Anyone who knows me knows that I have a thing for small living. So nothing makes me happier than seeing small living done stylishly. Illustrator, graphic designer and art director Lotta Neiminen points out, “When you look for an apartment in New York, you generally need to leave out one of out three: location, rent or size. I wanted to live in Manhattan, and had a fixed budget when moving in, so that left me with leaving out size.” I’m sure Lotta’s European upbringing (she’s from Helsinki, Finland, and you can see her first sneak peek here) helps in making the most of a small space. She wanted something cozy, which to Lotta meant lots of natural light. Since moving to New York, her style has been colorful, both in terms of decorating and clothing, and it’s always interesting to see how those trends are reflected in her work. Thanks so much to Lotta and to Dan McMahon for the photos! — Anne
Image above: I wanted to select furniture that would keep the apartment feeling as big as possible – hence, a glass tabletop for the desk/dining table. Because I didn’t have room for much furniture, I wanted all the pieces to be very special and things I’d want to keep for the rest of my life. The Compass table legs are by Matthew Hilton, with a glass tabletop custom made in a nearby glass shop in Chinatown. I had coveted the Fredericks & Mae arrow for a long time, and it was one of the first things I got for the apartment.
Image above: I tested several throws, but it turned out that the only thing that kept the apartment looking remotely big was keeping it white. The bedside table turned bookshelf was a midnight street find on the way home from a party in Williamsburg.
See more inside Lotta’s Manhattan flat (including a floorplan!) after the jump . . .
Image above: I had a frame and couldn’t find a poster for it, so I made a collage from papers in my favorite colors. I spent more than half an hour at a local paper shop pairing up the best shades. The vase is from Chinatown, and the rococo-style table was a street find.
Image above: I saw a branch lamp online and was on the hunt for the perfect branch for a long time. I finally found it during a jog by the East River. An old Ikea lamp wrapped around it worked perfectly.
Image above: The wooden balls are a work in progress. I’d like to paint them a few different colors and display them on a shelf. They were a gift from a friend, whose husband used them as props on a shoot.
Image above: I think feeling at home is all about details, no matter what the size of the apartment. The little glass box is from West Elm, home to a little airplant and a good luck fox given as a gift by a friend from his trip to India.
Image above: The apartment is the smallest I’ve lived in, but as soon as I came in, I knew it was meant to be; to me, light matters way more than size. Given the location, it acts more as a super cozy hotel room; all the nearby restaurants and bars feel like extensions of the apartment. The carpet is by the Finnish manufacturer Tikau, with an illustration by Klaus Haapaniemi.