A 600-Square-Foot Studio Apartment Has Carefully Thought-Out Storage and Light Installation

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Boho and colorful pillows on couch. Kitchen in background.
Credit: Kayla Clough

Name: Kayla Clough
Location: Jersey City, New Jersey
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 612 square feet
Time lived in: About 1 month, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: After spending five years in Brooklyn I made the leap to Jersey City. This is my first time living alone so I was excited to actually make this place my own and not have to consult about the decor decisions. My studio initially didn’t have a lot of opportunity for light outside of the gorgeous natural light during the day and one light source in the kitchen so my parents installed under cabinet lights and lights behind my bed frame that I now can’t live without. It sets such a vibe for the rest of the space. This is also one of the biggest bathrooms I’ve had. Which is awesome because I spend so much in the mirror, haha. Overall, it’s a very cozy and eclectic place and I continue to find ways optimize storage in studio.

Credit: Kayla Clough

How do you identify? Is your identity reflected in your home? I identify as an educated, cultural homebody who celebrates Blackness. You can see that in the art on my walls and the books that I have on display, and I try to express that in my space when anyone walks into my home.

Credit: Kayla Clough

What is your favorite room and why? I’m in a studio apartment, so there’s technically only one room aside from the bathroom, but I love my bedroom space. When I moved, I upgraded my bedroom furniture which includes a bed frame, mattress, and dresser. And I’m proud to have been able to do all of this on my modest journalist salary. I really took the time to find quality, affordability, and practicality wrapped in one.

Credit: Kayla Clough

My bedframe is one of my favorite new items. I spent days combing through reviews on Macy’s website before making the purchase. The storage drawers are perfect with limited closet space, and it also has small open nooks where I’ve arranged my favorite books and various nick knacks from my travels to Ghana, South Africa, and more. My dresser is gorgeous. It’s the first one I’ve purchased after previously using family hand-me-downs. I’m one who pays close attention to details, so I spent a lot of time deciding whether to get a nine-drawer wide chest as opposed to a six-drawer vertical one. After spending close to an hour with a specialist on the phone and her telling me about her young daughter’s experience living in a studio as well, I went with the six-drawer chest. The drawers are plentiful when it comes to depth, and it doesn’t block the view of the NYC skyline from my window.

Credit: Kayla Clough

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? There’s been a lot of firsts in the process of sprucing up this space. This is my first rug purchase, and I was so meticulous about the quality, price, and color scheme.

Credit: Kayla Clough

Any advice for creating a home you love? Don’t hesitate to put your own personality into your space and don’t hold off on creating a space you enjoy. It took me years to decorate my Brooklyn pad because I kept telling myself I wasn’t staying long so it wasn’t worth it. I finished furnishing my place nearly five years later, and a couch was the final touch, and I moved out shortly after. I chose neutral furniture to complement the colorful art I have on my walls in addition to colorful pillows on my couch. Lastly, absolutely play off of natural light. Be mindful of how beautiful a plant and/or flowers can complement your kitchen island for instance as the sun hits your kitchen window.

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