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Tiny Manhattan Studio Remodel

Designer Jarret Yoshida transforms a tiny New York City apartment into a chic living space with stylish storage solutions.

Designer Jarret Yoshida made every square foot count — and look stylish — in this small Manhattan apartment where every area performs multiple functions. Working with less than 500 square feet, Yoshida transforms the dated space into a stylish home with modern touches.

Yoshida shares how custom-built pieces were key to the design.

What was on the homeowner's wish list?

The owner wanted to renovate the entire apartment to create more storage and update the finishes. The owner also wanted the remodel to focus on making the living space more multi-purpose, so it could be used for dining, entertaining and having guests sleep over.

The lack of space was the biggest issue — the apartment is about 450 square feet total. We had to cram all that function into a tiny space without making the apartment look like a built-in closet with shelves everywhere. That was a major challenge.

We used special smaller-sized appliances for the dishwasher, refrigerator and oven. My amazing cabinetry specialist, Thea Fresnoza, and I made sure that we eked out every single bit of space possible. We encased the heating pipe in cabinetry to transform it into a beautiful vertical element with additional storage space. We also created a built-in bed that can be closed off for privacy.

This project taught me to specifically ask the client, "When do you want this project done?" Then, you can tell him how long it will really take. No client ever accurately predicts how long a project will take. Great design takes time. The owner recently sold this apartment and thoughtful design helped him sell it in a day; he also broke a record per square foot for similar apartments in the building. I learned that great design can be an investment that pays off visually and financially when done with care.

One of my favorites is the deep-and-low sofa back that can be used for additional seating during a party. The sofa back is wide enough to perch on during a party so this tiny studio actually had three seating areas: kitchen counter, sectional sofa and sofa back!

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