HHH Shopping Guide | Your First Studio Apt.

My first New York apartment at 85th and 3rd Ave. consisted of a 100 square foot living room (10x10), an oddly normally sized kitchen and bath and a "bedroom" that measured in at 6'x8'.  A radiator hogged one corner, so my twin bed frame wouldn't fit - just the mattress.  There was no closet.  That was the biggest, most glamorous pad I could find for $1450 a month.  I loved it and I filled it with miniature furniture: a tiny pale yellow love seat, camel-shaped plant stands as my coffee table/dining room, bamboo folding chairs. With tight squeezes (and budget) in mind, I suggest the following.

{1} Bamboo Folding Chairs, Richwood Imports, $24.95

{2} Clairmont Mantel, Mantel Market, $480 (If you get stuck in some brand new, non-crown molded joint, faux fireplaces soften things up a bit. Porter and I have three in our loft. The one in our living room was only $100 at a junk store).

{3} Butler Tray, Bernhardt, price upon request (Excellent for makeshift bars so the two friends who fit in your apartment have something to drink when they pop by). This one here is even more amazing).

{4} Zebra Bolster Pillow, Wildlife Etc., starting at $215 (If you don't have room for a couch, use these on your twin bed to create a couchy/daybed). 

{5} Paris Laundry Basket, Emerald Orchid Furniture (my new favorite online shop), price upon request (It's actually quite gigantic - and a perfect place to toss the dirty unmentionables when those two friends come over).

{6} Breakfast Tray Table, Emerald Orchid Furniture, price upon request (No need for a dining room when you just eat in bed!).

{7} Cardboard Attache Case, Manufactum, EUR 23 (If you can't afford Globe-Trotter, why not store your sweaters in this nearly free version?).


  1. Dear Hollister, Very bright and informed selections. Unusual and stylish. And good building blocks for developing one's style. Bravo! I shudder to think what I would have chosen!

  2. Great choices - you have such an amazing sense of style.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Amazing design!! Check out the wide range of Convertible Coffee Tables from Spacify.com.

  5. lovin that manufactum.com site. great find HH.

  6. An excellent little guide.

    My first NY apartment was ridiculously huge. Ridiculously. I have no idea how I got so lucky. I also had the two best roommates of my life there, by sheer blind luck...two Irish guys who made excellent coffee in an enormous copper samovar (pretty much the only appliance in the kitchen).
    After that, it was all downhill. By my fourth apartment, I was living in a broom closet.