Decorating A Small New York City Apartment
Living in New York City means space and storage come at a premium.
I recently got around to fixing up my small apartment entryway and wanted to share some decor tips to achieve a functional yet still stylish foyer.
Read more: The Best Home and Interior Design Stores in NYC
Minted Framed Print (c/o)
Blue Studded Bench (Home Goods, similar here and here)
Serena + Lily Herringbone Throw
M Gemi Penna Pumps ($40 off your first order here)
Sheepskin Rug (Home Goods, similar here and here)
Rugs USA Silver Cowhide Rug (c/o)
How to Decorate A Small Entryway
1. Stick to One Theme
They say your entryway, as the first step into your home, should set the tone for the rest of the house. Somehow the overwhelming color palette in my apartment ended up being blue so I carried this into my entryway by placing a blue bench and large blue framed print in the space.
For example: If you’re going for a Scandinavian feel, try a minimalist black, white and grey approach. If you’re a fan of HGTV’s Joanna Gaines and Fixer Upper, aim for a wooden bench and rustic chic.
Most people like to add a mirror by the entryway for a quick outfit and makeup check before they head out the door. A great way to carry over an interiors theme is to find a unique mirror: a carved inlaid wood frame for a boho theme, a thin black rimmed mirror for a minimalist look or a gold scrolled theme for a girly, whimsical design.
Small Entryway Mirror Ideas
Small Entryway Accessories
2. Play with Proportion
Even though the entry way is extremely small (there’s no way I could fit one of those gorgeous Architectural Digest round tables with a statement making vase), the apartment has decent height so I decided to play up that feature by using a low seating bench. It measures 47 inches across with a 17 inch seat height.
Then, to draw the eye upward, I installed an extra large framed print at 54″ high, excluding the frame. I chose the piece from Minted, which has a wide selection of photography, graphic and typography prints plus limited edition fine art prints.
The piece I selected happens to come from a local artist in Brooklyn and you can choose to buy the print with or without a frame and with or without the artist’s signature. I chose framed and with the signature and the print arrived beautifully done and well packaged for shipment.
Since the art and bench both have the same underlying blue color tone, I think the high and low play well with each other!
Eventually I’d also love to add some interesting baskets for additional storage or glass vases for branches or flowers.
Small Entryway Art Ideas
Small Entryway Bench Ideas
3. Add Texture and Pops of Color
I love texture and color to liven up a space.
The entry way has parquet flooring, which I personally think is a huge eyesore, so I used a fun silver cowhide rug from Rugs USA to blanket the floor. This one is made from real cowhide so is a little more pricey than knock off versions (but well worth it in my opinion) and has a great stiff hair texture and beautiful silver sheen.
I doubled up with a small soft sheepskin right under the bench for a second layer of texture. Also, slipping out of high heels and onto the sheepskin is the coziest feeling!
Finally, I added in this soft striped yellow cashmere throw for an eye catching pop of color and a hint of pattern. Small entryways can get cluttered easily so add maybe 1-3 elements of color and texture to liven up a space without overwhelming it.
Small Entryway Throw & Pillow Ideas
Small Entryway Rug Ideas
4. Keep It Functional
I have to admit, I’m still working on this last tip as my space isn’t quite finished yet. I’m hoping to add a small console to store keys and mail.
For now I put everything away on my desk and leave my keys in my bag, which helps to reduce clutter so it’s fine. But eventually I’d love to find a table that’s both thin (depth wise) and narrow (length wise) that can still hold a tray and fit in my space!
Another way to maximize functionality is to add hooks to easily hang keys, leashes and coats. I love fun and quirky hooks to really liven up a space.
Also, if there’s room under a bench or console, adding baskets is a great way to store slippers, umbrellas and less used accessories that you still want easy access to.
Small Entryway Table Ideas
Small Entryway Storage Ideas
Small Space Living
Living in a New York City apartment means space is a premium! Over the years, we've learned to ruthlessly purge our closets, adapt the Konmari method and max out every inch of space. Despite the challenges, we love interior design, NYC real estate and wouldn't trade living here for anywhere else. Follow along on our small space living adventure!
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Loving all your ideas, and your entryway is so chic! I love your hide rug, the bright blue bench, and the painting (i love it all, lol!) Can’t wait to get a place of my own someday to start furnishing like crazy :D
Haha thanks Joyce!! It’s been a super slow process but totally fun.
