Two summers ago, my couple friends Jason and Tyler moved in together, and within barely a month of being in their new spot it felt cozier than all my past apartments combined (so typical of nesting lovebirds). You might remember the space below—we shot it to talk about how they merged their two styles into one, and ran the piece after profiling Jason's apartment as the "before."
In the spirit of the new year (which always makes me want to freshen up my own space), we're bringing you the story again—this time with all the good ideas spelled out clearly so you can pick out the ones you like and set some apartment goals for 2017.
When Jason and Tyler told me they were going to turn the smaller bedroom in their new 2-bedroom apartment into a living room (the result above), I worried it would, being just 5 feet across in some places, feel cramped—and therefore not at all a place they'd want to hang out. But a good window gave it plenty of light, and they took care to maximize every inch without cluttering it. How?
"We were able to fit two of our biggest pieces without the area feeling constrained," Tyler reports—but the hidden storage and the enhanced lighting are the real victories here.
One of the reasons the couple sprang for this apartment was the light; there's at least one window in every room—that's not guaranteed in NYC!—and two tall, south-facing ones in the bedroom. To keep things crisp and sunny, they went with cool white walls in the bedroom, graphic accents, and open shelving three different ways. And if you're wondering about that quilt above, which is soft and fluffy right out of the bag, we sell here it in the Shop! (Full disclosure: I brought it with me for the shoot because I wasn't sure they had a comforter.)
In a rental apartment when you're on a budget, the style of the kitchen cabinets is not likely going to be something that makes or breaks the deal—they wouldn't have chosen this finish, or this countertop, if it were up to them. But a lot of good light and plenty of space (there's actually another wall of cabinets and a countertop that faces this one) sold them on this kitchen as a place they would be happy to cook regularly.
Right when you enter Jason & Tyler's apartment, you're greeted by a table and chairs backed by a tall, leaning mirror that seems to double the size of the room—this is where they eat, and I loved that it was the first space you encounter ("We really like how it's the central point in the apartment," Jason says). Better still, it's expandable without feeling fold-up:
This post originally ran as in 2015 as "Moving In Together: Finishing Touches for a Small Space" last summer, but we brought it back because apartments have resolutions, too.
Photos by Mark Weinberg