Bohemia Blog by Agent Peta Couzens
Having made the leap across the pacific to the land of plenty and the greatest city in the world, I was shocked to discover how my new friends and family were short of one thing that I had always taken for granted…Space! Confined to tiny apartments that represented no more than closest spaces to my Australian way of living, I couldn’t believe the sacrifices people were making in their lifestyle to try an “survive” here in NYC.
After spending only a few short weeks here I totally understood why people sacrifice so much. This city is incredible and I (and others) would give my left foot to stay here. The thought of living in a closet, well I could live with that, but was that really a shower in the Kitchen?
I am an Australian who grew up on Sydney’s Northern beaches. Coming from a land of rolling hills, beaches and a lifestyle of running free with an abundance of space, moving here did really did take a complete change of attitude. Fortunately having been trained as an interior architect I was confident that I could make any space work.
I can honestly say that it is very fortuitous that at this point in my life I have found myself in the real estate business, because not a day goes by that I don’t have a client ask me how I can make this tiny pace work for them. That is actually where I get quite excited, because I have many great ideas that I am more than happy to share.
• You have AIR Rights use them: While prices per square foot are very high in NYC, what I have noticed is that ceiling spaces are also high. So why not use that air space too? Yes build up!
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• Divie it up: Use creative dividers to section off rooms. Bookcases or couches or even breakfast bars can be great ways to divide a room’s function.
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• Clean the windows: Make sure your windows are clean so the maximum amount of light comes through. Use only light colored window shades or muslin to keep it bright, but private at the same time.
• Remove doors or change the direction that doors open: when I walk into apartments in NYC I often wonder what the LL was thinking having the door open in on a small room rather than out into a much more open space. Closet doors that open in onto a small bedroom should be removed. Hang a bar and a curtain instead!
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• Embrace under bed storage – go and invest in some risers (these are also great if your floor surface is uneven). Buy a valance for your bed and voilà a whole new storage closet magically appears!
• Buy Clear Furniture – Ghost chairs are the best – I have 6
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• Stick to light colors! Dark tones in your apartment, instead of soft furnishings or linens, will feel like the room is getting smaller. Do NOT paint the walls dark colors either, as you will get the same result... but worse!
• Strategically place mirrors - Not only do these reflect light but they make the rooms appear bigger than they are. Mirrors are simply a divine addition. Place them at the end of hallways for a great effect.
• Day beds: These make great couches during the day and a comfy bed at night. What could be better?
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• Purge: Stop Hoarding and stay organized.
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• Get rid of bulky furniture. A side table doesn’t need to take up valuable floor space - it can be mounted on the wall.
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