200 Square Foot NYC Studio With DIY Furniture

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Name: Skylar Pittmon
Lease: Greenwich Village—New York, NYC
Size: 200 square feet
Type of Home: Studio Apartment
Years lived in: 1.5 years, rental

Before moving into this teeny studio apartment in New York’s Greenwich Village, Skylar was living on a sailboat she had remodeled in North Carolina. So, she wasn’t too intimidated by a home that’s only 200 square feet. “I found my apartment online during an uncertain time in the pandemic,” Skylar explains. “I wasn’t able to physically see the apartment and location prior to signing the lease, so I just had to go with my gut feelings.”

Small spaces tend to benefit from customization that maximizes every square inch. Which is exactly what Skylar did, with the help of family. “My family knows a good amount about woodworking and they helped me make all of the furniture in my apartment. With my apartment being incredibly small and with zero closets, I knew I needed to find a solution for storage,” she begins. “We built a large storage unit that serves as a place for my books, clothes and other items. I also really value sitting at a table to eat, so having a normal sized table was important to me, even in this small of a space. My apartment serves a multi-faceted place for me — a place where I can work, rest, cook, feel inspired and everything in between.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

MyStyle: It’s hard to describe my style as I don’t think it fits perfectly in any category. I think about how things make me feel and if I like it, I like it. I really love supporting artists and being surrounded by objects that remind me of a person, place, or particular time period in my life.

Inspiration: I find a lot of inspiration in visiting artist homes and going to art museums. My favorite places I have visited have been Georgia O’Keeffe’s home in New Mexico and Donald Judd’s loft in New York. I think there is a lot to be said about how artists live.

Favorite Item: My favorite element is how quiet my apartment can be. To be in a busy city and on a busy street and to find such quietness really amazes me. I am someone who really needs my solitude, so it makes this apartment feel like home.

Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge is getting into my lofted bed area. I had no other place to put my bike other than right at the staircase of the loft. It does make it harder to get up there but I like to imagine that I’m rock climbing!

Proudest DIY: Every piece of furniture is DIY but strangely, my favorite piece of DIY is the trashcan. I kept a knob from the original cabinets on my sailboat and used it on the trashcan. It holds the most meaning to me and I love the simplicity of the design. It’s a piece I know I will take with me to my next place and so on.

Biggest Indulgence: My biggest indulgence was my rugs. They were made to order in Morocco and took about two months to arrive. They taught me a lot about deferred gratification and how much it means to me to get the things that I really want instead of settling for something that doesn’t meet all of my needs.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? Something unique about my home is that despite the size of my studio, I still feel like I have the space to do all the things I need at home. I tried to lay out the design in the most versatile way. Tables are something that hold a lot of meaning to me because I think it’s beautiful the life a table gets to live — the centerpiece of so many moments. I made sure to prioritize having a decent-sized table that I use as a place to eat, work, do crafts on, or have a conversation with a friend.

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? My favorite things that I have bought for my home are my books. Over the past few years, I have realized how much value I find in books and how much beauty they hold.

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: I try to take advantage of vertical space and store things that I use the most at eye level. Also, hooks! I love hooks. I use hooks inside my kitchen cabinets to hang things like pan lids, strainers, etc. They are another great way to take advantage of vertical space.

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? My best advice is to be intentional about the things you let into your home. I think it’s important for everything that’s in your home to hold meaning to you. That way, when you are at home, it feels like a sanctuary that is so unique to you and filled with your memories.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.

Erin Derby


Originally from California, but turned New Yorker since 2000, I’ve been shooting my entire life and am still inspired and excited about it. Lately I have been putting my energies into my Fine Art, which can be seen on my website and on Saatchi Art. Being infatuated with interior design doesn’t hurt either, which mixes well with my love of photographing interiors.

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