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Jay's Small Scale Renovation




New York, New York



Square Feet:


What I Love About My Home

I love that friends tell me it doesn't feel as small as its (barely) 400 square feet. Having lived in my apartment for several years before I renovated it, I had a strong idea of how I wanted to make the most of the space. I also love that I was able to mix in inexpensive elements (Ikea shelving, closet, for example) that don't look inexpensive.

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home

Choosing small-scale pieces and editing everything down to just what made the most sense without sacrificing the things I loved was tough. I still face the challenge of having to get rid of something anytime something new comes in. (My place was featured in a Home Tour in '09: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/house-tours/house-tour-jays-chelsea-loft-new-york-city-089223 )

Favoriting and voting have ended.

Comments (76)

Wow! This is an airy, lovely home.

posted by IndigoEllen on April 5, 2011 at 7:41pm
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Truly inspiring renovation - makes me want to gut my 850 sq foot condo! Amazing.

posted by hollywoodgoody on April 12, 2011 at 1:35pm
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Beautiful apartment! You transformed a small space into a beautiful home. Amazing!

posted by ahwalker on April 6, 2011 at 8:56pm
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THis apartment was amazing the first time it appeared (as a house tour I think). Still brilliant, and makes the expedit look a million dollars....
Let's see the rest but form the this is a winner.

posted by sofialaca on April 5, 2011 at 8:14am
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seen this before i think with better furniture???

posted by Coletta (rhymes with velveeta) on April 5, 2011 at 9:05am
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I adore this apartment. In fact, I stole the expedit-as-a-divider-and-headboard idea! LOVE!!

posted by ShanLin73 on April 5, 2011 at 10:11am
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love it. Looking at it makes me feel reaslly relaxed.

posted by Muesli on April 5, 2011 at 11:26am
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Beautiful beautiful beautiful.

posted by azaleasmoke on April 5, 2011 at 11:41am
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This is amazing. Well done!

posted by CanadianMango on April 5, 2011 at 1:26pm
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Looove that kitchen. Very seamless transition into the rest of the space. I'm jealous! :P

posted by _kristinb on April 5, 2011 at 12:28pm
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Really well done. Wasn't there a beautiful Husky in the house tour pics?

posted by onexnwykr on April 5, 2011 at 12:40pm
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Kitchen chandelier. Drool!

posted by itsjustgoldie on April 5, 2011 at 12:52pm
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Coletta, I have seen your comments on other blogs before and you must understand that your words sting. Please be kind or refrain from hitting send.

posted by mkuplady on April 5, 2011 at 12:54pm
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I always loved this one!

posted by babyfishmouth on April 5, 2011 at 1:02pm
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Yes, I remember this one too. I also remember how people were growling about the huskie didn't have enough space to be a dog.

posted by daylight on April 5, 2011 at 1:19pm
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delighted to see this apartment in small cool. loved it when I first saw it on AT, still love it. go Jay!

posted by flamingopink on April 5, 2011 at 1:23pm
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Very cute. I really like the bookcase / headboard combination.

posted by martigny on April 5, 2011 at 2:03pm
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Gorgeous! It really does feel like much more than 400SF.

posted by Ms. Vickie on April 5, 2011 at 2:05pm
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You're lucky that the front door is in the middle of your space - I think it really helps divide it into neat little areas. Elegant, unfussy, uncluttered without looking sterile. Love it. I have to be honest though - the clear shower curtain scares me a little!

posted by MsPface on April 5, 2011 at 2:16pm
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I remember looking at your entry a while back and you had posted more photos. I think that you did a great job.
And to MsPface, I love that he used a transparent shower curtain.
It's nice to revisit this entry.

posted by 123jackie on April 5, 2011 at 2:20pm
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btw, that link is dead. % (

posted by 123jackie on April 5, 2011 at 2:22pm
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I really love the headboard/storage/hallway divider combination. I've been looking at a new small studio with a similarly challenging layout, and that's a great idea! It creates a nicely defined entry.

posted by DCGirl33 on April 5, 2011 at 2:29pm
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Can we talk about that giant vase of flowers (plant?) on top of the desk/cabinet in the living room? Love it. I would imagine it makes that corner feel like a jungle.

posted by cammmit on April 5, 2011 at 3:02pm
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I love the choice of the translucent shower curtain--it makes the bathroom look so much bigger.

