How I Made A Small Space Feel Like My Own in Manhattan!



Last fall I moved apartments and gained roommates, which meant having to condense a full apartments worth of stuff into a single bedroom (without a closet). At first I was super nervous about how I was going to turn a small Manhattan bedroom into a welcoming space with the amount of belongings I had. But I quickly realized that by shedding the unnecessary things and learning good ways to organize the rest, even this oddly shaped bedroom (without a lot of light) could feel homey!


There are still days my room gets overly cluttered, I get overwhelmed and I question how on earth I'm living in such a small space. (That's the southern in me though-- because apartments anywhere outside of big cities are larger and cheaper)!


Keep in mind, I was also working off of a TIGHT budget when I moved, because so much money was spent on the physical moving process (renting a u-haul, boxes, security deposits and first months rent). So I wasn't looking to furnish my room with the most long-lasting or trendy furniture. I just needed things that were going to do the job. The fun part of buying very basic pieces, is how easy it is to choose small and fun statement decorations that add a bit of personality!


1. DOWNSIZING. I started by selling and donating a lot of clothing and random pieces of clutter. I know, I know-- it still seems like I have WAY too much stuff. I definitely do. But even shedding a small amount made a big difference. If you're looking for ways to sell clothing, I recommend trying Posh mark or selling clothes via Instagram stories!


2. STORAGE. I looked for various storage solutions that were effective and inexpensive, such as shelving (with closed doors), a desk (with extra drawer space and shelving) and under bed storage (both hard plastic containers and vacuum seal bags). I got my furniture from amazon! Linking the desk HERE and the wardrobe HERE. As far as plastic containers, I got them all at Target! Fun fact, if you live in Manhattan and shop at any of the Target's in the city-- you can get same day delivery on larger items you purchase. That way you don't have to fight through subway crowds with a bunch of plastic bins!




3. DECOR. When it came to actually decorating the room, I knew I would need to get creative. This room is naturally really dark and it can feel even darker with the exposed brick wall. One way I knew to lighten up the space is to add lighter furniture and colored accents. So I got my desk, wardrobe and comforter all in white. I then looked for some colorful pieces to even out the darker tones in the room. I got a light pink chair for my desk (this one is a little lighter, but a close match--linked HERE), some pastel throw pillows and ordered a few packs of pastel picture frames.



I went on Pinterest and found different quotes, art pieces and photography that I liked. I printed them out onto card stock, cut them out and framed them! It only took a few sheets of paper, cheap frames and a handful of nails to get the project finished. This was an inexpensive way to make my space feel more personalized! You can find all kinds of frames at Target or on Amazon and Etsy! I was looking for pink and blue specifically!




I am also HUGE on personal photos, so I made sure to go to Walgreen's and get prints made of all my favorite pictures (both from New York and home) to frame. You can download the Walgreen's app, upload photos directly from your phone and order them to your local store. They can typically be ready same day and are very inexpensive to print!


I also used my new Polaroid printer (linked HERE) to turn photos from my phone into Polaroids; for a fun and different way to display pictures on my wall! If you aren't sure how to come up with a vision on decorating your space, I HIGHLY recommend going on Pinterest and building a mood board! I did that before moving, and I think it really helped!


When you're moving somewhere like NYC or any other big city where living quarters are cramped, it is IMPERATIVE that your small space feel cozy and welcoming. These are just a few small tips that have helped me! Hopefully they can help you too.