Decorating Tips for a Manhattan-style Apartment

Designing and decorating a small space can be a challenge, but it’s doable. All it takes is a little bit of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, and you’ll easily make your apartment look bigger and more stylish. To help you get started, further in this article, you can find our decorating tips for a Manhattan-style apartment. And in case you need more inspiration for a well-dressed home, make sure to check out We’re sure you’ll find everything else you need there!

What is a Manhattan-style apartment?

The Manhattan-style apartment is a studio with a secluded bedroom. This might make you think it’s a one-bedroom flat, but it’s not quite so.

A secluded room in a Manhattan-style apartment
Manhattan-style apartments have a secluded room that usually has enough room only for a single bed.

The whole idea behind this type of apartment is to give occupants more privacy. When you have visitors over, they won’t have to stay in the same place where you sleep. These apartments are also slightly larger than studios. On average, studios are 350sq ft while Manhattan-style apartments are 450sq ft.

You’ll probably struggle with storage given the size, especially if you’re moving from a bigger place. But don’t worry – there are plenty of solutions. For instance, a friendly team from Ben Hur Moving & Storage NYC recommends renting storage as one of the most budget-friendly ways to keep your things safe and at your disposal.

Simple decorating tips for your new Manhattan-style apartment

When decorating a small space, you need to be careful. One small mistake and your lovely Manhattan-style apartment can look cluttered. To help you avoid this from happening to you, further in this article, you can find our simple decorating tips for a Manhattan-style apartment.

Choose wall colors wisely

One of the crucial things when decorating your small apartment is to choose the right wall colors. This is especially true in NYC, where space is a highly treasured commodity. Choosing the right colors can help you visually expand the space.

Therefore, make sure to choose light and neutral colors for your wall. Leave dark or bold bright colors for accents. For instance, invest in a colorful area rug or throw pillows with an interesting pattern.

Choose functional furniture

One of the best ways to make most of your small space is to invest in multi-functional furniture. There are plenty of stylish options to choose from. So besides being functional, they could complement your space. For instance, you can get an ottoman that opens up as storage or a sofa-bed and use your living room as a guest bedroom.

Remember that it could be challenging to bring your furniture inside due to the limited space in your apartment. To avoid causing any damage to either furniture or your apartment, reach out to a reliable team. There are plenty of local Manhattan movers. You need to research a bit and choose the most reliable ones.

Pay attention to your windows

Many older apartment buildings in NYC have high ceilings and quite tall windows. This is a feature you should take full advantage of and grab every ray of sunlight you possibly can. Make sure to select light-weight and light-colored fabrics for curtains and draperies

On the other hand, if your Manhattan-style apartment comes with small windows, there are ways to make them appear bigger. The good idea is to hang curtain/drapery rods a few inches from the ceiling and allow them to pool on the floor. This way, you’ll visually expand your windows and give a rich and elegant look to your decor.

Invite nature inside

If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it is the importance of being in touch with nature and how much we can miss it when we’re forced to stay in for a while. So, one of the best ways to invite nature and bring life into your NYC apartment is to buy house plants

A Manhattan-style apartment with a gray sofa and a white bookshelf filled with house plants
Adding house plants is one of the simplest but very effective decorating tips for a Manhattan-style apartment.

Even if you are not a “plant person,” there are plenty of low-maintenance options, such as succulents or cactuses. Just a few potted plants will soften your decor and add color and texture to it. But more importantly, plants will improve the air quality in your apartment and make your living environment healthier.  

Invest in proper lighting 

Many apartments in NYC face alleyways or other apartment buildings. This makes natural light a very sought-after commodity in this city. However, even if your apartment lacks natural light, there are ways to compensate with proper lighting fixtures. After all, lighting is crucial for making a small space look bigger.

To get the best results, make sure to layer the lighting. Besides only investing in one chandelier or other ambiance light, complete the space by adding other lighting solutions. For example, invest in a beautiful floor lamp or one of the lovely hand-blown glass lamps. Complete everything by adding mirrors or mirrored furniture as they’ll reflect the light and make the space look bigger. 

Choose one of the popular style designs for your Manhattan-style apartment

If you are decorating your home from scratch, perhaps a good solution is to choose one of the popular design styles found in Manhattan-style apartment interiors.

Choosing the boho style is one of decorating tips for a Manhattan-style apartment
One of the most popular design styles for Manhattan-style apartments is modern boho.

Here are some of the design styles as well as tips you can use for decorating a Manhattan-style apartment:

  • Loft/studio apartment design comes with a minimalist appeal and plenty of functional solutions. If you choose this style, make sure to play around with colors and bold textures. They will give excellent contrast to the industrial elements.
  • Urban chic style comes with a great appreciation for artisan-made furnishings. The accent is on repurposing and restyling when it comes to furnishing choices. In fact, that mix of old and new gives this style a city chic flair.
  • City sophisticated style is known for high-end furniture and modern art pieces. Art and accessories are added to achieve a luxurious look and feel.
  • Modern boho is a trendy style in Manhattan-style apartments. However, there is no specific formula for achieving this style. The accent is on personal expression and choosing colors and patterns that feel good to you. Wall art is also a prominent feature in this style but make sure to add a mix of eclectic accessories.
  • Trendy Scandinavian interiors are becoming increasingly common. They are a perfect solution for small spaces and come with clean and simple lines. It’s all about emphasizing minimalist style and living and choosing functional options for storage and furniture. This style helps you create the illusion of a larger space.

Do you like our decorating tips for a Manhattan-style apartment?

We hope our decorating tips for a Manhattan-style apartment have helped you make your small NYC place look bigger and aesthetically appealing. Remember, it’s all about finding a style that best reflects your personality and makes your apartment feel like home.

Author’s bio:

Angie Stewart is a blogger from Philadelphia. She moved to NYC to study and has been living there ever since. Recently, Angie fulfilled her long-time dream of becoming a homeowner when she bought a studio apartment in Brooklyn. As she enjoys challenges, Angie decided to design the space herself. That’s what made her fall in love with interior design and start writing about it. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and going out with friends. 

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