Some students have deeper pockets – or more generous parents – than others.
Take 33-year-old Negev, who moved to the city from Israel with his wife and children last month to begin a Masters in Computer Science in Columbia. (He asked to be identified by his first name only for privacy reasons.)
On a budget of about $ 20,000 a month, they landed a spacious four-bedroom apartment in a prime pre-war building on the Upper West Side. Since his family will only be in town for two years, he hired Decor Aid’s Sean Juneja to furnish the 3,200-square-foot home to suit the bright, modern adult sensibilities as well as two-year-old twins Adam and Miley’s needs for safety , Desire for fun and preference for clutter.
The budget for the decoration? $ 28,000. Also, all furniture is donated when the family returns so they have to keep decent.
What Negev & Co. got was a colorful room with no sharp edges. Mid-century modern pieces abound, such as an arch floor lamp and Eames-inspired red dining room chairs from LexMod, blue butterfly chairs, Moroccan-style stools and glittery frog prints from AllModern, and an abstract rug from CB2. Fun removable decals from Etsy adorn the white walls of the playroom.
It wasn’t your average project. “For many students, designers go to flea markets all the time. They have their favorite second hand stores, ”says Juneja. But some deals have been made. “Negev’s dining room chairs are classics,” he notes (since the original Herman Miller versions retail for $ 419 each), “and we got them for a reasonable price.”
It is not uncommon for dorm decoration budgets to run into the tens of thousands of dollars. After the daughter of a Canadian couple entered NYU, they bought a one-bedroom apartment near Gramercy Park. Then Taylor Spellman, founder and partner of August Black interior design firm, was hired to make the space suitable for a student – with a $ 60,000 budget for renovations and a policy that it would ultimately serve as a pied-à-terre .
“Let’s get her this amazing space and give her the ultimate life as a young girl in New York City. When she graduates, we’ll take it over,” says Spellman. “When you think of dorm decor, it’s usually concrete walls. You’re buying a Target bedside table. Some parents would say, “We’re not going to be building $ 10,000 floor-to-ceiling bookcases so you have a really nice place to organize your notebooks.” It’s interesting to combine fun, young design with a $ 1.5 million apartment. We made it girly and a little bit bizarre. “
Spellman lifted the bed over the kitchen and turned the “bedroom” into a schoolwork library with a ladder to access books and supplies kept on tall shelves and in cupboards. Patterned pillows and shutters are from Robert Allen, a brand Spellman likes for not being too stuffy.
It’s not the only chic and expensive project Spellman designed for a student. In 2012, Spellman worked with a native of Hong Kong who wanted to enroll in Fordham. Her parents spent a $ 2 million block near the United Nations (“this apartment was like, ‘We have more money than we know what to do with’ ‘) plus $ 200,000 on Spellman’s makeover.
She toured the Decoration & Design Building with the New Yorker newcomer and acted as a “mediator between her father, aka reality, and her dreams and wishes and whims” – like a headboard worth $ 5,000.
One important change: Spellman took two closets into the only bedroom, gutted them and combined them into a “desk command center” with doors that were closed for privacy and privacy. “For a normal New Yorker, storage is everything, but we had to prioritize,” says Spellman. “As a student, the most important thing is that you have a proper desk. When parents check in, they want to know it’s not a party block. It means: “Here I am not only wasted, but also study.”