Grace Lee, founder and curator of style and travel blog Gracefullee Made, dreamt of moving to New York City her whole life. When a social media job presented itself, Grace jumped at the chance to transition from a quaint college town to the fashion capital of the world.
As a style and travel blogger, Grace has developed her own style—a modern mix of feminine tones and vibrant colors—and applied it to her new living space. House Method glimpsed into her stylish apartment and learned how she made the space her own.
An organized workspace is accentuated by tassel garland and a gallery wall
Don't be afraid to go without frames—use this space as an inspiration board, keeping it dynamic and creative
An essential for any apartment, a well-stocked bar cart is a great conversation starter among guests
Pink, gold, and black accents add color to a neutral sleeping space
A decorative lamp, alarm clock, house plant, and sleep mask are must-have bedroom essentials
How did you choose this apartment?
It was definitely a last-minute decision. I was in New York City for a job interview and the place kind of fell into my lap. Fortunately, I had been wanting to live by myself and knew that preference was the right move when I came across this apartment. I made the decision after viewing the space.
Describe your transition from college to a big city.
All my life, my goal was to eventually move to New York City. In college, I mentally prepared myself to move [after graduation]. The transition was a little difficult at first because I needed time to get to know the area better, but eventually I figured out the commute process and how much time I needed to get from one place to another.
It’s definitely been eye-opening and quite an experience living in New York because of the fast-paced environment and facing the “real world” as a post-college graduate, but I love every bit of it.
What was the moving process like?
My family played a huge role in my move, and I have them to thank. We packed up my belongings, took two cars, and road tripped to New York to move into my apartment. The drive took about 10–12 hours. Once we got to New York, my family and I got straight to work on building my bed frame and gallery wall, and helped me adjust to my space. None of this would have been possible without them!
What do you love about where you live?
I love having so much space. Moving from North Carolina to New York, I knew that space would be very limited depending on where I lived. I also knew the transition from college to my first apartment would take time, so I didn’t want to restrict myself to a small place. I’m still enjoying the perks of having tons of closet space.
Describe your apartment style.
My apartment style is kind of similar to my personal style. It’s not a set style, but that’s the beauty of it. It’s a mix of modern, feminine, and vibrant. It’s ever changing yet inspiring—I think that’s important when it comes to styling your space.
I wanted to create a space that not only felt like home, but inspired me to keep pursuing my dreams. I love the neutral and blush tones in my home décor, but also the pop of color that provides some sort of spontaneity in my home. Even in college, I had a gallery wall and love the inspiration it brings me every morning.
How did you find inspiration for your apartment?
It’s a mix of many things. My gallery wall has photos of travel, my personal style, and quotes that remind me to keep doing what I’m most passionate about. I find inspiration in magazines that I love—like Vogue, Elle, and Glamour—and through my personal style.
Christmas lights and a stack of wrapped gifts add a simple seasonal touch to the space
Organizing handbags and jewelry together makes it easier to get ready in the mornings
What is one item you had to include in your apartment?
My iMac computer. I bought it when I signed the lease for my apartment. It was my first big purchase after college and reminds me that hard work really does pay off.
Any other apartment essentials?
A gallery wall. I love these so much that I have two—one in my bedroom and one in my office space.
A bar cart! A bar cart is always fun to decorate seasonally and it’s a great decoration piece when guests come over to visit.
A Keurig. I think every coffee lover agrees with me on this one.
What do you love most about your apartment?
A favorite feature of my apartment is the amount of wall space available. I have more room to hang wall art, tassel garlands, or UNC basketball posters all around my home office and bedroom.
Anything you would change about your apartment?
I love natural lighting, but I barely get any light. That’s something I’m going to consider when I move into my next apartment.
Have you experienced any city-living horror stories?
There aren’t any horror stories…yet. One of the reasons I don’t like living by myself is because I’m terrified of bugs—it’s ridiculous how terrified I am over bugs. Size doesn’t even matter—if it’s near me or moving, I freak out. I haven’t seen any big bugs since I moved, and I really hope it stays that way.
Do you have a favorite memory here?
I’ve had a couple of my closest friends visit me. My family also recently came up to visit me and since the temperatures were ridiculously cold, we spent the majority of the day cooped up in my apartment. We ordered pizza, did a fun photoshoot in my bedroom, and watched a UNC basketball game on my iMac. I guess my favorite memories include spending quality time with family and friends in my cozy home.
Any storage tips for apartment dwellers?
I’m the worst at maximizing space. My dad is really good at storage organization and I’ve learned a lot from him. In fact, he assisted me on how to organize my apartment when I first moved in. Here are some storage tips and tricks I follow:
Store items in boxes—Place all of your seasonal items in labeled boxes and keep them in your closet.
Label everything—I mark all my boxes because I have so much storage and things can get easily lost.
Clean out your wardrobe—I might have four closets for my clothes, but it’s still not enough room. I would recommend going through your wardrobe every season and either selling or throwing away items that you won’t wear.
Keep your apartment clean and tidy—By this, I don’t mean your apartment needs to look spotless every day. But I tend to find that whenever my space is clean and organized, it gives me an idea of where things are and where else I can fit storage if I need it.
Any advice for those looking to rent in New York?
Do your research. It’s so important to really consider the area you want to live in, your budget, and whether you see yourself living in the area. I may not have done a lot of research when I moved into this apartment due to timing and the situation I was in, but I definitely looked into the area and considered my options before signing.
You also want to map out how far the commute is to where you’re working. This helps you understand your budget and how much time you’re allotting each day to get to work and back. Time management in a city that’s so fast-paced is crucial. I learned the importance of that in the five months I’ve been living here.
The next place I move into, I’m for sure taking all of this into consideration and even speaking to my parents to get their opinion. Having a second or third opinion is important when looking to rent anywhere because [your parents] may see things differently and offer another perspective.
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