Decorate your Manhattan apartment – tips and tricks

Design - in dictionary on the phone.

So, you did it. You moved to Manhattan! You found affordable housing in Manhattan to suit you, and you’ve lined up a job. As well as a swanky apartment, possibly with roommates. …Okay, well, it is New York, almost definitely with roommates. That’s it, right? Wrong. There’s one thing left to do to mark this new chapter in your life, other than celebrate by visiting some of the best coffee shops in New York: decorate your Manhattan apartment!

Yes, yes, I’m serious! Moving is a significant milestone, okay. But it is also very stressful, and very difficult. What better way to unwind than reorganizing your living space? Something as simple as buying and hanging up a mirror can really freshen up your living space. Plus, let’s face it, it’s New York – you’re probably living in a shoe box anyway. Might as well make it a fun shoe box.

Be courteous to your roommates, if any, when you decorate your Manhattan apartment

Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who lives alone in New York. But for a great many of us, we aren’t nearly that fortunate. It’s okay – pick your roommate well, and it’s totally doable! It can even be comforting, to have someone in your home with you. At least with someone else in the apartment you’re obliged to do all the cleaning on time because otherwise, you feel like a terrible person. Ah, the power of social obligations. Sharing a Manhattan apartment is easy with practice!

A black and white living room.
Decorate your Manhattan apartment’s shared living spaces only with permission and a compromise.

You’ve got to keep your roommate in mind when decorating a shared living space. That’s something you can only do with compromise, and talking it out beforehand. You wouldn’t want your roommate to wake up one day and paint the walls of your shared space cyan, right? Extend them the same courtesy, and talk about what you want out of the apartment. Maybe they don’t care at all, or maybe their ideas are totally different. Just remember, you have to live with them so it’s best not to get into petty fights. Compromise is the cornerstone of cohabitation.

Decorate your Manhattan apartment by picking things that widen the space

Space is an all-time premium in New York. So, you’ve probably downsized to as few belongings as possible to find an apartment that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, just a kidney or two. So, now you have only your most treasured things. But, how are you going to organize them?

A bunch of different color palettes. Decorate your Manhattan apartment by painting it today!
Decorate your Manhattan apartment by picking the right color to make it spacious!

Minimalism is in, and not just because it’s cost-effective. The more things you have cramped on the shelves, the smaller the room feels. You can end up feeling assaulted and drowning in your stuff, just because it’s constantly in your face!

Pick a soft palette for your room. Stay away from painting your room a deep purple, unless you want early onset claustrophobia. Soft, light color schemes can make your room feel large and spacious. Neutral tones go with everything, and won’t clash with your furniture.

A potted plant next to a record player.
Potted plants brighten their surroundings, provided you remember to water them.

Don’t cramp your Manhattan apartment with a bunch of needless things!

If you’re unsure where to begin when it comes to minimalism and your new apartment, try home decor on Pinterest. Sure, there are a lot of DIY gurus that make everything feel effortless, so don’t be discouraged if you try something only to have it look worse than the picture. That just means you’ll make it better next time!

Of course, everyone likes owning things. Especially if you hit a sweet sale, and come home with a bunch of really cheap items! But, you must resist. For one, where are you going to move them if you have to move in the future? Decorating your Manhattan apartment isn’t worth future problems. New York is unforgiving when it comes to clutter. There is a reason most New Yorkers have few things – the city is just too expensive to stay afloat otherwise! 

It’s also worth noting that you might end up finding different uses for your space than intended. For example, since New York is so crowded, most people end up using public transport instead of driving. As a result, big grocery trips end up a bit of an…experience. Therefore, most New Yorkers just make quick trips to the nearest bodega instead of making a weekly grocery haul. Most New Yorkers also end up eating out regularly, or buying delivery food regularly, especially because making a bagged lunch means you have to haul it on the subway. So, if you have a kitchen overflowing with fancy unique equipment you rarely use anyway … consider if you’re going to use it in New York at all.

Decorate your Manhattan apartment on the fly with this easy list.

Manhattan poses unique redecoration challenges. They’re easy to deal with, however, once you know the tricks. To review:

  1. A full-length mirror will instantly widen your room.
  2. Soft and light palettes are the way to go, dark or bold palettes make your room shrink.
  3. Minimalism will also increase the appearance of your living space.
  4. Decorate your Manhattan apartment with something fun and useful! Dividers will give the illusion of more rooms in one. As well as an illusion of privacy if you live with your significant other in one room.
  5. Soft dim lights can make the atmosphere cozy.
  6. Be careful of clutter.
  7. The artwork on your walls cheers up almost any space.
  8. Thrift stores are your bread and butter.
  9. Use curtains to make your room look taller!
  10. Nesting tables! There when you need them, vanished when you don’t. Space-saving perfection.
  11. Would a wall lamp break your lease? If not, it’s a fine addition to light up your space – literally.
  12. Bed risers? Instant storage boost. It’s like magic. New York magic.
  13. Pick mirrored and acrylic furniture, if you’re buying instead of moving. Once again, reflection is the key when you decorate your Manhattan apartment.

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