tannika living room

Tanika Goudeau, a designer for the online decorating company Decorilla, hit the jackpot when she won an NYC affordable housing lottery and upgraded from a studio to a 1-bedroom in a Long Island City with her husband, Brian. Below, she shares the process of landing her new home and the surprising design challenges that come with a million-dollar view.

Tell us about the process of winning the NYC housing lottery.
This was our first time applying. It took about six months of paperwork, interviews, and verification. It wasn’t too grueling but somewhat tedious, especially since we were also planning a wedding. NYC is a very expensive city, so having the opportunity to save makes all of the difference in the world. We are newlyweds, so living here is helping us get our start in life together.

Is there anything you did to improve your odds of winning?
We lived in our current neighborhood, which helped us in the lottery process, since they like to guarantee people from the same neighborhood get considered first.

Lottery B&A

What were your first impressions of the apartment?
Blown away! We are in a high-rise with floor to ceiling windows highlighting the skyline of both Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Tanika bedroom

As a designer, what elements of the apartment were you most concerned about addressing?
We really didn’t want our art and furniture to compete with the view, so keeping everything neutral and minimal worked well. We lived in a studio apartment previously, so we designed in a way that would maximize space. Once we moved to our 1-bedroom, we decided on a more minimal style, but kept our color scheme and overall aesthetic the same.

What is your favorite part of the apartment and why?
The view! It never gets old and it always gives a show, whether it’s watching a storm come in or the nightly sunset. It’s always beautiful.

Photos courtesy of Nancy Mitchell for Apartment Therapy.

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