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Home tour: make the most of a compact apartment

04 January 2017

How do you make living in one room work? With intelligently planned storage and an all-white decor, that’s how! Style and PR consultant Dria shows us how she has maximised space in her NYC studio: ‘With a little thought, you can make any room feel more spacious. And being able to live in my favourite area of Manhattan makes up for it.’

‘In New York, I’m constantly out and about because there’s always something new happening – a new event, a restaurant opening, a party for a new brand. But being able to retreat to my own space gives me the time I need to recharge’

Dria, style and PR consultant, USA 

White helps open up a small-space home

‘I wanted to create an all-white atmosphere to brighten things up, and really play off that to make the apartment feel a little bit bigger,’ says Dria. White walls help to open up the space and create a stylish, edited look. Add colour with accessories, textiles and flowers – things that are easy to change or update to match the season or your changing taste. 

‘It was the high ceilings that really sold the apartment to me,’ says Dria. ‘I wanted to maximise them, so I designed a custom closet that uses the full height of the walls.’ Smart storage doesn’t mean that everything has to be within easy reach; think outside the box and build upwards instead. Top shelves are a great place for unseasonal clothes or things you don’t use all the time – in small apartments this can save on valuable floorspace. 
 

‘When I found this space, I loved how the mantle and the fireplace were already here – they help give the place its homey feel,’ says Dria, who has used her apartment’s permanent features to create different zones. ‘On moving in, one of the first things I did was map out where I wanted my bed to be – I had to be strategic with where I was placing the bigger items of furniture.’ 

‘I went from a really big place to a small space. If you settle in and you don’t sort out your storage first, you end up living in clutter for so long,’ says Dria. ‘The high walls definitely help open up the space and make it feel homely. I took advantage of putting up as many shelving units as I could, like the one that fills the wall above my desk.’ (You can check out some of Dria’s more inventive storage ideas over here.) 

‘Me and my friends all live in small spaces. The trade-off is being able to stay in New York City.’ Dria has lived in her apartment for two years and, with a combination of clever storage solutions and a calming decor, has made the 40 square metres work around her lifestyle. 

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by

Interior designer: Emily Rickard
Photographer: Nicole Franzen