Name: Francesca Sifferlin
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Size: 380 square feet
Years lived in: Renting 6 months
Francesca's tiny natural-light-filled Minneapolis studio is the perfect size for her first place away from home. Just big enough to fit everything she needs, yet small enough to not gather too many odds and ends (or dust bunnies). With limited space, Francesca has included only the things that bring the most inspiration and fond memories to her tiny apartment near a lake.
With Francesca's move to this small home, tiny living now runs in the family: Francesca and her sister Alexandra each moved into their first studio apartments in different cities recently! Francesca works in refugee services and her sister Alexandra is a a writer living in Park Slope, Brooklyn in an apartment above an acupuncturist, close to Prospect Park. Both studios under are 400 square feet, and when we tour Alexandra's home next, you'll be able to see how she's handled small studio living!
Having traveled around the country and world, Francesca has pulled from her travel experiences to inspire her home decor, with a few pieces coming directly from those travels. Without over complicating her space or adding too much clutter, Francesca has added just the right amount of nostalgia in every corner of her space.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: My style is an eclectic mix of old and new. I carefully combine items that have been passed down from my family or neighborhood antique store finds with newer items I've collected during my travels — or from Target and CB2. Every item in my apartment has special meaning and represents a particular time in my life.
Inspiration: Travel is something I have always enjoyed and is my greatest inspiration. Some of my favorite pieces in my apartment, like my maps and bookends, I've collected on my journeys and remind me of special places I've traveled, including Ghana, Ecuador, Jamaica, Greece and more.
Favorite Element: My favorite pieces of furniture are the ones that have been passed down through my family. I've enjoyed restoring them and making them my own. I have coffee tables and an end table that belonged to my dad when he was my age, a kitchen table from my parents' first home, and a bench my grandfather made in high school. To me, the sentimental value is what makes them special.
Biggest Challenge: Finding the right balance of pieces and not cluttering up my small space.
What Friends Say: "It's so you!" That's what I hear most often from friends who see my apartment for the first time. It's the first time I've had full reign of the decorating decisions.
Biggest Embarrassment: A dying houseplant, or two. Also, realizing the wall dividers I was initially so enthusiastic over didn't actually fit the space when I moved in. Luckily, I was able to think on the fly and turn them into a bookshelf!
Proudest DIY: My dresser is my proudest DIY. I found it on the side of the road with a "free" sign. I could tell right away that it was a quality piece of furniture. Originally, it was a dark brown and had a Northern lodge feel. With some help I stripped it down, painted it white, distressed it, and added decorative handles from Anthropologie to make it more my style.
Biggest Indulgence: It's the little things for me, like scented candles from Anthropologie. They really warm up the decor and give my apartment a relaxing atmosphere.
Best Advice: Think about refurbishing what you already have before buying something new.
Dream Sources: CB2, Target, Anthropologie, and neighborhood antique and vintage shops.
Explore This Style:
PAINT & COLORS
The previous tenant selected the paint colors, cream for the main living space and bathroom and a slate blue for the kitchen. The color of the kitchen was actually one of the things that initially struck me and made me fall in love with the apartment. The paint colors are both natural and calming, which is really important to me, because my home is where I go to relax and unwind.
Studio Day Sofa — World Market
Driftwood Mirror — Pottery Barn
Dynamism of a Soccer Player by Umberto Boccioni — MoMA Store
Guitar Holder — CB2
Geode Crackle Coasters — Dock 6 Pottery Gallery
Juliol Quilt Bedding — Anthropologie
Threshold Metal Wire Decorative Figurine — Target
Bowery Hill Bookcase Headboard — Walmart
6 Cube Organizer Shelf — Target
Nixon Floor Lamp — Target
Dresser Knobs — Anthropologie
National Geographic World Classic Map — AllPosters
Vintage Animal Illustrations — Hunt and Gather
Vintage Paris Map — Hunt and Gather