Lovely throughout!

posted by Allie J on April 5, 2011 at 3:36pm
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posted by Leslie77 on April 5, 2011 at 3:46pm
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This is fantastic. I love how practical the layout seems to be - the positioning of the TV, for instance, so that it's possible to view it from bed as well as from the couch.

I love that desk - I believe it may be from WS Home - I've had my eye on it for years.


posted by stermag on April 5, 2011 at 4:04pm
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Aye carumba! The finishes look great in the kitchen and bathroom. Fab job with the overall layout.

posted by RocketScientist on April 5, 2011 at 4:24pm
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Extremely well done. You'd never guess it was that small. It shows style, but with restraint.

posted by minimalist1 on April 5, 2011 at 5:21pm
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Beautiful! Loved the house tour the first time around.

This space is so well planned - the advantage of living in it for a long time in a less-than-wonderful state, I guess.

posted by emmelemm on April 5, 2011 at 5:40pm
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i love, love, love this! the calm colors, the dividing/storage wall for the bedroom, the furniture placement. and the clear shower curtain is divine. haha! u totally get my vote!

posted by conejitoasesino on April 5, 2011 at 6:25pm
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This kitchen is number one. A great layout, but I would like some chairs, just two of those, and a tiny dining table.

posted by Ofelia on April 5, 2011 at 7:26pm
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Inspirational. Fantastic layout, and so clever. Great design. Worthy of a win as it is so well conceived, well executed and beautiful. Love the muted colour of the sofa with the white, so dreamy. WANT.

posted by kitteh on April 5, 2011 at 7:27pm
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I have more than double the square footage in my own townhouse and it doesn't feel as open and airy as this small gem. Truly inspiring.

posted by ruthinaz on April 6, 2011 at 1:39pm
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I love how you've carved out a "hallway" space using Expedites.

posted by k2yhe on April 6, 2011 at 11:06am
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I'm in love with the kitchen.

posted by chicmodernvintage on April 6, 2011 at 7:34am
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The best things about this place is that it not only looks twice the size since the renovation but more importantly feels twice the size!

posted by CatchyJ on April 6, 2011 at 3:33pm
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well done!!!

I love the expedit bookshelves stacked like that! how brilliant! I missed your house tour so im glad you entered the contest.

posted by Vintagehoney on April 6, 2011 at 3:42pm
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love it love it

posted by ellepebe on April 6, 2011 at 8:38pm
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Very sophisticated and beautifully done. I love the kitchen!

posted by junklover on April 6, 2011 at 9:04pm
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BRILLIANT!!! It is all just so...perfect!

posted by shannont on April 7, 2011 at 10:23am
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Beautiful job.

Love the white brick. Love the mirror in the kitchen--a lot. Source?

The contrast of the tile in the bathroom with white is just beautiful.

Very creative with the shelving/storage unit creating a hallway near the entrance.

You have a wonderful home. :)

posted by Jessica Jeanne on April 7, 2011 at 11:08am
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I've seen this before; I don't remember where. This is absolutely one of the best renovations I've ever seen. Congratulations!

posted by Terry3 on April 7, 2011 at 7:01pm
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this is spectacular. I remembered it immediately. Great creative use of low end furniture for high end look

posted by sarawelder on April 7, 2011 at 11:19pm
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The entryway created by the cabinets adds such a touch of elegance. Yes, it looks not inexpensive! And Ikea + marble + chandelier = wow Perfect display of art and accessories (even the remote). Great update on the typical NYC (Sears kit?) bathroom. Talk about editing -- must have been hard to pick just five photos.

