Believe it or not, product photographer Michelle James’ tiny West Village apartment was a welcome downsize from her 1,500 square foot condo in Los Angeles. Feeling like a slave to her LA space, she chose the 311 square foot mini-one bedroom so she wouldn’t have to spend weekends cleaning. By filling the apartment with bold colors and innovative storage solutions, James was able to create a modern and comfortable home in the heart of one of New York’s most expensive neighborhoods.
James’ home may be the size of a shoebox, but she made it look spacious and homey by painting the main living area in a bold plum color. The color not only brings out James’ personal aesthetic and tastes, but also makes the apartment’s historic decorative molding pop along with the gorgeous fireplace mantle. Inspired by a beach scene painting, James translated the color palette into decorative aspects of the apartment. She even has a jar of sand and small indoor garden on the window sill to capture the breezy outdoor feeling.
Many pieces in her home have double uses that maximize her space. The couch converts to a queen size bed for guests, while a blue wall hanging becomes a dining table in minutes. Vintage chairs were reupholstered in a bright striped fabric, and double as dining chairs, or as James’ desk chair.
Even though the apartment is described as a full one bedroom, James’ room is actually just the size of a full-size bed. In order to create storage since an armoire would be impossible to fit, she had a custom-made storage bed installed with drawers and shoe organization.
The cozy West Village space captures James’ personality, and creates a welcoming home filled with a rich color.