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Inside My First (280 Sq. Ft.) New York Apartment

Gabrielle Savoie's New York Apartment

I never thought I would downsize once again. When I moved into my last place in Montreal, I thought 515 sq. ft. was as small as it was going to get. I was wrong. Everyone knows that moving to New York is expensive—but one can never really fathom how much you’re faced with signing a lease on an apartment that’s less than half the size and more than three times the price of your old rent. But as cheesy as it sounds, I wouldn’t have traded this tiny space for the world.

On moving day, I sat in my empty 280 sq. ft. apartment wondering if I had lost my mind to move into a space so insanely small—but there was one thing I knew for sure—I wanted to be here. And as things kept trickling in as the movers unloaded the truck, one thing became immediately apparent: I owned way too much stuff.

It took a while to make this place my own. Between long hours at the office and a complete feeling of hopelessness in front of the accumulating clutter in my tiny space (not to mention the overwhelming amount of better things to do in the city that never sleeps), I put off decorating my New York apartment for much too long.

I read Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy (and subsequently threw out/donated a ton of stuff I didn’t need), I spent countless hours looking for the perfect sofa (which I eventually found in the Commune collection for West Elm), and put off installing blinds for way too long—especially considering The Shade Store made it the easiest process ever and, in turn, the best decision I made in the space. Around Thanksgiving, my apartment was finally in a place where I was 100% comfortable to come home without feeling like I needed to decorate, hang art, or declutter.

And then, one morning in December, I got an email from my broker—your building has decided to sell your apartment, and you’ll have to move out at the end of your lease—no! I was barely done decorating, had only lived in my space for a few months, and had finally fallen in love with the place. Reluctantly, I started looking for a new place (and saw a lot of underwhelming apartments before finding my new one).

I’ll still miss my first New York apartment—some parts more than others. I’ll miss the beams of sunlight streaming in from every angle on weekend mornings and coming home to my own glorified hotel room. I will not miss the tiny bathroom where I bumped into things more times that I care to admit, the insanely loud banging of steam radiators in the middle of the night, or the absurdly slow 1920s elevator that smelled of peppermint and moth balls. But if New York has taught me anything (and by anything I mean a lot), it’s how to live in a small space and love it (and you can read all about it on MyDomaine).

 

SHOP MY NEW YORK APARTMENT

 

best small space dresser

small space living ideas

small space dining ideas

bedside table decor

best bedroom sconces

bedside table decor

small bathroom ideas

Photos: Sean Litchfield for Savvy Home

Gab Loves: Black and White

Gab Loves: Black and White • on @SavvyHome

 

SHOP THE STORY

SEA Ruffled Cotton Wrap Top ($324) | Facetasm Oversized Cotton-Poplin Shirt ($545) | Laloul Celeste Mobile ($1845) | Topshop Moto Popper Mini Skirt ($65) | Minoux Lionheart Earrings ($138) | Lisa Marie Fernandez Fiesta Rickrack-Trimmed Ruffled Linen Maxi Skirt ($945) | Mansur Gavriel Metropolitan Top-Handle Leather Bag ($945) | Gubi Modern Line Sofa ($4179) | Karen Walker Flowerpatch Oversize Sunglasses ($145) | Faithfull Del Rio Stripe Print Top ($49) | Tibi Striped Shirting Sculpted Boatneck Top ($345) | Nannacay Baby Roge Pompom-Embellished Woven Raffia Tote ($242) | SP01 Holland Table (price on request) | McGee & Co. Moore Bar Stool ($428) | Loeffler Randall Winnie Babouche ($295)

The Weekender: Back at it Again

Anne-Laure Mais

Photo: @adenorah

WEEKEND SALES

Get up to 30% off on furniture at West Elm with the code BIGDEAL.

Enjoy up to 30% off lighting at Serena & Lily.

Get up to 20% off select outdoor furniture at CB2.

 

WEEKEND READING

Mark my words: This will be the most beautiful kitchen of 2017. —EyeSwoon

The Voyageur’s Pauline Chardin’s guide to the Azores Islands. —Tory Daily

FYI: This nautical cabin on the Italian Riviera is #goals. In/Out

I wouldn’t hate moving to 287 Park Avenue South. —DPages

I want to go to: Hotel Skeppsholmen, Stockholm. —Kinfolk

Deep cleaning your ‘tude (this resonates). —Wit & Delight

Where to go for Mother’s Day brunch. — The New Potato

 

ON MYDOMAINE

You heard it here first: Every cool girl is buying this home accessory.

Designers cringe every time they see this kitchen decorating mistake.

How to build 256 spring outfits with only 16 items.

Later, clutter: These 7 smart storage ideas will transform your bedroom.

Who doesn’t want their rental to look like a million bucks? Here’s how it’s done.

Now you know: This is where every food-obsessed traveler will go in 2017.

Move over, minimalism—The décor trend you never saw coming is here.

This is how Italian girls decorate, according to the country’s coolest hotels.

All the cool little-known décor shops we didn’t know about (until now).

All the New York cool girls will shop here this summer.

FYI: Experts always notice these mistakes in your paint color choices.

The simple styling trick guests always notice, says One Kings Lane.

This will be the most talked-about destination of 2017.

Step aside, Pantone—This is MyDomaine’s Spring color prediction.

We put 2 fancy coffee machines head-to-head—and found a clear winner.

Real girls: The décor mistake I made at 20 that I’d never make now.

How to decorate a first apartment (without going broke).

The stars have spoken: If you only take one vacation in 2017, this should be it.

25 things to get rid of when you’re bored at home.

Feature: See inside the polished Hampton’s home that left our editors speechless.

 

Gab Loves: Spring Greens

Gab Loves: Spring Trends

 

SHOP THE STORY


 

Christopher Kane Rimless Round-Frame Acetate Sunglasses ($322) | Lee Broom Optical Light ($840) | Jack’s Wife Freda Cookbook ($30) | Egg Shop The Cookbook ($21) | Rebecca De Ravenel Six Drop Ombre Earrings ($345) | Isa Arfen Pinstriped Off-The-Shoulder Top ($364) | Gucci Princetown Leather Backless Loafers ($595) | A.W.A.K.E Jellychess Gingham Woven Wide-Leg Pants ($690) | Gabriella Crespi Magic Cube Bar Cabinet ($24,500) | & Other Stories Knitted Sweater ($55) | Woud & NUR Lean Lounge Chair ($840) | Lee Broom Split Mirror ($3655) |  Capsule Open Frame Dresser ($1499)

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