A 320-Square-Foot Studio Apartment Features Smart Organizing Solutions and an Affordable Art Tip

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Credit: Nina

Name: Nina
Location: Downtown New Haven, Connecticut
Type of home: Studio apartment
Size: 320 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, renting

Credit: Nina

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I love my studio so much. It’s got beautiful south-facing windows that let in so much light, on the sixth floor of a 100-year-old building in downtown New Haven. Before the pandemic, it was just big enough for four-person dinner parties—I’d extend the dinner table and turn the stools, which I normally use as mini end tables, back into seating.

Credit: Nina
The curtain hides a ton of storage!

But since the pandemic, it’s become where I spend literally all my time, taking my remote classes, doing yoga, and relaxing. In the morning I wake up with the light, and in the evening I watch the sunset over all the buildings facing south. The tiny studio has been a challenge for storage, especially because I have a lot of stuff, but I also need things super neat so I can focus. It’s forced me to be super clean and come up with smart organizational solutions.

Credit: Nina

I love graphic statement art that reminds me of my travels. Most of the furniture is generic IKEA, but the art is from all over. The maple syrup and Kiwi prints are actually vintage dish cloths, and much of the art is printed from one of my favorite museums, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, which makes so much of its work free online in high definition. I download my favorites and have them printed at a top-quality printer—way cheaper than a reproduction.

Credit: Nina
Because the studio is tiny, I don't need to run the radiator by the bed in the winter, I just run the one in the bathroom. That allows me to use the radiator as an extra shelf.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Airy, graphic, minimalist

Credit: Nina
I love my desk, especially since I do classes and work here now. The Kiwi dish cloth is vintage, from when my grandmother went to visit New Zealand long ago.

What is your favorite room and why? All of it! It’s just one big studio! But it’s so easy to clean. Vacuuming only takes 20 minutes. And I love how easy it is to go from my desk to my bed to my little couch.

Credit: Nina
The kitchen is tiny, but I've made four-course meals for friends in there.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The vintage Flour, Coffee, Tea, and Grease containers on my kitchen table are from my grandmother’s kitchen!

Credit: Nina
The maple syrup art is a vintage dish cloth from Quebec. The coffee and flour containers are vintage from my grandmother's kitchen! I've had to be creative in fitting in storage into my tiny kitchen.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Framing art makes a difference, and don’t be afraid to go big—it’s a way to fill up blank space if you’re trying to limit how many knick-knacks or separate pieces you accumulate, like me. And even if your budget or your circumstances limit you to Target or IKEA finds, (I was beginning grad school in days of moving in, owned no furniture of my own, and had no time to look for vintage finds) you can still put your personality into the space.

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