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                                              If New York is So Big…Why is My Apartment So Tiny?

If you are a recent transplant to New York, chances are you are asking yourself this question.  Mind you, you could be sharing your space
with two, three, or four other people, in which case, your small space may be part of a larger… small space.  If you have the luxury of having
your own apartment, it is most likely smaller than the space to which you were accustomed.  So how do you make the most of the available
floor, wall, and window space?  For many New Yorkers, solving the problem of organizing a small apartment space takes a combination of
chutzpah, ingenuity, and knowing where to shop.
Go Zen

Japanese design got it right with its emphasis on minimalism.  Rather than trying to figure out how to make everything fit into your tiny space,
shift your thinking.  Don’t design the room.  Instead, design the negative space.  Did you get that?  Place your objects, furniture, art, etc. with
an emphasis on leaving space around the pieces, as opposed to filling the room with your things.  By letting your personal items breathe, you
can breathe as well.  This may require you to put some things in storage.  Don’t worry, that is another New York tradition.  Find the nearest
Manhattan Mini Storage and squirrel that oversized furniture away.  Keep the items with clean lines and actual functionality.  Pack away the
bulky items that you have been carrying around since freshman year of college.
Bigger is Not Better

If you find yourself in a small living space, then you need to surround yourself with small things.  This is yet another thing at which Asian
design excels.  Look for multi-use furniture, or pieces that can be folded up and stored attractively.  Scour thrift shops, especially those on
the Upper Westside (the Salvation Army on West 79th between Broadway and Amsterdam is an especially good spot) or in Chelsea for other
people’s slightly used bookshelves, rolling tables, folding chairs, or daybeds.  Rather than spend full price, make use of someone else’s
small items to furnish your own small space.  If you must have new things, check out Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Pottery Barn, and Pearl River.  
There is also the tried and true king of space-saving furnishings, IKEA.  A bit of a hike from Manhattan, no matter which location you go to,
IKEA is the undisputed champion of furnishings for tiny apartments and shared spaces.  Take the complimentary bus to the Elizabeth, New
Jersey location, or take the free shuttle from Borough Hall, or Bus 61 from within Brooklyn, to get to the Red Hook location.
Neutral Colors and Subtle Patterns Are Your Friends  

Using darker colors can make your space feel closed in and somber.  Neutral tones create a sense of openness.  The subtle use of texture
can divide a small space, and create the sense that one room is actually two, without making the room feel like it is has been carved into
even smaller units.  Ask your neighbors for recommendations about where to buy paint in your particular neighborhood.  Lugging it around
on the subway is no fun.  Neighbors are also good people to ask regarding where to buy the cool table in their foyer or the shoe rack in their
hallway.  New Yorkers love to talk about a good deal.
Now that you have a handle on how to make your tiny apartment livable, your next task is figuring out how to get the various shops to buy
what you need.  Schedule plenty of time to go shopping and be prepared for a long haul back.  

Unfortunately, the New York City subway system changes daily, so be prepared to scratch your head about it as well.