So you’ve just landed a gorgeous studio apartment (woohoo!). But as much as you love it, you’re used to living with a bit more space. If you’re wondering what to do with all of your stuff, fear not! Though it may present some unique challenges, small-scale living doesn’t mean you can’t have some major Pinterest-worthy interiors. Jackie Clair — York Avenue blogger, photographer and interior designer — shows us how she styled her own Upper East Side NYC studio apartment. Check out her unconventional and borderline genius small space hacks, watch the video tour and then head over to our Tiny Spaces series page to see some other amazing tiny homes.
1. Maximize height with shelving. Jackie uses this IKEA KALLAX bookshelf ($199) to create a room divider in her studio between the living and sleeping space. This brilliant hack adds a mix of open lighting and varied structural elements for more negative space. Since you want the natural light to shine through it, don’t over-stuff the compartments. Pro tip: Color-coding your shelves will help it feel uber organized and chic.
2. Define a space with a wall gallery. This isn’t your traditional small space hack but, believe it or not, a wall gallery can help you create a light and airy look in your home. Make sure most of the pieces have a white matte to help condense the color into smaller squares.
3. Light it up with wall sconces. Say goodbye to nightstands and table lamps. Using a simple and structural wall sconce can help you prevent bedside clutter. Based on the amount of books in Jackie’s apartment, this is probably her favorite spot to indulge in a morning coffee and good read.
4. Use platters to show off jewelry and trinkets. Put your most chic jewelry pieces and decor on a display in a tray or platter. This will help you avoid the need to find additional storage space for your chic goods, like a big, clunky jewelry box. This trick also comes in handy if you’re always late: Just grab and go to save yourself a few extra minutes each morning.
5. Hide (and organize) your jewelry collection. Jewelry organization can be tricky, especially if you have a sizable collection. Use clear storage dividers in a sock drawer or bathroom cabinet, where it’s tucked away but won’t get all tangled. Individual compartments will help you easily find the item you’re looking for, whether it’s your favorite cocktail ring or a necklace.
6. Maximize storage in your bathroom. Jackie’s bathroom storage makes use of behind-the-mirror shelvings, vanity cabinets and an additional thin shelf display for toiletries. Take advantage of extra storage in your own bathroom, and use any extra space to your benefit by installing a floating shelf or setting a basket on an unused surface. To make the space feel bigger, use horizontal strips on the shower curtain.
7. Use every nook and cranny. Why didn’t we think of this first?! Storing your books under a chair is the perfect way to stay organized and keep them handy in times of need. Regardless if it’s for studying or casual reading, this is an amazing idea. Pro tip: Remove the book jackets to go for a more unified, upscale feel.
8. Use every surface, especially in the kitchen. Save counter space by using your appliances as stackable storage. This innovative New Yorker uses a modern metal serving tray to function as storage that she can pick up and move whenever she needs.
9. Use your decor to help define each space. Given that Jackie’s living room is filled with light colors and bright decor, her vanity separates her space with its dark color and vintage style. Think about how you move through your space and adjust your furniture accordingly. With clear room differentiation, you’ll enjoy your apartment even more.
10. When in doubt, go vertical. We’ve seen throughout Jackie’s apartment that vertical space should not be wasted. This bookshelf is another perfect example of that, because you can tuck it next to a chair or near a window.
11. Use a secretary desk to hide clutter. This modern and preppy decor space rocks a white secretary desk that, though dense, blends effortlessly in with the white wall. It looks super cute, helps hide clutter and can keep you organized every day of your life.
Watch the full tour below and check out the rest of the series here.