Studio, Upper East Side

Jordana Shenkman put her whole pad together in one month.

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  • Photograph: Matthew Williams

    When Jordana Shenkman moved into her 430-square-foot rental this March, she wasted no time getting settled. "I actually put this entire thing together from nothing in one month's time," she says. Spurred by a small-space contest on design blog Apartment Therapy (apartmenttherapy.com), the government attorney had roughly 30 days to furnish her pad before the competition's deadline. "I did nothing but run all over the place," Shenkman recalls. "Every day after work I'd be going to another discount store." But the glory of winning (she didn't) wasn't her only motivation to quickly decorate: "I'm 33, but I've never had my own apartment," explains Shenkman, who had lived with a roommate since moving to the city seven years ago. "I'm sure a lot of people in New York have that same experience. It's kind of delayed youth here."

  • Photograph: Matthew Williams

    "I love taking photographs, and I never had a place to display anything when I was living with a roommate," says Shenkman, who used Canvas on Demand (canvasondemand.com) and Image Canvas (imagecanvas.com) to turn vacation snapshots into personalized wall art. In order to create a dramatic frame for the black-and-white images, Shenkman hung Ikea window shades around them as wall panels.

  • Photograph: Matthew Williams

    Shenkman discovered this partially damaged table in the As Is section of Ikea (ikea.com). She screwed in backlights to illuminate the various knickknacks displayed on its shelves and topped it with a lamp from Target (target.com).

  • Photograph: Matthew Williams

    Since the apartment came equipped with only two small hall closets, Shenkman invested in this Ikea wardrobe to increase her storage space. "I saw it in the store just like this and I loved the see-through door," she enthuses.

  • Photograph: Matthew Williams

    While browsing West Elm (westelm.com) for inspiration, Shenkman fell in love with this mod sofa. "It cost $1,300, and I knew I couldn't spend more than a few hundred dollars on a couch," she says. On a whim, she checked Craigslist and found someone selling the exact style and color she wanted---for $300.

  • Photograph: Matthew Williams

    Shenkman created this free-form entertainment unit by clamping together modular storage cubes from Staples (staples.com).

  • Photograph: Matthew Williams

    A rectangular print from Home Goods mirrors the open space above the breakfast bar. Bar stools that cost $10 apiece in the As Is section of Ikea provide streamlined seating.

  • Photograph: Matthew Williams

    Everything, from the dish-drying rack to the spatula and slotted spoon, has been carefully coordinated to match the apartment's theme. "There's such an excess of things," states Shenkman, who had no trouble finding kitchen accessories in her chosen hues. "You walk into Bed Bath & Beyond and there's every utensil in every color."

  • Photograph: Matthew Williams

    Though her apartment may be small, the same can't be said of Shenkman's bathroom. "It's a luxury," she says. "It's a big bathroom with a full-size tub. I lucked out."

  • Photograph: Matthew Williams

    "I'm big into quotes," says Shenkman, who picked up blank greeting cards featuring sayings she liked from Laytner's Linen & Home (laytners.com) and placed them in square frames from Michaels.

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    Marimekko Rautasanky 20" pillow cover, at Kiitos Marimekko, 1262 Third Ave between 72nd and 73rd Sts (212-628-8400, kiitosmarimekko.com)

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Photograph: Matthew Williams

When Jordana Shenkman moved into her 430-square-foot rental this March, she wasted no time getting settled. "I actually put this entire thing together from nothing in one month's time," she says. Spurred by a small-space contest on design blog Apartment Therapy (apartmenttherapy.com), the government attorney had roughly 30 days to furnish her pad before the competition's deadline. "I did nothing but run all over the place," Shenkman recalls. "Every day after work I'd be going to another discount store." But the glory of winning (she didn't) wasn't her only motivation to quickly decorate: "I'm 33, but I've never had my own apartment," explains Shenkman, who had lived with a roommate since moving to the city seven years ago. "I'm sure a lot of people in New York have that same experience. It's kind of delayed youth here."

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