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transforming one-bedroom apartment, home, architect on demand, advice without strings

Wasn’t I writing a guest post about turning my LES (Manhattan Lower East Side) studio apartment into a home just last week? It feels like that! Well, now I have crossed the bridge and moved to Brooklyn, and this time it’s not just me in a studio… I have a new roommate, my boyfriend. I am returning to DIY Ally’s blog to chronicle our experiences of transforming a one-bedroom apartment into a home!

In New York, at least when housing is concerned, you unfortunately cannot have it all. But if you’re creative, patient, a DIYer, and a little bit flexible, you can turn even a small one-bedroom apartment into something spectacular.

Prior to our move in, the walls were painted a dirty tan color. We immediately agreed that re-painting ourselves would be necessary. I took the reigns on this project and selected Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace. Gorgeous choice: changing the color made a very big difference in the process of transforming our one-bedroom apartment into a home!

one-bedroom, apartment, transforming, home

Window treatments are something you really cannot live without. After consulting Alla DIY Ally, we ordered from, a very user-friendly site that makes quality shades that won’t set you back the way my beloved The Shade Store does. We went with light filtering grey roller shades. Important: “reverse” shades are the ones you want to order! The additional $2 a pop is well worth it. Seeing the roll in front of the shade is not aesthetically pleasing.

one-bedroom, apartment, transforming, home

While my mom, DIY Ally, was in town she helped me figure out a lot of apartment stuff. We went on a family pilgrimage to IKEA with my sister who you read about a couple of weeks ago! IKEA is great, but it does disappoint sometimes. Things get discontinued, and there goes your well-laid plan! (more on that later.) So flexibility is essential.

Although not every box on my shopping list had been checked off, we found something awesome! BOTKYRKA!

The cutest white powder coated bent steel two-tiered shelves! I bought three of them with the intention of putting one in the bathroom and two above my sewing machine table. It turned out they were too deep for the bathroom and too short to hold my sewing and pattern-making materials.

one-bedroom, apartment, transforming, home

Not an obstacle, rather an opportunity to get creative. We installed all three in a row in the kitchen above the dining table. They would hold glassware and chachkas like my Russian teapot and Czech yogurt cups that my sister brought back from a semester in Praha! Because we were flexible and got creative, we made something super functional and beautiful.

The kitchen cabinets were overflowing, and now they have comfortably spilled over onto the shelves transforming a mess into something pretty! I absolutely love the outcome.

I am learning how it is necessary to be flexible when sharing every corner of your space with someone else, but also that going with the flow can result in an outcome that’s even better than the one you’d planned. There’s a lot of work left to do, but we are taking it slow and enjoying the process of transforming a one-bedroom apartment into a place we call our home! On the agenda this weekend: go around the apartment with Rust-Oleum white touch-up paint to cover the heads of silver screws.


  • Mia S Kazovsky
    March 29, 2018

    I just LOVE writing guest posts for your blog. And even more than that, I love how invested and dedicated you are to helping me with all of my DIY and design needs! This turned out to be a fantastic post!

    • Alla DIY Ally
      March 30, 2018

      Thank you very much for this comment! Sometimes I can’t even believe how lucky I am to have such a wonderful human being for a daughter!!!! Love you very much.

  • Irina Zheveleva
    April 12, 2018

    Mia, it is such a good post. Enjoyed reading this. You are such a daughter of your creative mother. It is amazing how genes work!! 🙂 BOTKYRKA with chachkas looks awesome. I wish to be related to Alla at least to have something in my genes which allow me to transform my place to something I would like, but the truth is I can’t even make a baby step without bothering her and asking for advice 🙂

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