Before and After: A 400-Square-Foot Studio’s Smart Layout and Vertical Storage Makes It Feel Much Bigger

published Apr 28, 2021

Before and After: A 400-Square-Foot Studio’s Smart Layout and Vertical Storage Makes It Feel Much Bigger

published Apr 28, 2021
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Renter’s Name: Trent Saiget
Design professional names: Adriele Graham and Elizabeth Berry of House Meraki Interior Design
Location: Capitol Hill — Denver, Colorado
Type of Home: Studio Apartment
Size: 400 square feet
Years lived in: 5 months, renting

Trent Saiget decided to find an apartment centrally located in Denver when he moved there a few months ago so he could “get a lay of the land.” He found this rental studio apartment in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, and while its location was right, the size and lack of storage was not. He hired Adriele Graham and Elizabeth Berry of House Meraki Interior Design to help him create not only a cozy and warm home in only 400 square feet, but design a space that would function for him during the pandemic (and beyond). As you can imagine, the limited space was one of the biggest challenges to tackling this design project. “Even though this was a studio apartment we wanted Trent to feel like he had distinct rooms; bedroom, dining, office, and living,” write the designers. “We had to be strategic with the space plan and creative with multi-functioning furniture.”

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

House Meraki’s Inspiration: Minimalist Mid-Century

Trent’s Favorite Element: I think my favorite aspect is how much functionality I have with all my pieces. Living in a quaint studio, it does take a lot of creativity to maximize the amount of space and function each piece offers. The fact that we were able to get pieces that not only looked great but served multiple purposes makes all the difference.

House Meraki’s Favorite Element: The artwork throughout. We used the art to help delineate the different areas in the studio, add meaningful pops of color, and bring our client’s personality and interests front and center. Art and accessories are that last piece that really makes a space feel like home because of the opportunity to showcase your personality.

House Meraki’s Biggest Challenge: Space was the biggest challenge! Even though this was a studio apartment we wanted Trent to feel like he had distinct rooms; bedroom, dining, office, and living. We had to be strategic with the space plan and creative with multi-functioning furniture.

Trent’s Proudest DIY: Possibly my favorite project I had was arranging the cabinet system to accommodate a full bar set up. I enjoy making craft cocktails as a hobby, and having the chance to arrange the bottles, the glassware, and the equipment added a desired aesthetic and fun project.

Biggest Indulgence: Trent – I would say the couch was the biggest purchase. If there is one piece that is most important for me to feel like I am home, it would be a nice comfy couch. It was actually quite an adventure trying to find a couch that could strike a balance between providing that comfortable lounging experience while not taking up too much space. I am on the tall side at 6’4, and I really wanted to find a couch that could accommodate me laying down on it. After looking at numerous different stores, two delivery delays, and some serious Tetris skills to get up my elevator, the Gather Petite Couch from Crate & Barrel was my goldilocks couch. It was originally $1799, but I was able to get a discount of 20% off through a coupon I received for just moving to Denver. It was wholeheartedly worth it.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? Trent – I think the most unique thing was originally coming up with the initial layout of how we wanted the room to look. We actually ended up moving the bed to where the traditional living room space and plugs were, closer to the window. It just made more sense to open up the space and have the bed closest to the window. We utilized art pieces to hide the built-in wall plugs for a mounted TV and ran cables underneath the cabinet system to where the entertainment console is and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

What’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? House Meraki – Closed, vertical, and multifunctional storage pieces are key in small spaces. Storage in general is great, but open shelves and bookcases tend to get messy and/or overfilled. Closed storage allows you to utilize every square inch behind doors while not overwhelming your space with its contents. Select tall furniture to help maximize your storage without eating into the footprint of your space. Also don’t be afraid to use things for an unintended purpose. We had to get very creative in this studio apartment to maximize storage and function. We used a bench as the coffee table because of its shallow depth and the white wall system is a TV stand, bar, extra kitchen storage, and dresser!

Resources

LIVING ROOM

BEDROOM

  • Bed — Thuma
  • Lumbar Channel stitch faux leather pillow — Target
  • Caspian art over bed — Surya
  • Omtänksam rhrow — IKEA
  • Velvet blackout curtain panel — Target

Thanks Trent, Adriele, and Elizabeth!

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.