Our NYC Apartment Costs $3,295 A Month—& Here's What It Looks Like

In Refinery29's Sweet Digs, we take a look inside the sometimes small, sometimes spacious homes of millennial city dwellers. Today, roommates Kelly Coleman and Cheyenne Dermody show us around their two-bedroom lofted apartment on the Lower East Side in Manhattan.

For many 20-somethings, having a terrible roommate is a rite of passage. Somehow, 24-year-old Kelly Coleman and 25-year-old Cheyenne Dermody skipped that stage of their lives, turning a convenient housing situation into a lasting friendship.

You could blame this on proximity — thanks to New York's rent prices, the roommates' first apartment was a small one-bedroom on the Upper East Side, where the two shared bunk beds, forcing the two to develop a tight bond. "It was a one bedroom, but it had a full kitchen and then a full living room," Cheyenne says. "But the living room was so much bigger, and the bedroom was a little closet. We decided we really valued having a living room over having our own bedrooms, especially because we were both fresh out of college where we had shared rooms. It wasn't a big deal for us to continue doing that."

After a year of supremely close quarters, however, the two decided to upgrade their home, seeking out a true two-bedroom closer to both their workplaces. After a few weeks of searching, Cheyenne stumbled upon a two bedroom, 1.5 bath for $3295 in a renovated schoolhouse deep in the Lower East Side. The perks: a new kitchen, 1,086 square feet, ceilings high enough to house a 15-foot Christmas tree, not to mention the building pool, courtyards, and laundry. The only catch: True to loft aesthetics, the bedrooms don't have doors.

Click through to see how the roommates make their space work — and shop a few of their home buys.

Do you live in Los Angeles and have a space you'd like to share? Email us here.

Watch Kelly and Cheyenne walk through their space in this video, then click ahead to shop their home buys.
Can you talk about how you found the apartment?

Kelly: Cheyenne found it basically with Google.

Cheyenne: I found it on Streeteasy, actually. On day two of searching I just found this building, this old schoolhouse that they've renovated into apartments. And they're all lofts, which both of us talked about it being just a dream. And it turned out we didn't even have to pay a fee to break our lease if wanted to, it was just a matter of finding someone else to move it. So that was amazing.

Kelly: And I think it was just a normal security deposit. No broker's fee. We had to have a guarantor, though.

So you just had to pay first month's rent, last month's rent, and a security deposit?

Kelly: Yes. Plus Cheyenne's dad had a truck so we moved everything ourself.
Etsy Custom Neon Sign, $269.00 Buy
Can you talk about your home decor?

Cheyenne: I've always been really into painting and interior design stuff. I always go all out on decorating. I'm also a project manager for work, so as soon as we realized we were getting this spot, I made a Google doc of every single room in the apartment and I made her fill it out with me. We listed every piece of furniture we would want to buy, with three or four links for each piece of furniture. I went crazy for a few weeks. I made mood boards and sent them to Kelly.

Where did you buy the majority of your furniture?

Kelly: Etsy, Urban Outfitters, Target, and Wayfair. Our dining table is from West Elm.

What about decor?

Cheyenne: I paint and draw on the side as a hobby, and I craft, so I just made a bunch of the stuff, just because we're both broke New York City girls. So for example, there's a famous Prada sign from the show Gossip Girl and we both loved it, but it's a couple hundred bucks. So I just painted a canvas to look like the Prada sign. We would also find posters we liked, and design the posters in InDesign and just print them ourselves and put them up in big frames.
West Elm Hayden Dining Table, $899.00 Buy
Any tips for keeping things organized?

Kelly: Well, I guess we just have a good system of always cleaning up after ourselves, so we don’t let things get messy. Then we have the classic junk drawer; we might have two in the kitchen. So we can definitely get rid of things that are laying around, but it's helpful that we have a lot of storage space.

Cheyenne: I have my clothes out all the time. Sometimes my room will look like the inside of my closet for a week, because I take everything out when I'm getting dressed and I don't rehang it. So twice a week I’ll go back and clean it, but I definitely have clothes on my floor a lot.
Amazon Granite Look Marble Effect Contact Paper , $34.90 Buy
Do your home styles differ?

Cheyenne: I always go less is more. I think Kelly would be a little more inclined to like fill a room with with more pieces. So, we really don’t have like too much furniture as you’ll see.

Kelly: I’d say my style is more modern and I like the cow hide fur and having the fur throw blanket and browns and pinks and whites and having a super clean look, but hints of gold, And then combined we’re like pretty similar. We actually covered all of the countertops, like, our kitchen countertop both bathroom countertops, we covered it in marble adhesive.

Any decorating tips for renters?

Kelly: Use command strips so you don’t rip the paint off the walls and have holes in the walls. And have those items that you can splurge on. Like have a mix of high end and low end things that kind of come together and compliment each other so it doesn’t look too cheap, but it doesn’t look like you spent a crazy amount of money and it kind of just all works together.
Etsy Banana Leaves Wallpaper, $44.13 Buy
produced by Brianna Donnelly; edited by Sam Russell.
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