Maximize Space & Storage in Art Student's NYC Studio Apartment?

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Q: I am an art student living in NYC, and I currently live in a very small studio. The space is plenty for just me, but the furniture I have now makes it feel a little cramped. I need a good amount of work space, and a space for my dress form. Currently I have a loft bed which I find bulky and claustrophobic. I like the idea of just having a mattress on the floor. Any suggestions on how to maximize space and storage on a budget would be greatly appreciated.

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.