People move from all over the world to live in New York City, sacrificing about anything to live out their dreams in the Big Apple. But the one thing no one tells you about making this move? That the first thing you’ll sacrifice is your space.
As someone who lived right outside of NYC in Connecticut (roughly an hour and 45 minutes away), a small studio apartment or a handful of roommates wasn’t an ideal scenario for me. One simple train or car ride was worth milking living at home a little longer, so I opted to do that — and save every penny I had until I landed my dream apartment. And, two years into my exhausting commute, I did.
Nestled in the Upper East Sides’ Lenox Hill, I hit the jackpot. This apartment included four rooms: kitchen, bathroom (with door!), bedroom (again with door!), and even a foyer.
Plus, there is heat and electricity included. In my mind, the cons — there is no concierge, no elevator, and no gym — make this fifth-floor walk-up worth it for me. And, for the last three years, this apartment worked — until recently.
While I would love amenities — a gym, a rooftop, or an elevator — the thing that I’ve found most difficult was the lack of a living room. Then, that got me thinking: how can I transform my space. More so, the solution was a lot easier than I thought.
Remember how I mentioned my apartment featured a small foyer? It’s the saving grace here. While smaller in size, it was big in potential. The room has the bones to be transformed into a living room. All that was lacking was the vision, the best home decor, and some of the best living room ideas. Which, of course, is what I worked on — and now sharing with you.
1. Find your palette
Since the moment Hilary Duff realized her home tour, I’ve been manifesting her living room on my vision board. However, space was one of the main reasons I never brought it to life — until now. To achieve her stunning Southwestern-inspired style, I too opted for the same shades: blush tones mixed with sprinkles of browns, creams, and blacks.
2. To paint or not to paint?
While Hilary’s room is light and airy with white walls, I decided to add my personal touch by painting my walls a deep burgundy shade. It not only added depth but made the room more “me” and did so in a very budget-friendly way.
3. Assemble the materials + time to paint
After I decided what color to paint my wall, it was time to paint, so I assembled the proper items.
4. Invest in a couch
Small living room ideas are no different than big living room ideas, meaning the first step after the painting is finding a couch. As someone who hates pink, I was shocked to uncover I loved this blush buy. Though, in my defense: the velvet material (a favorite of mine) is more on the mauve side. It’s particularly striking for anyone who wants something dark but light and is a fantastic alternative to cream or brown.
I opted for this velvet beauty but unfortunately, it’s sold out — so try this beauty or these three below.
5. Add some accessories
Like any good outfit, the makings of a good room solely rely on a handful of accessories (or items) to complete the look. For this room, I went for a slew of selections. I featured an abstract gray rug for dimension, a variety of patterned pillows, and designer-inspired pieces to elevate the space.
Try these pillows
Try these rugs
Try these high-end buys
6. Add a wooden console
Now, on the opposite side: find a wooden console to add balance into the room. As a result, it will serve as an extra pair of hands or storage unit.
7. Show your personality
Accentuate your wooden console with all the items that define you best. I opted for a record player, lots of candles, and abstract vases.
Try these record players
Try these vases
Try these candles
8. Lastly, pair your living room with a TV
The real star of Hilary Duff’s living room (and mine) is the Samsung Frame that doubles as artwork when it’s not in use. While on the pricer side, it’s an investment worth making.