Decorating Tips for a Manhattan Style Apartment

Best Wall Colors

Like in most cities, space is a highly cherished commodity in New York City. The common goal is visually to expand the space, and color is one way to achieve it. With a light-colored canvas (walls), individual tastes can be expressed through darker contrasting colors and different textile designs of area rugs, throw pillows, upholstery, and window treatments.

Window Treatments

Some older apartment buildings have high ceilings and tall windows. You can take advantage of these by selecting light colored and light-weight fabrics for draperies and curtains.

Make Small Windows Appear Bigger

Apartments with small windows can be visually expanded by hanging curtain/drapery rods a few inches from the ceiling and allowing the draperies to pool on the floor. This will also give a rich and elegant look to any décor.

Touch of the Outdoors Inside

Green spaces are cherished when you live in a large city. This love of nature, often a longing to have more connection with the outdoors, is frequently reflected in Manhattan apartments. A few potted plants or flowers not only soften décor, but they are vital to a city apartment dweller as tiny touchstones. For a décor, plants can add texture and color to the overall interior design.

Lighting Is Everything

Since many apartment windows may look over an alleyway or another apartment building, lighting is everything. You’ll need to provide a variety of lighting solutions, such as indirect (recessed and torchiere floor lamps) and direct (task lighting, table lamps).

Area Rugs

Area rugs are a great way to define and break up living spaces, especially in small apartments. When using different rugs, make sure the patterns don’t clash. Select rugs in the same color families so your space will flow evenly from one area to the next.

Popular Manhattan Apartment Styles

There are several popular design styles found in Manhattan apartment interiors. These styles can be duplicated in any city apartment for that upscale Manhattan vibe.

The Loft or Studio Apartment

A loft/studio apartment design is always functional and often has a minimalist appeal out of necessity of available space. Once designed to play up the industrial elements of exposed ductwork and piping, the contemporary loft has evolved.

  • The choice of textiles can be bold or subtle in color, depending on individual tastes.
  • There’s always an ambience of cutting edge design found in the choice of art, especially wall art.
  • Add mirrors to give the illusion of a larger space.

Urban Chic

The Manhattan urban chic has an appreciation for artisan made furnishings.

  • A genuine commitment to repurposing and restyling is evident in the choices of furnishings.
  • A discarded headboard may become a bench accented with vintage silk pillows found at a consignment shop around the corner.
  • A mix of old and new gives this style a city chic flair.
  • Toss in a few modern pieces and impressionist artwork for a transitional look.
  • The farmhouse look is often incorporated with this city style, including nuances such as sliding barn door closets or bathrooms.
  • Farmhouse tables and chairs/benches often find their way into the urban chic design.

City Sophisticated

Perhaps the go to visual whenever Manhattan apartment style is mentioned is a sophisticated, luxurious apartment décor.

  • This version of Manhattan apartment style features high-end furniture, often period styles.
  • White marble floors or kitchen counter tops are popular choices.
  • Modern art pieces are sprinkled throughout the apartments especially an oversized painting over the couch or dining room wall.
  • Accessories and art objects are purposefully selected to add greater appreciation for a luxurious lifestyle.
  • Touches of the outdoors are found in house plants of varying sizes set in expensive pottery and ceramic pots.

Chic Glam City Style

The area rug is often a centerpiece for the living room and/or bedroom, set against aging hardwood floors. Chosen for color and pattern, an area rug can be as simple as an animal pattern.

  • A black and white zebra pattern with chrome and glass end tables sets the stage.
  • Add a white leather couch and a pair of pink mohair throw pillows.
  • A stunning and dramatic large framed original modern art suspended over an oversized console table is perfect.
  • A collection of rare miniature books can be showcased on a glass top coffee table with a mirrored base.
  • Several over-the-top expensive art objects and accessories complete the look.
  • Add the final touch with a pair of mini-crystal chandeliers suspended over the end tables.
  • Don’t forget to add a cashmere or minky throw.