text by SHANI SILVER
photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK
Making a small space functional (not just liveable) is basically a sport for us. Creative, productive uses of space, particularly small spaces, are inspiring and motivating. Dria Murphy, Founder of Alise Collective, PR and Branding company, has one very impressive West Village studio. Often, a true one-room situation can simply feel like a giant bedroom. This is not true of Dria’s space, where she’s compartmentalized three separate goals into three highly functional areas. Using her space as a home office, a living room where guests are welcome, and the coziest of sleeping nooks, she’s proving one room doesn’t have to feel one-note.
HOW DID YOU CHOSE YOUR APARTMENT?
Finding this apartment was a challenge but choosing it was easy. I had seen tons of studios in the West Village but nothing felt like home. I walked into this apartment and immediately knew. I was in love with the location, but the all white and high ceilings sealed the deal.
WAS THE SMALL SPACE INTIMIDATING, OR INSPIRING?
The small space was inspiring! I was willing to give up space for the location so I knew what I was getting into. I was excited to make the apartment my own.
HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THIS ROOM ARRANGEMENT?
I wanted to try and separate my bed from everything else as much as possible so the corner was the perfect spot for it! I think it is important to section spaces off as much as possible in a studio. My desk has its own space as well as my my couch and coffee table area. That being said, there isn’t a ton of room for variety.
WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT YOUR SPACE?
I am surprised with how much I can fit into a studio! My shoes alone presented a challenge but if you organize right you can maximize most of your space.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF LIVING IN A SPACE-SENSITIVE STUDIO?
I wanted to make sure my place didn’t feel like an extended closet. I chose most of the decor in shades of white to give the space as much depth as possible.
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF LIVING HERE?
I really enjoy having my own space to come home to. New York City is such a busy and social place, that being able to retreat to my own home makes up for the lack of space. The West Village is one of my favorite locations in Manhattan so that helps also!
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE MOVING INTO SMALL STUDIOS?
Be organized! It is so important for everything to have its own place in a small space, so it doesn’t feel cramped. In my case, I took full advantage of the high ceilings and built shelving for storage. I don’t cook much so I use one of my kitchen cabinets as shoe storage
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DESIGN ELEMENT IN THIS SPACE?
I really like the marble fireplace. Although it is a non-working fireplace it gives a homey feel to the apartment.
WHAT IS ONE SECRET TO ENTERTAINING IN A SMALL SPACE?
Wine? 🙂 I think entertaining is all about making your guests feels comfortable and cozy, regardless of your space. Candles and fresh flowers are a must. Although I don’t entertain a ton, when I do I always make sure to have a plenty of wine and a good cheese plate.
AND ONE SECRET TO WORKING/BEING PRODUCTIVE IN ONE?
Having a dedicated work space is key. I try to work at my desk as much as possible. If I am on my couch, I am not as productive and I am more tempted to turn the TV on or relax.
SEE MORE FROM DRIA ON INSTAGRAM!