tony-apartment-tourThe 2011 Home Design Issue from Time Out New York dropped last month, and we wasted no time devouring it cover to cover. We especially appreciated getting a peek inside some seriously rad spaces in Harlem, Chelsea, and the Upper East Side. We took away a few helpful design tips for making the most of your economy-sized living quarters:

5 Things to Learn from TONY’s Apartment Tours

  1. Sneaky storage. Designer Christopher Crawford’s secret for his own studio? “Everything that closes in this apartment contains things.” Several of TONY’s apartment tours showcased beautiful vintage briefcases and suitcases that doubled as storage.
  2. Rethink your kitchen cabinetry. The only time you’ll see cabinets in Manhattan apartments is in the kitchen. Consider repurposing them like Jordana Shankman, who uses her cabinets for books and keeps her glassware in a neat wooden crate on the fridge.
  3. What’s old is new again. Tired of that clunky dresser? Your new furniture piece is just a few squares of sandpaper and a paintbrush away. For extra points, embellish with a few mismatched drawer knobs like Ida Woldemichael used in her Harlem studio.
  4. Find your feel. The best apartments made use of different textures and patterns to break out the different spaces. Use varying paint glosses as in Mary Kate Frank’s striped Chelsea studio, or crafty wall decals like in Erica Reitman’s Park Slope pad.
  5. It’s your party. Make your home your own by filling it with creative things from your own life! Our favorite take? Jordana Shankman’s vacation-photo wall art using Image Canvas.

For more inspiration on decorating pint-sized apartments, click through our Home Design section!

Got any other small-space schemes to share with us? Tweet us @ManhattanMini, or share your wisdom with us on Facebook!