From a Hot Mess to ... Oh Yaasss!
Posted on August 19, 2016

Bohemia Blog by Agent Shaun Crossman

I just hit my 10 year anniversary as a New Yorker and I expected a grand parade, but alas I was the only one in a sequin dress ready to nail my flag core routine. But I digress. In those 10 years, I’ve called 5 places “home” and have learned how to take a budget apartment and turn it in to an oasis away from the insanity of NYC.

I am incredibly lucky to be in a rent stabilized apartment in the “HOT” Hamilton Heights - #Blessed, BUT its an ugly apartment … or ... at least it was.

Most landlords are fine with small changes to your apartment as long as you return it to how you found it. It's always good to double check with your landlord before getting evicted. So the normal fixes are clearly you need to paint, get decor and window treatments, but I’m not going to write about that because you should be nailing that already #GetToWork. We are going to fix the bones of your ugly apartment with 3 easy steps.

1) Don't Go Topless

pendant boob (1)Always get rid of the dome shaped lights nicknamed “boob lights”… they look like boobs. I could write an entire article on these but will refrain for now. Needless to say, I have 5 “boob lights” on the top shelf of my closet, each removed and replaced with hip fixtures, ceiling fans and added dimmer switches in their original spots in my apartment. If you are not well versed in electrical work you can always pay your super to help you out, and sometimes they will even store the old fixture until you move. If all of this is too much to handle, just get a large shade and cover the bottom with fabric, install onto of the "Booblight" and BAM you have a fancy mounted pendant fixture.

Turning Boob Light into Pendant - Click Here 


Floor_Mantel (1)2) Walk the Plank

The worst thing about my apartment is the floors, it is the cheapest sticky tile from the $.99 store. The pattern was obnoxious and covering it with rugs was not enough. If you are under the same curse, I have found the solution: Vinyl plank flooring. Available at any hardware store, this is a free floating floor that locks into itself and can be removed easily. It looks like real hardwood, its available in heaps of styles and you can install this yourself. It cuts with a box cutter and I was able to transform my place in one afternoon. When I move in 47 years, I can easily take this up and use the uncut pieces in a new space.

Want to Know More About Vinyl Plank Flooring - Click Here 


3) Sticky Situation

medicine cabinetThe last step is to enhance what you currently have. To amp up the kitchen I have found adhesive peel and stick mosaic tile. As we speak I am adding a kitchen backsplash, which I didn't have before - and trust me it's looking fierce. I am using the same principle in the bathroom but cutting the square mosaic sheet into strips to add a mosaic border detail. No pictures yet of the masterful Mosaic in the making, but to the right is another at-home project I did to take a bland wall and make it a center piece for guests to look at. Then I have my favorite face lift ever which was adding an antique mantle I found at a flea market. With a few screws and fake tin ceiling in the center, it looks like it has always been there. I have that pictured above with that great floor I told you about.

Learn What You Need to Know About Peel and Stick Tile - Click Here


So, renting in NYC doesn't mean you have to live in a hot mess. There are so many temporary options to make your apartment a home. Since it is hot as hell right now, stay in the AC, drink sangria and upgrade your space for your next Netflix and Chill.