A 400-Square-Foot Apartment Shows How to Organize Your Small Kitchen

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Credit: Emily Coursen
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Name: Emily Coursen
Location: Venice, California
Type of home: Apartment/bungalow
Size: 400 square feet
Years lived in: 3 months, renting

Credit: Emily Coursen

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: When I found this cozy bungalow right on Venice Beach a few months ago, I couldn’t resist its beachy charm and of course the location, about 100 steps from the famous Venice Beach. I live alone, and was super excited to decorate my own home based on my personality and style.

Credit: Emily Coursen

Decorating my home is my favorite outlet to express my creativity. I enjoy lots of warm colors contrasted with vibrant blues to create a playful and energetic atmosphere, mixed with neutrals and wood, rattan, and lots of plants to preserve the chill, beachy vibe. I am always outside, hanging out with friends, camping, hiking, and trying new things. I wanted my home to reflect my chaotic energy while also being a maintained, orderly sanctuary for me to rest and reflect.

Credit: Emily Coursen

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Vibrant, cozy, warm, inviting, beachy

Credit: Emily Coursen

What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is the living room, and where I spend most of my time—working, reading, painting, watching TV. I love it because of the colorful rug from Joybird, which I based most of the other decor on. I also am in love with the built-in bookshelf for my growing book collection, and the added extra storage it allowed me. It’s the perfect room for entertaining a few friends with card games and wine. I hung string lights, plants, and lots of art to make it more cozy and personal.

Credit: Emily Coursen

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? My wicker laundry basket! I had an old IKEA laundry bag, and with only one small closet to store all of my clothes, it needed to stay out in the open. I finally found a really stylish laundry basket from Target that I could keep out in my bedroom because it matches so nicely and is really minimal. It made a huge difference! (This hamper from Target is similar.)

Credit: Emily Coursen

Any advice for creating a home you love? Definitely use Instagram, Pinterest, Apartment Therapy, etc. for inspiration, but make sure to trust your own instincts and add your own personal touches to your home. Don’t listen to whoever says “that won’t match” or “that’s too much color”—if you see it in your vision for your space, go for it!

Credit: Emily Coursen

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