A 500-Square-Foot Studio’s DIYs Include a Murphy Bed, Murphy Table, Shoe Chair With Storage, and More

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A woman on a yellow sofa
Credit: Andrea Plaid
Me, on the reupholstered sofa.

Name: Andrea Plaid and betta fish, Indra
Location: North Corktown — Detroit, Michigan
Type of home: Studio apartment
Size: 500 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months, renting

Credit: Andrea Plaid
The sofa. The Murphy bed is in an upright position and latched to the wall behind the yellow ombre sheers, which mirror the sheers behind the TV.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I’m a freelance writer who, after living in major cities for the last twenty years, decided to come back to the Midwest. But I still wanted to live in a major city, so I decided on Detroit, Michigan. After a couple of housing-related snafus, I found a studio in a refurbished Victorian in North Corktown.

When I first viewed the place, I knew that I wanted the galvanizing palette to be a summer-y yellow, which is my favorite color. The color complements the studio’s windowed sunniness and serves as a counterpoint for cloudy days. From there I used pink, orange, green, black, white, and honey-colored wood as the color accents.

Credit: Andrea Plaid
The Murphy bed.

I am also a DIYer, and the studio and my need to maximize the space posed a wonderful challenge. I rose to it by creating a Murphy bed, a Murphy table, and a shoe chair with storage (thanks, Yoduvh Essentials!), along with my TV console and small shelf and stool in my bathroom. I also had to build out my closet with extra shelving and rods for hanging my clothes as well as redo my kitchen with contact paper, duct tape, and project wood (thanks again, Yoduvh Essentials!).

Credit: Andrea Plaid
The Murphy table. I also created the mixed-media art piece specifically for the table.

I call myself a “fun/cky femme”: a queer woman who loves unexpectedly pleasant fun, needs things to be functional, and adores a funky, feminine aesthetic. Between the aforementioned shoe chair, the Murphy furniture, the bead curtain that separates my home office and the rest of the studio, and the sheers — along with the slight variations of yellow and the color accents moving throughout — my place finally reflects me! Lemons, fuzzy faux cow print fabric, and a forsythia shower curtain completes The Fun/cky Femme look and vibe.

Credit: Andrea Plaid
The very DIY kitchen. The valance is leftover fabric from the reupholstered sofa.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Fun, Functional, Funky, Femme

Credit: Andrea Plaid
The home office, with my betta fish Indra keeping watch.

What is your favorite room and why? All of my rooms are my favorite room! But, if I had to pick one, it would be the main room because it blends all of the elements of my aesthetic — and the room simply pops on a sunny day!

Credit: Andrea Plaid
The main room on a sunny fall afternoon.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last thing I bought was a yellow microfiber chair. I needed a right-sized piece of seating to complete the main area. I found it on Amazon.

Credit: Andrea Plaid
The bathroom, bathrooming.

Any advice for creating a home you love? I’ll repeat what so many folks have said: this pandemic made people rethink how they live in their homes and what makes a house a home for them. People started to realize that their living spaces was theirs, and they could live, within certain health and safety parameters, in that space unapologetically. Thankfully, I could find a place that I could not only decorate to my satisfaction, but also clean to my satisfaction.

One person’s kooky is another person’s cute. I’d say satisfy your cute and, if possible, find that place that can hold it uncompromisingly.

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