posted by Lilly3 on April 8, 2011 at 2:31am
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The best photo with the Husky is missing!

posted by bettsmunich on April 8, 2011 at 10:38am
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Warm, inviting, resourceful, elegantly inviting...without trying too hard. love it jay

posted by bangalicious on April 9, 2011 at 1:21am
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So thoughfully organized, great use of space. I don't like tight hallways in small spaces, we're taking ours out! Then again, we have another place where we can put that closet. So bright for so little natural light.

posted by scoutandboo on April 9, 2011 at 2:24pm
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I love how cozy it seems even with white floors and walls. And the kitchen is just lovely.

posted by blue_eyes on April 9, 2011 at 3:26pm
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Thanks everyone for all the kind comments. I’m flattered, and happy that some of you remember the tour and my dog, Theo, who sadly just passed away from cancer. I felt weird posting pictures here with him in them, but he’s still in the shots from the house tour.

Thorndale, the chandelier was expensive but not $3k expensive. I’d had my eye on it for a long time and decided it was worth the splurge. (It’s the Eliza chandelier from Jayson Home & Garden.) Sorry, Coletta (rhymes with velveeta), it’s the same furniture as the house tour – I’m going to upgrade the Jennifer sofa, though. She’s served me well for 13 years.

Ofelia, I’d like some chairs and a dining table, too, but there’s just no room. There are stools at the kitchen counter, though.

Jessica, I got the mirror at a now-defunct shop in the Village, but I found it online from several sources. It’s the Ainsworth Round Beveled Wall Mirror by Two's Company.

posted by jayro212 on April 10, 2011 at 10:25am
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This apartment is outstanding. It's probably my favorite ever featured and I've been reading since 2007. Sorry to hear about Theo.

posted by designjunkie16207 on April 11, 2011 at 7:39pm
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Well thought-out and well exectued. I remember this one from the featured house tour and have always loved the fact that you've managed to fit both a dishwasher AND washer and dryer in your kitchen. Talk about luxuries! Amazing...

posted by sfmelissa on April 12, 2011 at 6:18pm
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One of my top 3 all-time AT favorites. Brilliant planning & spatial organization, thoughtfully executed & beautifully appointed - like a classic yacht. Heartbreaking to hear about that drop-dead gorgeous dog, But it's also heartwarming to know he had such a wonderful life in such a fantastic home. Small space design just doesn't get any better than this one; it's open & airy yet offers privacy for sleeping, dressing etc. Very happy to be able to vote for this extraordinary little jewel box.

posted by leilanitexas on April 13, 2011 at 10:17am
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Amazeballs! If those teeny-tiny walls could talk...

posted by Dante Sabatino on April 14, 2011 at 2:59pm
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So sorry about Theo. My sincere condolences.

May I ask whether you had an architect help you? The apartment is just so inspired! Everyone should have such a beautiful place.

posted by Terry3 on April 14, 2011 at 6:41pm
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The white floors! The white kitchen! Love, love, love!

posted by Yellow Brick Home on April 14, 2011 at 7:41pm
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Surely the best apartment in the world? Beautifully done Jay :)

posted by Pipstar on April 14, 2011 at 8:18pm
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Love it!

posted by timsim7 on April 15, 2011 at 2:39am
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beautiful space =)

posted by JulianneMay on April 15, 2011 at 9:05am
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Absolutely the best, and it was your house tour and kind advice Jay that helped me with my own studio reno. going on at that time.

