4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Small Apartment

If you’ve never lived in NYC, you’ve probably never truly felt the pain of space vs. rent. You know it’s bad when you step into a 350 square foot studio apartment, and your first thought is “Wow, this is big!” Apartments in Manhattan are a new level of tiny compared to well…most of the remainder of the United States, but with rent being more than the cost to rent an entire home in some states, the only option is to adapt.


College lifestyle blogger Eva Phan of NYC based blog Eva Darling shares her space saving tips for small apartments sitting in her manhattan studio apartment dhp furniture novogratz pink velvet couch

Whether it’s your dorm room, your first college apartment, or you’re living in a high density metro area, furnishing and decorating a small space can be a challenge. Here’s what I’ve learned moving into my first apartment in NYC {which is also just my first apartment in general}!



That adorable pink couch I’m sitting on in the photo above? It’s actually a futon. It’s from Dorel Home Products, who designs affordable furniture specifically for small spaces. This futon is actually under $300! My parents warned me several times against getting a futon because of how heavy and cumbersome they can be, but my mom and I managed to assemble this one easily! Converting it down is super simple, and doesn’t involve trying to shift things around to get it down. Futons are essential in studio apartments on the chance someone comes to stay with you {or in my case, if your friends decide they’re crashing on your couch every weekend. The more the merrier at Maison Phan 💁🏻‍♀️}. This one is velvet and pink and oh-so-lovely. The colors offered in this particular futon are refreshing to see against all the grey, navy, and beige in the world of couch shopping.


When shopping for a futon, make sure to read the reviews! I came across so many couches that looked amazing but were trashed in the reviews either because they were cumbersome to convert up and down, or because they were downright uncomfortable. A friend of mine has determined that my couch is more comfortable than my mattress {even when left upright}, so I think I made the right choice!



Chances are, you’re going to have at least a couple tables in your space. Tables such as dining and coffee tables can take up a lot of space, and when they’re a solid color or wood vs. glass, they can make your space appear smaller than it actually is. Glass tables will open your space up by leaving more of your floor visible.


Lifestyle blogger Eva Phan of Eva Darling in her NYC studio apartment pink vintage tufted futon novogratz dhp furniture glass table overstock


My futon has a cute little matching pink ottoman that goes along with it. When I have guests over, it moves next to my couch and becomes a bench for extra seating. When I don’t, it stays at the end of my bed, and a little table for placing my everyday bags. The one I have doesn’t have storage, however several ottomans do! Don’t get me wrong, I love the futon, and both DHP products are fantastic, but I almost think I like the ottoman better! It’s really soft and comfortable, plus it’s really the perfect size for the end of a bed.



If you’re living in a small space and not storing things under your bed, you’re doing something wrong. I shove everything down there in space bags. Extra linens, out of season clothing, art supplies. Pick up a couple underbed storage boxes and vacuum bags, to downsize the extra clothing and linens in your life and save on space.


Thank you DHP Furniture for sending along the futon and ottoman as housewarming gifts! As always, all thoughts and ideas are my own.





College lifestyle blogger Eva Phan of NYC based blog Eva Darling shares her space saving tips for small apartments sitting in her manhattan studio apartment dhp furniture novogratz pink velvet couch



1 Comment

  1. October 26, 2018 / 3:48 pm

    Nice tips for maximizing your space in a small apartment!

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