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NYC Apartment Essentials

Since I can remember, I have dreamed of living in Manhattan. I went to sleep each night dreaming of flying away, dreaming that when I woke up, I’d be surrounded by skyscrapers and people from all walks of life following their dreams too. 

There are so many things that I love about living in the Big Apple, but by far, my favorite thing is my apartment. The way that I ended up here is a fabulous story, but I’ll save that for another post (shoutout Kelsey)! 

Just like so many other things in New York, it took some time to adjust to living here. I can thank my roommates (a few have come through here!) for help with that. But one thing that I love about my apartment is that it is ever-changing. We are always redecorating, recycling old furniture, re-hanging art, and always looking for new DIY projects to spruce up our living space. Buying used (“pre-loved” if you will) furniture can be a little sketchy, but I love the idea that our pieces of furniture have memories of their own. No matter how small, each one of these changes has transformed our apartment into an oasis that I truly don’t mind being quarantined in!¬†

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few things that are essential for any city apartment to make it really feel like home without draining your bank account. Enjoy!

1. Personalization

How many K’s is too many K’s? The limit does not exist. I am a true sorority girl at heart, and with that comes the love for personalization! Making it your own can make you truly feel at home. (“No more rhymes now, I mean it! Anybody want a peanut?” –Princess Bride, you’re welcome, Mom.) So, call me vain, but I will never be able to resist buying something with my initials on it.

Now, if you don’t have an excess of personalized decor from your Big-Little week in college, here are some recommendations:

Anthropologie Monogram Mug ($10) 

Pottery Barn Teen Wooden Cut-Out Script Monogram ($129)

Society6 Gold Foil Alphabet Bath Mat ($29)

Anthropologie Monogram Agate Coaster ($16)

2. Vases

As a girl who doesn’t receive very many flowers (fml), sometimes you just gotta buy yourself some pretty. Having vases at the ready is always handy, and you can’t go wrong with basic glass vases. Large vases can be fun, but something smaller in diameter will usually always make for a nicer arrangement for smaller bouquets (unless you have some rich boyfriend buying you bouquets of 50 roses at a time…in which case, let me know if he has a brother). 

Here are a few suggestions that will look beautiful anywhere in the apartment:

Kate Spade Mulberry Street Collection Cylinder Vase ($85, Macy’s)

Mercer41 Greco Vase ($36, Wayfair) 

3. Curtains

I definitely have to recommend black-out curtains for anyone living in the city, and if they are sound-proofing, even better. There are all kinds of lights (reflections off buildings during the day, car headlights at night) and noises (car horns all day, hooligans at night) to block out. I sacrificed comfort for beauty, in this case. I love my ruffled curtains and the way the sun shines through them! 

Here are these curtains as well as some other fun options:

The Gray Barn Dairy Air Curtain Panel ($55, Overstock)

Selectex Linen Look Pom Pom Tasseled Sheer Curtains (2 panels, $24, Amazon)

Deconovo Blackout Curtains – Foil Print Rhombus Design (Sound-Proof) (2 panels, $30, Amazon)

4. Mirrors

mirrors, mirror, interior decor, apartment decor

Mirrors are absolutely vital in any apartment, and the benefit is three-fold. 

First, who doesn’t love to stare at themselves every once in a while (or all the time)? Do we want to see our faces staring back at us every time we turn a corner? Absolutely.

Second, it makes the apartment appear bigger than it actually is! Strategic placement can really open up any small spaces.

Third, having a mirror by the door is a must-have. Everyone needs a quick hair-check and lipstick touch-up before walking out the door.

Plus… they’re pretty! And, they are neutral and will look good with whatever color scheme and style you’ve got goin’ on.

Urban Outfitters Lips Mirror ($90) 

Beautify Small Hexagon Wall Mirror ($33, Amazon)

Kylie End Table With Storage ($250, Wayfair)

Urban Outfitters Seashell Mirror Tray ($40)

5. Vanity

vanity, vanities, apartment decor, interior decor, interior design, makeup, beauty, fashion

Because the Glam Squad needs somewhere to set up, right? Even if your Glam Squad is only comprised of one, having a designated place to beautify is everything. Rather than rushing hair and makeup standing in the bathroom, having a place to sit and focus can make a huge difference. For someone like me with products galore (borderline hoarder), storage is very important as well. You can purchase an all-in-one vanity, or create your own out of any table or desk, like I did! 

Pottery Barn Hannah Beauty Wall Cabinet ($200)

Beautyworks Backlit Makeup Vanity Mirror ($23, Amazon)

Beachcrest Home Zeke Wood Makeup Vanity Set ($163, Wayfair)

Pier 1 Reese Heather Vanity Stool ($280)

Sorbus 2-Piece 6-Drawer Vanity Organizer ($35, Bed Bath & Beyond)

6. Throw Pillows

pillows, throw pillows, decor, interior decor, apartment decor, interior design, the office, faux fur, faux fur pillow

Cute and comfortable! Throw pillows are an easy way to increase comfort while adding a personal touch to your apartment. Whether they are placed on the bed or the couch, throw pillows can add a pop of color, personality (The Office, anyone?), or texture (faux fur yaaass). As you can see, mine are a little lumpy, so if you are serious about your throw pillows, invest in some basic pillow inserts. You can then change up the pillow covers whenever you’d like, and replace the inserts if they get lumpy!

Some suggestions:

Society6 Welcome to the Shit Show Throw Pillow ($30)

Top Finel Decorative Throw Pillow Covers ($16, Amazon)

Phantoscope 18 x 18 Pillow Inserts ($29, Amazon)

Urban Outfitters Mila Faux Fur Throw Pillow ($39)

7. Coffee Table Books

Keep in mind that this is coming from a super-duper book nerd, but books can add both beauty and sophistication to any space! And, they can go anywhere- the coffee table, the bathroom, bedroom, anywhere. You can organize stacks by color, topic, or shape/size. They also make great housewarming gifts! Plus, the prettier they are, the less guilty you have to feel about not actually reading them… right?

Every Person In New York by Jason Polan ($23, Amazon) (loved this birthday gift from Kelsey!)

Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World By Ann Shen ($20, Urban Outfitters)

Vogue: The Covers by Dodie Kazanjian ($20, Amazon)

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