My sincere condolences on the loss of Theo.

posted by joyia on April 15, 2011 at 5:08pm
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GREAT SPACE! It is my fave so far! I love how it all fits in. LOVE the storage spaces. AMAZING! It's just my style, homey, livable, with classy touches. Esp love your work credenza! Impeccable!

posted by mattNmags on April 15, 2011 at 10:38pm
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I really really love this. Very cool, airy and white. It really looks great. The white paint, for everything, including the floor - really makes it feel bigger. Very nice job. I'm going to take a roller for my floor tomorrow. Any paint recommendation?!

posted by dillonliving on April 16, 2011 at 9:36pm
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Great painted floors. I especially like the tiles in the bathroom. Very nice.

posted by D2 pad on April 16, 2011 at 9:38pm
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Love the airy feel in this small space. The furnishings are proportionate to the space and look very comfortable. I don't know why more people don't paint their floors white, it looks absolutely wonderful here. The only thing that I would do differently would be to somehow camouflage the air conditioner that is sticking out of the wall, front and center.

posted by the copland on April 17, 2011 at 3:50pm
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Superb. As efficient, tidy and handsome as the interior of a sailboat.

And, I love how the bed was shoe-horned into the space, set off and private, without losing any sense of airiness. This is how a tiny space should be done. Congratulations.

posted by aychihuahua on April 17, 2011 at 5:27pm
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So sorry to hear about Theo. I remember those gorgeous eyes, just as clearly as I remember this gorgeous apartment.

posted by bettsmunich on April 18, 2011 at 5:33am
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It's very sophisticated, which can be a challenge sometimes with small spaces, conservative budgets and our Swedish overlord, IKEA.

I want to like the clear shower curtain - can you tell me why you chose it? Does it give you more visual room? I have a cluttered shower (I'm a girl!) so maybe that's why i have an aversion to it.

I bet Theo loved this space.

posted by cvgmiami on April 19, 2011 at 7:14pm
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Lovely. I like how you've used the Ikea shelves and I love your bathroom. Your place may be small, but it's cool and cozy.

posted by tornadoZ on April 21, 2011 at 5:09pm
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posted by scandesign on April 22, 2011 at 4:49am
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love everything about it!

posted by griffy on April 24, 2011 at 1:01pm
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I NEED to know where you purchased the "Love Ball" artwork over the bed!?! PLEASE. Just saw your full house tour through another article on AT and the artwork caught my eye. I have a really good friend whose last name is Ball and would love to get her that. It's very cute. Lovely apartment by the way. :)

posted by Tracy333 on April 26, 2011 at 9:45pm
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amazing. i totally got a ton of inspiration from your work here. ikea should be giving you kickbacks on the expedit line!
the bathroom brick is phenomenal.
thumbs up.

posted by pkpk on April 27, 2011 at 1:22pm
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Thanks again for the nice comments, I really appreciate it.

cvgmiami, I indeed chose the clear shower curtain to expand the visual space in the bathroom. It definitely does the trick, makes the room feel twice as big as if there was a big fabric curtain there.

Terry, thanks for kind words about Theo, and yes, I did hire an architect, primarily to help me with placement of the closet, which originally separated the kitchen from the rest of the space and now helps give me a little entry area on one side as well as a dressing area on the other.

Tracy333, the Love Ball art actually came from a friend who put on the event back in the early 90s. I wish a print was available, but I don't believe it is, sorry.

Dillonliving, I don't have info on the floor paint anymore, I'm afraid, sorry. Hope you found a good option.

posted by jayro212 on April 28, 2011 at 6:25pm
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Amazing use of space and finishes. Just faved.

posted by Sonje on April 29, 2011 at 1:58am
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I love what you have done with the space especially the hallway/ divider.

i've just bought a studio flat in London with 350sq feet and I would like to know where you bought you bed from? Thanks.

posted by HannahF on April 29, 2011 at 10:40am
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When I grow up...I want a NY apt like yours! I love the floors. Just the whole apt is awesome. Good job!

posted by wendym1 on May 2, 2011 at 1:34pm
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I'm amazed that you have an entry and hallway in 400 square feet - as well as cordoning off the bedroom so well. All solid, liveable and beautiful rooms. well done!!!

posted by Debbie Chap on June 26, 2011 at 4:53pm
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