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Group Chat is In The Know’s advice column, where our editors respond to your questions about dating, friendships, family, social media, wellness, shopping, beauty and beyond. Have a question for the chat? Submit it here anonymously, and we’ll do our best to reply.
Hi, Group Chat,
I finally saved up enough money to move out of my parents’ place after I moved back in with them post-graduation. It’s not a *big* place, and I am struggling to decorate it. Long story short: I need all of your recs to help get my first apartment ever looking like it could be in a magazine. Thank you!
Small-Space Dweller But Big Dreamer
Dear Small Space,
Julia Webb, who just moved into her first (tiny) studio apartment, says… In my opinion, finding a place is the most stressful part of moving so congratulations, the hardest part is done! I recently moved into my own place too and, while decorating is fun, it’s also difficult when you’re trying to find items that fit your taste, space and budget. I’d suggest starting a Pinterest board to help you visualize your dream place and then look for multi-purpose furniture. I personally love this ottoman that acts as added storage and an extra seat when I have friends over. I like to store my blankets inside so they are easy to grab when I’m hanging on the couch, and I also keep a sleek acrylic tray on top of the ottoman so I have a place to put my coffee and phone down when I need to. Moving can be overwhelming, but try to enjoy the process
Shop my picks:
Carmel Barrie Upholstered Flip Top Storage Bench, $159.99 (Orig. $174.99)
Acrylic Clear Serving Tray, $27.99
Alex Lasker, a veteran small apartment dweller, says… I have lived in New York City for nine years, so I feel it in my very soul when you say space is of the essence in your new home. My saving grace for the past near-decade of making things work in a studio has been my platform bed frame and my plastic under-bed storage tubs. The tubs are not glamorous in any sense of the word, but they allow me to neatly keep off-season clothes and extra shoes tucked away and out of sight until I need them again. The wheels make them super easy to slide in and out from under the bed, plus you can open the lid from either side for easy access at all times. My particular platform bed has no center support beams, so I can easily fit three of these bad boys underneath it.
Shop my picks:
Bohemian Platform Bed, $649
Morgan Greenwald, whose first apartment was a shoebox on the Upper West Side, says… As someone who has a shoe collection that would make Carrie Bradshaw blush, the biggest problem in my studio apartment was finding space for my wardrobe. One way I was able to virtually double the space in my closet was with these stackable shoe shelves. Combined with a good over-the-door shoe organizer, this gave me pretty much all the space I needed for my (admittedly) excessive shoe collection. A good rule of thumb when you don’t have a lot of space to work with: Think vertical.
Another lifesaver for me was this wall-mounted spice organizer. This spice rack will free up precious cabinet space that you simply can’t afford to lose, plus it will ornament your walls and add some spice to the kitchen area! (Pun intended.)
Shop my picks:
Credit: Bed Bath and Beyond
Wall Mount Spice Rack, $26.99 (Orig. $28.99)
Moriba Cummings, who loves a good space-saving challenge, says… If you live in a major city, chances are you’re bound to get stuck with an apartment with a kitchen that’s on the smaller side. That’s why it’s essential to get space-saving items that can perform more than one function (while also being visually stunning, of course). As someone who despises clutter, the idea of an 8-in-1 pan that also looks like a piece of art seemed like a dream that was almost too good to be true, but Our Place delivered and then some. Always Pan has been a go-to for me for months. It can fry, boil, steam, sauté and so much more and features the most non-stick cooking surface I’ve ever used. It’s definitely worth the investment. You will thank yourself in the long run.
Shop: Always Pan, $145
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