Before + After: An Interior Expert Got Crafty With Small Apartment Design And Created Her Dream NYC Loft

Tina Ramchadani took on a big interior design challenge that would scare off most people.

small apartment design
Jacob Snavely Photography

Interior designer and her husband were beginning to think they’d never find an apartment in Manhattan when she stumbled upon a listing that caught her eye.

“In 2015, we were looking to buy and there was nothing out there that I really loved and everything was above our budget. We were looking at absolutely every listing 'til I found this one on StreetEasy," she says. "The floor plan looked really promising but there were no pictures so my husband and I went to the open house hopeful. The space needed a major overhaul, but I knew I could make it work.” Having spent five years working for Vincent Wolfe, she saw what others couldn’t, undaunted by the dated dwelling.

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The apartment was part of an estate sale when they snagged it without hesitation, and four months later, Tina had overhauled the disjointed apartment into 1,080 square feet of sheer serenity.

small-apartment-design
Jacob Snavely Photography

Noted for her modern interiors, Tina's color palette choice was a no-brainer. “Black and white is my go-to,” she says. Eliminating the dark red walls and wood paneling was top priority.

“My number one goal was to maximize the sunlight and make it bright so we painted all the walls and added accents of greys and black to keep it fresh.”

Besides the crisp palette, the biggest change was the flooring. “We thought about keeping the original parquet floors that came with the apartment to save money but I never liked that looked and wanted something that has some lift to it. So I found this grey from State of the Art Wood Floors. We went through rounds and rounds to get the right look but it was all worth it. I love it.”

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small apartment design
Jacob Snavely Photography
small apartment design
Jacob Snavely Photography
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Another priority for Tina: Choosing furniture and deciding on a layout that could accommodate the large groups she and her husband are typically entertaining. "I wanted to maximize seating without cluttering the space because though it’s a nice size, it’s still a NYC apartment," she says. "For seating, I designed a really big with Robert Allen that was pretreated for my young nieces who like to crawl on everything. I have a ‘no mess, no fuss’ policy.”

Tina also had a creative solution when it came to installing the TV. She had it mounted on the column in the corner then created a hidden door beneath the TV to hide all the accessories. Genius hack for city dwellers.

The globe light by the window sets a welcoming tone when you walk into the apartment, and the large from the Robin Rice Gallery of the aerial view of the ocean found above the sofa bestows a tranquil mood for the busy couple to unwind.

small apartment design
Jacob Snavely Photography
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small apartment design
Jacob Snavely Photography

The casual dining area centers around a Restoration Hardware rustic wooden and a that offers lots of seating for a large crowd. The Craig Alan above the table is a favorite of Tina's. It's paired alongside a modern Flos to complete the eclectic look.

small apartment design
Jacob Snavely Photography
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small apartment design
Jacob Snavely Photography

The all-white, open format kitchen is a huge contrast to the prior one. "Originally, the kitchen was closed so we blew out it out because we wanted it to accommodate crowds," she says. "We want people to be able to cook, talk, make drinks all at the same time."

The sleek custom kitchen from Poggen Pohl and white Caesarstone backsplash and countertops totally altered the space from the cramped former design. The CB2 bar pair perfectly with the Leibherr and Smeg and . For art, Tina loved the original wallpaper discovered during the renovation so she had a piece framed to hang proudly in the kitchen.

small apartment design
Jacob Snavely Photography
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small apartment design
Jacob Snavely Photography
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The one room not painted white was the bedroom, which she painted , a smoothing hue for sleeping quarters that keep the day’s chaos at bay.

“For the bedroom I wanted to soften things up. I wanted a room that is calm and good for getting some shut eye.” Matteo , Serena & Lily and Aerin create a cozy place for good shuteye.

small apartment design
Jacob Snavely Photography
small apartment design
Jacob Snavely Photography
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The bathroom’s overhaul turned a dingy, tight space into a hard working but zen retreat.

“We reconfigured the entrance to the bathroom and took out the tub, which I knew I’d never use and installed a shower instead," she says. "Because it was not large, we did the half glass instead of a full door and it’s been great. We used larger (12” x 24”) which makes smaller bathrooms look bigger.” Another pro tip. The Restoration Hardware and custom white Caesarstone countertop complete the look with the Hansgrohe and Brizo .

Tina was able to check off all the boxes for her dream New York apartment: good lighting, minimalist design, and as much space as possible. With a little hope and a lot of creativity, she turned the ultimate fixer-upper into a high-design home.

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