When Ted O’Brien and Lauren Binkley bought their first home, a tiny apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, they wanted to make it as comfortable as possible in a short amount of time. (2 weeks to be exact!) They reached out to Homepolish and were connected with designer Angela Rose Ferlita. Angela quickly got to work creating a dream space for the newly-engaged couple, who loves to travel. She maximized space and made the apartment seem much larger than it is. The outdated finishes were modernized, and Angela kept their souvenirs front and center — ensuring the apartment really felt like home. Today, we’re taking a closer look and snagging Angela’s small space tips along the way: 

Hi Angela! First off, how did you get started in interior design? When did you discover it was your passion?
I went to Florida State University and graduated with a degree in Interior Design. I always knew I would be doing something creative and I love how interior design is so applicable. After spending a large portion of my career working in store design for home furnishings retailers, I am excited to again be focused on residential projects where I am able to make a positive impact in my clients’ lives with what I do.

Well this is one gorgeous project. When you met with the client, what were they hoping to achieve by working with Homepolish?
The condition of the apartment was good in the sense that it had a workable layout and major renovations were already done to update the property. However, the design choices throughout the apartment didn’t reflect my client’s style at all. We really transformed this space with easy and budget-minded finishes. Changing the look of the kitchen was a huge priority. After that, it was a true designer-client collaboration to bring the vision for this space to life by curating the right furnishings together to create a cohesive timeless design.

Let’s talk about the kitchen! It’s gorgeous.
The kitchen had been recently updated, but the finishes couldn’t be farther from the clients’ taste. Because of budget and timeline, we decided to paint the previously cherry stained cabinets a crisp white, replace a multicolored backsplash with clean and classic subway tiles and changed the hardware to brass pulls which gave the space a current style.

It turned out beautifully. What else did you update in the home that made an impact?
Refinishing all the trim and painting the space a consistent calming grey hue throughout made a huge transformation in and of itself – the plaster walls were previously a terra cotta colored faux finish and all of the trim and moldings were different finishes making the space feel busy, not to mention far from the aesthetic my clients were trying to achieve. We updated light fixtures above the fireplace, and completely furnished the apartment with pieces that fit the scale of the space.

The home is quite small. What are some of the design tricks you used to maximize space?
In smaller spaces spacial layout, furniture proportions, and the right color choices are everything. We balanced a heavy sectional (which was a must-have for the clients) with a minimal media stand, and spare decor. We positioned the chaise in front of the bay window, instead of a piece with a high solid back, so you can see beyond it giving the illusion of depth and keeping the sight lines uninterrupted from one end of the apartment to the other. A mirror somewhere is a must in a small space as is larger pieces of art.

We had to get creative with the bedroom layout since the space is only 8’x10′ and there is a wall of closet doors on one side that had to be worked around. The previous owner had the bed in the corner and in front of the window. By moving the bed away from the wall and into the center of the space it opened everything up and allowed for more natural light which is another key to making a space feel bigger than it is. We chose not to use a bed frame or headboard because it would take up precious inches that we couldn’t afford. Instead we anchored the bed with a piece of art and sconces. There was an awkward niche in the corner of the bedroom where I saw an opportunity to create a built-in dresser and vanity for the clients. The design incorporated similar materials to that used throughout the room and maximized space without closing it off.

It all works so well. Thanks for sharing, Angela! To see the design up close & personal (and snag some sources), start the slideshow!

Homepolish is revolutionizing the design industry. Whether it’s a total renovation or finding the perfect finishing touches, Homepolish designers work by the hour to create balanced spaces that just work. For more design inspiration, follow @Homepolish. To learn more or to schedule a design visit in your own home, click here.