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Dec 20, 2019

Astoria Interiors: Restful and Functional on 31st Ave

BY: ANNA DORE Welcome back to another edition of Astoria Interiors, a series where we go inside neighborhood homes to showcase design on the most local level. Today we head (…)

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BY: ANNA DORE

Welcome back to another edition of Astoria Interiors, a series where we go inside neighborhood homes to showcase design on the most local level. Today we head inside an LIC teacher’s railroad-style 2-bedroom, full of imaginative apartment hacks for his family of 4 (soon 5!). 

This self-proclaimed Tidy Dad’s creative solutions might just inspire you to take a fresh look at your own space—who knows what you might see? 

Remember, if you’d like to submit your home, please send a selection of six well-lit photos (including captions) and a series of responses to these questions. Send your submission to dore.anna@gmail.com with “Astoria Interiors” in the subject line. Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis.

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Name: Tyler Moore 

Social handle: @tidydad 

Location: 31st Ave and 44th Street 

Years lived in: 6 years 

Size (# of bedrooms, bathrooms): 2 bedroom, 1 playroom, 1 bathroom 

Tell us a bit about you and your Astoria apartment: I’m Tyler, a husband and father of two young girls (ages 4 and 2) and a third on the way! I am a local NYC teacher (I teach 7th grade at a school in Long Island City) and manage my own website thetidydad.com! My wife and I have lived in Astoria for 8 years and currently live off the 46th street stop in a third-floor railroad-style apartment. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law (and new niece!!) live directly below us in the same building. We have our own Astoria family compound! 

Describe your design aesthetic in 5 words or less

Organized, modern, functional, inviting, restful. 

NYC apartments can feel tight, especially when you add kids! We have tried to create as many open spaces as possible in our home, and one strategy was to eliminate our coffee table so the girls have more room to play on the floor.

What’s your favorite room and why?

Our little playroom is the absolute heart of our apartment. The girls spend the majority of their time at home playing in this room! We set up a toy rotation in our pantry which helps us to keep the playroom tidy and provide the girls with more floor space in which to play. We installed floating shelves on the wall opposite the windows and they use the shelves for so many things! They love to color there, play doctor, and throw lavish parties for their babies! The other great part about the playroom is that it means we don’t store any toys in the living room!

Our playroom (7ft wide and 14ft long) is really a glorified hallway that connects the living room and bedrooms. We’ve designed it to be a space where imaginative play reigns!

Most prized piece?

Last year we switched bedrooms with our girls, giving them the largest bedroom in the apartment! You can read more about that story here! After moving into our new room and repainting the walls white, we wanted to create a calming bedroom retreat that was personalized without featuring framed pictures of our family. We asked the girls to create a piece of art for us, gave them yellow, blue, and cream paint, and their abstract creation now beautifully hangs over our bed. There is something so serene and peaceful about the piece they created, and it is definitely one-of-a-kind!

The custom artwork in our bedroom was created by our daughters. We bought a large frame, flipped over the cardboard backing, and let the girls paint!

What part of your home are you most proud of?

This past August, my wife and I embarked on an ambitious plan to update the bedroom for the girls. This bedroom has NO closets, so we designed a custom Ikea Pax closet system for the space. (You can read more about that saga here!) We also switched out their toddler bed and crib for a bunk bed. Their bedroom is primarily used for dressing, reading books before bed, and sleeping. We store clothing in the wardrobes, books on the bookshelf next to the bed, and stuffed animals in a basket by the fold-out couch. All other toys are in the playroom or in our pantry toy rotation closet. We are proud of the fact that we were able to design a room that provides functional storage while also being colorful and open.

In a NYC apartment, it feels luxurious to have a beautiful 8-foot diameter rug of open space in the bedroom!

We recently updated the furniture in the girls’ bedroom and upgraded the crib and toddler bed to the IKEA Kura bunk bed. We purchased a platform for the bottom bunk and the beds are perfect for our 4 and 2 year old. Upgrading the beds also yielded more floor space in the bedroom, and will help make way for baby #3’s crib!

Favorite local element?

Several years ago we purchased a Queens bandana at Lockwood and my mother-in-law lovingly turned it into a pillow for us! My wife and I created a window seat in our tiny bedroom by adding pillows to turn a bench and transforming it into a nice little seating area. The bench also doubles as blanket and sheet storage!

A small box nailed into the wall serves as a “nightstand” for magazines, wall sconces replaced the need for a lamp on a table, and the window bench features a Queens pillow, world globe pillow, and our wedding photo album.

Best apartment advice? 

Get creative about how to use the space in your apartment! Realize that how you use space may change frequently based on your needs. Since moving in 6 years ago, we have moved our table from the kitchen into the living room in order to accommodate more seating. We switched from a small sofa and two side chairs to a 9-foot-long L-shaped couch. We got rid of our coffee table. We changed our home office into a playroom. We switched bedrooms with our girls, giving them the largest bedroom. We recognize that the addition of a new baby is going to force us to think even more creatively about how we use our home, but by tidying up our space and living with less, we are excited to tackle the new challenges.

We added open shelving and a sideboard cabinet in our kitchen so that our pantry could become a toy rotation closet.

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