NYC apartment decorating tips and ideas

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Moving to New York City means moving to one of the largest cities in the world. It sure is a challenge and an experience of its own but it also presents a newcomer with some new and unique challenges. These challenges usually come from the specificity of NYC that a newcomer is not prepared for or not accustomed to. As a very high-density city, NYC is, to put it simply, cramped, large apartments are at a premium and real-estate prices are sky-high. Whether you opt to buy or lease an apartment you will probably be faced with a lack of space and a decorating problem in it. So how do New Yorkers do it, how do they arrange their apartments and make their space usable and livable?

Apartment types and sizes

Well, the reality of NYC living is that you will most likely be forced to find a small apartment or share a bigger one with a roommate. Decorating in those conditions must be done with an open mind and a lot of creativity. Luckily there are some tips and ideas to help and guide you through that process so do your research. Your movers like can also offer some advice and provide resources. You can always enlist the help of decorating professionals but the internet is overflowing with tricks you can utilize on your own.

When finding an apartment in NY you can have some options about the type of apartment you can have. Usually, the apartments NY has to offer are the studio, railroad or micro-apartments. Their major characteristic is that they are small and you must have creative juices flowing to decorate them and make them useful and comfortable living space.

Decorating guides, DIY tips, ideas and tricks of the trade

There are two major problems anyone moving into an NYC apartment is facing. The first is the lack of space these small apartments have to offer. The second problem is how to make such a small space a functional home that does not feel cramped and chaotic but is cozy and homey. Whatever the solution may be, you may still be faced with the need to store away your stuff due to the lack of space. Besides seasonal wardrobe, your furniture can be safely stored away until you need it so make sure you keep this option open.

Creating, utilizing and optimizing space

With square footage being scarce utilizing every inch seems to be a priority. In a small space, the creativity and usage of tricks is the only way to create useful storage, living, sleeping dining and all kinds of space. There are many tips and tricks to do it and the offer of solutions on the market is overwhelming:

  • floating furniture
  • foldable and multifunction furniture
  • room dividers
  • bed risers
  • double-duty pieces

Declutter and optimize

With a small apartment space, the crucial problem that needs to be solved is the storage space. Without the solution to this issue, the apartment can become cluttered, disorganized and overwhelmed. Luckily the market offers a pallet of different double-duty furniture, storage options, and other solutions.

Using double-duty furniture is always a good way to declutter your small apartment. Using beds with built-in storage provides space to store your linens, blankets, pillows when not in use. Trunks that double as coffee tables can also be used for magazines or other small stuff. Small ottomans can also be used as hidden storage to tuck away your stuff and declutter.

Using walls to hang things and keep them off the floor can also make space feel bigger while providing storage and useful space. Using hanging, wall-mounted and floating furniture like shelves, nightstands, baskets and other furniture pieces can free up floor space and make it feel larger. You always have an option to hide your clutter behind room dividers or hanging curtains. Additional storage can be created under the bed by using bed risers for a cozier and clutter-free space.

Décor, style

Making a small apartment useful is one thing but there is much to do about making it seem roomier, more open and inviting. Decoration ideas and tricks come into play here in order to achieve this goal. Professionals might have some ideas on how to do it but you can always DIY a look that reflects you.

One of the best tricks to make the room seem bigger is through mirrors. Hanging mirrors and other reflective surfaces give space some added depth, bounce light through the room and make space seem wider and bigger. White always seems to be the color to give a small space life. White color blurs the boundaries between walls and the sealing making the apartment seem higher and larger. White also reflects light creating the feeling of openness. One of the ways to enhance that feeling is to use draperies and curtains hanging all the way from the ceiling to the floor thus elongating the walls so they seem bigger.

Compartmentalizing a small apartment is never a good idea but making it visually separated can be beneficiary for its look. The illusion of separated spaces can be achieved simply by introducing segmented roughs and carpets into the apartment. Several rugs of different shapes and sizes can be used to visually distinguish the living area from the sleeping area or the dining area of the apartment. Visually defining those different spaces can make the apartment look roomier and a lot larger than it is.

Apartments that have high ceilings can also be modified into a loft space allowing you to double its useful square footage by utilizing vertical space. This trick can be also combined with innovative storage solutions and creative decoration elements and ideas to make the apartment more functionally spacious and inviting.


Moving and living in NYC can be an adventure when apartment hunting. It is important to know that NY is cramped, apartments are small and the room is scarce. However, if you are creative, willing to experiment, you can always make a DIY solution for that problem and create a warm and cozy nest for you to enjoy. Keep in mind some of the tricks that can help, do your own research and be creative. It’s up to you.

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