A 380-Square-Foot Studio Apartment Reimagined a Closet into a Bed Nook to Make Room for a WFH Spot

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Name: Ricardo Polanco
Location: Little Portugal — Toronto, Ontario
Type of home: Studio Apartment
Size: 380 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I found my apartment after scrolling online for months. The second I walked in I was impressed by the building’s character, the original moldings and flooring, the bay windows facing south and the ceiling height. Lots of natural light, which was a top priority for me, given the weather here in Toronto, and of course for my plants. I immediately saw potential and challenges in its open floor plan, as it felt like a blank canvas, which means opportunities to get creative.

I’ve done many changes to the layout, each one responding to a specific time and need. For the latest one, now that I’m working from home, I managed to relocate my bed, which involved reimagining one out of the three closets, the big walk-in closet. I created a sleeping nook with a platform bed with storage, allowing more room for a work station. I realized I needed more work space after bringing in samples and drawings from the studio. It’s definitely the most efficient layout. As an architect working in the interior design realm, I’m constantly moving things around and switching up furniture. It’s been four years since I moved in, and over time I’ve created a home that reflects my lifestyle. I wanted a place where I could work, gather, and unwind.

I think it’s always a work in progress, and there’s a lot of experimenting. It’s like a puzzle where pieces can adapt. I’ve been through many changes when it comes to aesthetics and design sensibility, always being inspired by experiences, and of course challenges in terms of space. If I showed you how my place was a couple years ago, it has definitely changed a lot. I think it probably changes in some way every week.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Functional, warm, bright, lively, eclectic.

What is your favorite room and why? The main open space, as it combines every activity, and somehow works for me. It’s funny how it evolves throughout the day. I can have my morning coffee or a late night drink right on the same spot. I do have to say, it’s also great to have a kitchen with a fire escape to hang out.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? A really good friend of mine, who’s an artist I’ve also worked with, showed me these round paintings he does at Good Grief Studio, and I had to bring one over. I just painted my hallway in a dark green, and it felt like it needed a pop of color.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Don’t rush into it, let the space speak to you, notice your habits and routine, and the right pieces will come into place. Be intentional with what you surround yourself with.

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