas for IKEA hacks, from towel bars turned into space-saving wine racks to platform beds with mega storage made from cabinets. The sky’s the limit with what you can do to customize your space.
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