Loving your style, and all the ideas to make a small space look so spacious! I will definitely be using these tips in the future!
Thanks so much Jamie!
ahh i love that fluffy white fur rug!!
I’d really would love to re-design my office as it looking a little bare., but can’t afford it right now. xx
I totally agree with sticking to one theme!! You have some really great tips. Thanks for sharing.
I LOVE that blue chair! Loving all these ideas of yours. Now I need to find a blue chairs like yours!
Thanks Melissa! I included a link to the same style in my post. They usually get different colors every month or so!
Nice details. Love the art on the wall. Also, great ideas.
Thanks Tanvi! Check out Minted for affordable art – I really loved their selection
I love this so much! I definitely have a small entryway in my house and have needed to spruce it up!!
My entry space needs to be more functional. I would also like to add some POP to the space. Love the tips.
I know what you mean Tami. Combining function with style is the hardest part!
Such amazing tips and a beautiful entryway as well. I love your framed print from Minted and I need to get my hands on a stunning bench like that.
Yes! The Minted frame was so stunning and I think it really adds some dramatic flare. I love love love it
I am obsessed with your entryway!! It is stunning! Love the RugsUSA rug.
Thank you Brianne! Hope you entered the Rugs USA giveaway so you can grab your own!
I really like what you did with your entryway. It doesn’t look too crowded and seems rather open. The tips you shared are very good, especially the first one. I definitely think it should all flow together and I am always a big fan of a mirror by the entryway for the exact reasons that you said. It’s always a good thing to take one last look before you head out the door.
Thanks Kimberly! I’m glad you liked the open look too :)
I love all of these tips. Your entryway is gorgeous!
Such great tips!! I love the blue suede!!
Great ideas! I am getting my first apartment in the next year & I can’t wait to use this. All of the small accents make all the difference!
Wow! What amazing thought was put into this post! Gorgeous pictures and so much amazing information! I know some people that could benefit from this and will be sharing it with them!
Aw thanks so much for the sweet words Tiffany!!
This is seriously amazing inspo!! I love it!!
Great tips!! Love that blue bench! I have been looking for something like that for my bedroom.
These are fantastic tips! We have a small entryway in our house and I’ve been on the hunt for ways to jazz it up. Definitely going to give some of these a try!
Love these tips…super practical and helpful! Decorating a small space can be a real challenge that so many of us face. Thanks for sharing! xo
I am bookmarking this! I’m moving to NYC early next year and I know my apartment will be SO small. I need any help I can get!
Ooh awesome! Let’s grab a coffee when you’re in NYC – I love meeting other bloggers :)
This is such an interesting post and I absolutely adore the way you decorated, and I hope a lot of people find this helpful
Oh my gosh, your entry way is absolutely stunning and serious goals! I really love how you broke down each idea!
I am OBSESSED with that blue chair! And your blog is absolutely amazing. All the goals!
Aw thanks Lindsey!! The blue chair is from Home Goods but I’ve seen almost exact dupes online! :)
what a fab post and a fab entryway! your decor is amazing!!
Great tips! Love how your turned out!
I’m on the market for my first house so these decorating tips are very helpful even though it’s not going to be a small apartment!
ooh how fun! can’t wait to see your new home Julie
I love you posts with these fabulous pictures. I am home decor fan and your ideas of small spaces with great design ideas is inspirational. Your tips are great and the spotted wall entry decor picture was perfect.
Love your entryway! I like to keep mine pretty functional – I always have a table (so I can chuck my keys somewhere) and a big ol’ mirror so I can check my face out as I’m leaving the house.
This entryway is absolutely adorable! I am so jealous!
such great ideas!
i love how you styled your entryway! i’ve seen similar benches and really want to get one now!!
Thanks Stephie! The bench was the first thing I got for the space and I love it! I got mine in person at Home Goods but linked to some similar affordable ones online. Hope you’re able to find something similar that you love and I’d love to see your space when you’re done :)
Love the rug!
Your entryway is gorgeous! Such great tips!! I love the blue suede!!
Thank you Robin! The blue bench is the first thing I picked up because it caught my eye so quickly! It was a great deal too – there are tons of places online that sell similar versions so I hope you find something you like :)
I love all of these tips. Your entryway is gorgeous!
I love all these decorating tips! I hadn’t considered that you can play with proportion, especially if you have an apartment that has a decent height. Personally, I love having a tall ceiling, so I’m anxious to see what I can do to play the high and low together.