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Designer transforms sister's small studio apartment into a stunning and spacious haven

Interior designer gives her sister the birthday of a lifetime by renovating her New York apartment into an eye-catching beauty.

Designer transforms sister's small studio apartment into a stunning and spacious haven
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @madisonmalaga

Living in New York is a dream fostered in people by countless shows like "Friends," "Gossip Girl" or "Sex and the City." However, many folks don't realize it is not all peach and dreamy like in those shows, especially its housing. The cost is off the roof and the space is a far cry from being comfortable. People have long given up on their aesthetic aspirations and embraced the mess of New York street in their homes. Madison Malaga, an interior designer—who goes by @madisonmalaga on TikTok—decided to change the game when her sister, Rylee, moved into a small 200-square-foot New York studio. Putting her artistic mind and thrifting skills into use, Malaga managed to create a haven out of the apartment as a surprise for Rylee's birthday. The whole setup turned out to be suave and chic, with many in the comment section wanting to hire her for their renovation needs.

Image Source: TikTok/@madisonmalaga
Image Source: TikTok | @madisonmalaga

The video starts with Rylee walking into the transformed apartment, completely taken aback by all the changes. After that, it flashes back to all the efforts put in by Malaga to make the whole apartment come to fruition. The one thing that came in handy for Malaga was her eye for materials. In the places where people saw cast-out items, she saw beautiful furniture for the apartment. She explained, "I saw these scrap pieces of wood in the trash. They could be awesome floating shelves." It was one of the first things she made for the apartment. She cleaned and sanded the wood to give it a smooth texture.

Image Source: TikTok/@madisonmalaga
Image Source: TikTok | @madisonmalaga

The next stop was a "local New York City hardware store." The experience of visiting the store and checking out was great but "way more expensive" compared to foraging from the trash. Still, they managed to pick up furniture and accessories under the budget. The apartment had "gray floors," which did not fit with the theme Malaga had in her mind. Therefore, they decided to cover it all up. The wood that was remaining after making up the furniture was used as a tape measure to hang Roman shades on the wall. Malaga also wanted to incorporate some "beautiful burrow wood frames" but found it too empty. Therefore, she ripped some pages from the book she had recently thrifted and used them as art in the frame.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Madison Malaga (@madisonmalaga)


Malaga wanted to make the house more spacious. New York as a city already feels so crammed and she did not want her sister to feel the same in her flat. She explained the solution that they zeroed in on, "We found a track system and hung a flat sheet that would create the separation but not take up any square footage." The process of hanging the sheet was very difficult, as the ceiling was pretty high and they did not have a step ladder. The last thing they installed was a beautiful mirror to bring the whole look together. The video ended with a look at the apartment after the makeover. It was sophisticated, organized and spacious, with a united color pattern.

Image Source: TikTok/@kristennnirl
Image Source: TikTok | @kristennnirl
Image Source: TikTok/@tarden.wraith
Image Source: TikTok/@tarden.wraith

The comment section loved the transformation. @lexi.yurkovich appreciated Malaga's gesture and wrote, "I would cry if someone did this for me. Good job!" @vcook20 appreciated the use of space by them and commented, "200 square feet!? You guys made great use of the space!"

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Madison Malaga (@madisonmalaga)


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