A 200-Square-Foot Boston Studio Has Made Distinct “Rooms” Despite a Small Layout

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Credit: Shelby Crane

Name: Shelby Crane
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Type of home: Studio apartment
Size: 200 square feet
Time lived in: 1 month, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I moved into this studio in June after a breakup and living with my parents for a year (because 2020). It’s my first space that is MINE so I had so much fun finding my style. I had a few months between signing the lease and moving in, and as I had to buy all new furniture, I spent many hours on room planning sites, Wayfair, Facebook Marketplace, and Target trying to find the perfect items and layout of the space. I’m really happy with how it turned out. I live alone and work remotely, so it was imperative that the studio was multi-functional. Being such a small space, I am strict with how I use each “room.” I work in my kitchen, relax in my “living room,” and absolutely do not get into bed unless I am winding down for the night. This keeps me from struggling with insomnia.

Credit: Shelby Crane

I have moved around a lot and I consider Massachusetts where I “grew up,” but I was born in Hong Kong, went to school in Charleston where my family also used to live, and lived in New York for four years before moving back to New England. Therefore, a lot of my art in my apartment reflects all of the places I have called home.

The painting above my bed is by Blakely Little, a super talented fellow College of Charleston alumni whose work I fell in love with in college. For my graduation, my parents surprised me with a commissioned piece of hers. I love it and I know I will have it forever. My other favorite painting is in my kitchen, from another Charleston-based painter, Merrie McNair, who is also my godmother! So that piece is also very sentimental. The other art in my apartment I have picked up on travels through Asia and had framed. My Fu dogs and ginger jar are from a great shop in Chinatown called Wing on Wo & Co. I left NYC in March 2020 unaware I wouldn’t return, so when I moved into this apartment I was happy to learn Wing on Wo & Co. ships nationwide.

Credit: Shelby Crane

What is your favorite room and why? I love my “bedroom.” I find all-white beds to be very relaxing, and I decided to continue that theme with a tiny white nightstand and lamp. I also splurged on my mattress and bedding, which I highly recommend.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Cozy, light, and comfortable.

Credit: Shelby Crane

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last thing I bought for my home was my rug in the living room from Joss and Main. I love how it brings so many of the colors together and gives it a fun edge.

Credit: Shelby Crane

Any advice for creating a home you love? Be intentional with the pieces you bring into your home, and use online room planning sites to get a feel of which layout works best. I am a huge believer that a house isn’t a home unless you have curtains on the windows and a rug on the floor. Also, if you ever want to live in NYC, move there first. I had so many apartments in Brooklyn with strange flaws and layouts that I had a completely different mindset moving here than perhaps if I didn’t live in NYC. This apartment has such great bones that 200 square feet does not feel small.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.