Creating a maximalist vibe in a small apartment (without completely overwhelming the space) is no easy feat, but that’s precisely what writer, creative consultant, and international jetsetter Natasha Nyanin accomplished inside her 350-square-foot Manhattan studio. With the help of interior designer Nina Barnieh-Blair, she sought to create a space that felt “harmonious; curated with different influences and nuances from all over the world.” Read ahead for some studio apartment ideas from Nyanin to recreate a similar look in your own small space.
Use paint to enhance the space
Nyanin used specific paint colors and finishes to produce an assortment of small apartment savvy design effects throughout her studio.
In the living room, Nyanin painted the walls Seize the Gray (the perfect neutral gray!) to “bring out the colors of upholstery in the room while subduing the daintiness of the rich blush pink sofa.” She also painted the trims of the room in the same shade of light gray, but with a semi-gloss finish, to create texture on the monochromatic wall.
Instead of painting actual stripes in the bathroom - which she originally set out to do - Nyanin offset the white subway tiles adorning the bottom half of the walls by employing Blackest (our deepest, darkest black) on the upper halves and ceiling. “Keeping a bathroom white to make it appear bigger isn’t going to give it any character,” she says.
Consider your layout
When it comes to studio decor ideas, Nyanin says arranging your furniture for spatial flow and functionality is essential. “The desk next to the bed doubles as a room divider,” she says. “Instead of facing outward, it’s turned to section off the bed area from the rest of the living room.”
She also took care to place her bed inside a corner of the living room, positioned toward the windows, to make the space appear larger than it actually is (while basking in the natural northern light). “You can use furniture as a way to demarcate an open space and to carve out little nooks into a large room,” she says.
Create the illusion of more space
When you’re working with a limited amount of square footage, sometimes you have to fake it to make it when decorating a studio apartment. For Nyanin’s apartment, this meant decorating with furnishings that are practical but also help create the illusion of more space.
In the galley-style kitchen, Nyanin covered the walls in a crisp white semi-gloss coat of Fresh Kicks Trim Paint to open up the ultra-narrow space and “make it easier to clean.” In the living area, an acrylic lampshade and glass-shelved bar cart offer functionality without appearing bulky or obtrusive. And in the dining nook, a large mirror hangs at eye-level on the wall to trick the eye into seeing an expanded space. “You have to be creative but strategic when decorating a small space,” she says.
Have fun with finishes and fixtures
No matter what size your space is, Nyanin says there’s always room to have fun with interesting finishes (think countertops, upholstery, and rugs), fixtures, and other studio decor ideas. “Texture adds a richness that’s essential to creating a multifaceted look in a monochrome space,” she says.
In the living area, this meant incorporating accents such as reindeer hides, woven throw pillows, alabaster vases, and acrylic stone side tables to score a layered, but highly curated look for the room. In the kitchen, she forged a luxe, marble-like countertop finish and embellished the space with brass cabinet pulls and shelf brackets to add depth and dimension. She did the same with brass hardware, faucets, and shower fixtures in the bathroom. “The use of layers in a space that small allows you to play with different elements - like brass versus marble and shiny versus matte - that look deliberate and taste-specific,” she says.
Photography by: Nathaniel Johnston | Portrait by: Colby Blount | Interior design: Natasha Nyanin and Nina Barnieh Blair | Interior styling: Mariana Marcki-Matos | Floral design: Flower Bodega
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