We have been to so many different apartments, but one thing they all have in common is, 1-they are super TINY and 2- they are SUPER expensive! There is absolutely no way to find something "decent" below 2K. Its just nuts! But, I guess it is what it is and people find ways to do it.
While we were visiting these apartments, one thing I was focusing on, was the "decor" portion when she does move in. The main thing to focus on is finding pieces that have alot of flexible storage options. Since space is limited, you need to find items that provide extra storage without being too cluttered. SO, I got down to it and researched some NYC apartment decor to pull some ideas from and found some functional pieces...
console behind sofa to add books/magazines/accessories
194sq/ft apartment! Look at the kitchen, hidden in the cabinet...
murphy beds are so practical! Especially this crazy one that you can use as an office space!
chic Ikea sideboard. You can put your tv on top or layers of shelving for books, paperwork, etc.
fold out convertible desk! will work well even for a tiny kitchen with no space for a table.