5 Tips For Living in the Big City on a Tight Budget — From Apartment Therapy House Tours

2. 1. 3. MAKE YOUR GRANDMA’S FURNITURE WORKMike and Maddie work in public schools and live on the Upper West Side in a charming 500 square foot apartment. Time and again, the people who open their homes up to us have shown that it’s possible to live well on less in a New York City apartment — here are some things we’ve learned from them. He says the first thing friends comment on is his artwork. A big percentage of their pieces were inherited from Maddie’s mom, grandma, and great grandmother, including a desk, several lamps, and a mirror. His living room is a pretty standard New York box with parquet floors, but he dressed it up by painting the walls (with Benjamin Moore’s “Newburg Green”) and adding some patterned throw pillows and blankets to the daybed. An Albers-style painting in the bedroom is an inexpensive and easily DIYable way to add color, and the throw pillows add personality to a basic IKEA bed. MIX HIGH LOWAnnie and Paul’s Upper West Side apartment is just 390 square feet, but they’ve made use of every inch by filling it with only things they love and use. Their space looks expensive, but it’s really a combination of resourcefulness, DIY skills, and an eye for repurposing. For more New York City apartments packed with ideas, check out our archive of latest house tours. 4. DO IT YOURSELF
Roommates Jeremy and Ralph live in an 875 square foot apartment in Spanish Harlem. Their dining room shelves are made from Home Depot pipes and pine planks from a local lumber yard, and their apartment is full of other good DIY ideas — see the tour for more. After reading the Times’ article about young people spending a lot on small spaces in New York City, my first thought was, “Hey, that’s me (only I’m older), and it’s probably a good percentage of our readers!” From Manhattan to Miami, people come to Apartment Therapy looking for ways to make the most of their small urban apartments. ADD COLOR WITH PAINT TEXTILES
Brooklyn resident Josh won Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color contest.

Updated: 29.11.2014 — 23:13