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New Yorker gives renter-friendly hacks to improve apartment aesthetic: ‘It’s giving You’ve Got Mail vibes’

On Aug. 13, content creator and home decorator Hattie Kolp (@hattiekolp), who shares interior design videos featuring her enviable, rent-stabilized childhood apartment in New York City’s Upper West Side, shared via TikTok another renter-friendly hack to improve your apartment’s aesthetic.

Kolp’s two bedroom apartment (which she pays $1,300 a month for, by the way) is equipped with a quintessentially New York kitchen — that is to say, tiny. The window, however, is a particular problem for Kolp, as it looks out onto a brick wall.

“I am very grateful to have a window, but this view is not the vibe, so let’s do something about it,” Kolp says. “This is faux stained glass. I got it off Amazon. it’s completely removable, peels right off, and was literally the easiest thing to work with.”

The installation takes about five minutes, according to Kolp, and the screen “doesn’t block any light” while simultaneously making the kitchen a “happier place.”

‘Love it! It looks like it’s always been there’

Many commenters were quick to reveal just how impressed they were by Kolp’s handiwork. Some, however, were a bit less excited about her covering up the “lived in” brick.

“It’s giving You’ve Got Mail vibes. Love it!” @archergirl78 wrote, referencing the 1998 rom-com.

“I actually loved the brick! It brings such a lived in, authentic and cozy vibe,” @user9468853903044 commented.

“Love it! It looks like it’s always been there,” @honey19606 commented. To this, Kolp replied, “Thanks! Tried to pick a pattern that complimented the time period of the apt.”

In a similar DIY posted on the platform on July. 18, Kolp created a faux textured ceiling in her butler’s pantry, the area between the dining room and kitchen.

“This is my favorite home project I’ve ever done,” she reveals. “I found these photon tiles on Amazon. They’re pretty inexpensive and installation was fairly easy. A little tedious to measure and cut around the light, but doable for one person.”

Kolp also suggests using command strips instead of adhesive, should you want to “make this renter friendly.”

“My one piece of advice is to bring a bit of your wall color up to the ceiling to make any gapping around the edges less noticeable,” she says. “I’m in love with how it turned out.”

Kolp has linked her “essentials,” including the faux stained glass and ceiling tiles she used, on her Amazon Storefront. She isn’t alone, however, in sharing budget- and renter-friendly hacks that enhance an apartment’s interior design. Fellow TikTok creators have shared a variety of creative ways to elevate their small but beloved spaces, like adding faux crown molding, installing a projector for movie nights and buying Target pillows but making them look more luxurious.

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