Welcome to Amplified Apartments, a blog series about apartment hackers who’ve made strides against the mother of all renter dilemmas: square footage.
This week’s Amplified Apartments hits the concrete pavement of Brooklyn, NY. There, Jacklyn and her fiancée discovered a one bedroom apartment with potential – the New York City equivalent of unmined gold.
With those 770 square feet, Jacklyn has staged a bright, welcome nook away from city chaos. Color is spared nowhere. The dining room, a center for entertaining, is just that visually. The kitchen nook—its mosaic table and two chairs for lazy weekend breakfasts—is just as charming, with cyan tile pieces complimenting the just right orange wall hue.
With a few brave touches, the young urbanite was able to mold her four walls into a unique, satisfying dwelling. Learn how she achieved vivid harmony below, difficult color palette decisions and all.
If you could describe your design concept using 5 words, what would they be?
Mediterranean, warm, exotic, comfortable, and functional.
Did you have to make any compromises when designing your space?
Since it’s a rental, we had to use the apartment’s existing appliances and fixtures. Our décor had to fit the apartment’s bones, so there was plenty of compromise to be made. I think we handled the challenge well.
Your bedroom’s minimal and neutral decor comes together harmoniously. What’s your thought process when choosing a room’s color palette?
We wanted to keep the modern Spanish color palette consistent throughout, so that the entire apartment worked as a whole. We chose earthy and natural tones in the bedroom to instill a sense of calm and relaxation. The bright colors we left for the rest of the space.
With just a few staggered paintings and the right hue, you were able to create a cohesive dining area. What was the inspiration for that room’s design?
My go-to rule for décor is to only display things that you love to do and enjoy looking at. We love art so it was a no-brainer to put up my father’s upbeat and funky oil paintings. Meaningful artwork is a great conversation starter, so what better place to put it than the dining room where you entertain guests.
Bright colors are typically difficult to pull off, but your breakfast nook is a great example of color pairing at its best. What’s the key to getting a room to a pitch perfect design state?
Think of the place or emotion you would like to feel when you are sitting in that room and choose color pairing that will help you get to that place or exert that feeling. We wanted to feel like we were on the coast of Spain during breakfast, so we created that environment mainly through the use of color.
Think about the color flow you want from room to room. It should not give you a headache. (Tweet This)
In this case, the mulling spice orange color used in our kitchen is complimentary to dining room’s darker clay orange, which ties the adjacent rooms together. People are often scared to take risks with bright colors, but using them in conjunction with softer colors or furniture really does create unique and memorable living spaces.
In a small space, how do you toe the line between clutter and decor?
If you try to figure out the entire décor of the apartment all at once, it will turn out scattered and incoherent. So when you see something you like at a store, like our mosaic bistro table in the kitchen, make it the focal point of your room, and choose a few pieces that would build on that environment.
We only used a few retro pictures that we collected from our travels to compliment the breakfast nook, and it worked. Stay away from buying a thousand things just because they kind of match what you are trying to achieve in your décor theme.
What are your go to stores for home furnishings and decor?
Marshall’s, Home Goods, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Ikea. Everything can be done on a budget.
What’s your number one tip for solving the small space problem?
Everything needs to have a function. If it doesn’t serve a functional purpose whether for storage, piece of décor, or something you use often, get rid of it.
It’s harder to get things out after they’ve moved in with you. Toss them out before. (Tweet This)
Want to share your space?
Email ForRent to feature your own Amplified Apartment or Home.
See your interior design creations on the ForRent blog!