From the trendy and quaint apartments of the West Village to the cloud-piercing penthouses of the Financial District – real-estate agents, contractors and developers can all agree – no matter if your space is hundreds of dollars or even thousands of dollars per square foot – style can be found on any budget.
Many have labeled New York as contemporary or even modern in style but it just may be because the characteristics of those two styles is clean, sleek and minimalistic, which is more of a requirement for our teeny-tiny spaces than the heavy details of traditional design that can eat up way too much of our precious square-footage. So, how do the 8 million plus residents of New York- specifically, Manhattan- define that je ne sais quoi that continuously dazzles us from those glossy magazine covers, and how can one mimic that identical feeling into their environment? The answer is simple: By understanding your own space and editing every one of your decisions.
Transform any out-of date apartment or any newly-constructed white box to one that exemplifies New York flair by following these tips.
In New York, we love to support the arts and we love artwork. Since small spaces are limited on square-footage, walls are sometimes all you have so decorate. Use artwork to tell your life journey and show your individual character. Can’t spring for art? Try using mirrors as artwork. Mirrors also reflect artificial and natural light, making small spaces appear larger.
Don’t even think about moving in until absolutely everything has received a fresh coat of paint – walls, ceilings, cabinets, interior doors and base, case and crown moldings all need to be expertly coated. Lighter colors and softer shades of paint will illuminate small spaces making them feel larger while darker hues and more saturated tones will prove to be more dramatic – giving the impression that a larger room may be smaller than it actually is. If you are thinking of painting yourself, think again. Painting is not as easy as TV makes it seem.
Work With What You Have
Accentuating the positive while camouflaging the negative is a talent you must master if you are caught in the moral quandary of not wanting to invest your own cash in a rented space. Should you choose the more economical route , damaged wood floors can receive rugs that can roll-up and go with you when you leave. Artwork and pictures can hide holes and cracks in walls. Shelves and shelving units that can be removed upon your end-of-lease agreement can be installed in lieu of missing cabinets or to add additional storage. But, most importantly, weigh your quality of life against money spent to make sure you are making the correct decision.
Learn to Live with Less
Contrary to what many believe, style has nothing to do with filling up a space with stuff, no matter how expensive or how much space you have. True style lies in expressing your uniqueness and allowing that to cohesively flow throughout for all to appreciate. Think twice on what you bring home as not every wall has to have furniture placed against it. Remember, items that can perform double-duty are the most coveted in small spaces – like the coffee table that conveniently turns into a home-office.
In the end, the New-York style that has been so in-vogue for so many centuries is nothing more than placing a personal commitment on valuing your quality of life by creating your own personal style that motivates and inspires rather than just a random collection of material objects.