This 400-Square-Foot Studio Apartment Above a Museum is Dream Home Goals

This 400-Square-Foot Studio Apartment Above a Museum is Dream Home Goals

A view of my home, Strawbery Banke Museum's Lowd house, from across the main field.
(Image credit: Lucas Vasilko)

Name: Kyra Markosian
Location: Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Size: 400 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting

My living situation is quite unique. I live on the grounds of Strawbery Banke Museum, a multi-building local history museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The gate to my apartment as seen from the exhibit downstairs.
(Image credit: Lucas Vasilko)

My apartment is in one of the museum buildings with exhibits on the ground floor and living spaces upstairs. I live in Lowd House, which was built in 1810, and the first floor is occupied by an exhibit on local woodcraft. The house faces out onto the main field of the museum, so in the winter I have a great view of the ice skating pond. I've always been a lover of museums and it's something of a dream come true to live in one.

The front hallway.
(Image credit: Lucas Vasilko)

I'm a shoe designer by day, plant mom by night, and amateur furniture tinkerer on the weekends. I'm also a recent(ish) art school graduate, so I definitely approach interior design with champagne tastes and a beer budget. Most of the furniture in my home was handed down from friends, found on craigslist, or MacGyvered myself.

The view from the main room through the front hallway and into the kitchen.
(Image credit: Lucas Vasilko)

What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is the bedroom/ living room. Even though this is a relatively small apartment, the light this room gets makes it feel so spacious. I've really packed the place with plants, and I always feel lucky to wake up to a room full of sunshine and photosynthesis.

I turned the walled-off fireplace into my sewing studio (and feminist memento storage space).
(Image credit: Lucas Vasilko)

What's the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The newest object I added to my home was the driftwood and concrete floor lamp in the bedroom/living room. I found the branches at Odiorne beach, and my boyfriend helped me pour the concrete base on a recent studio date.

The oldest object in my home is probably the giant stuffed leopard—Cleo's been with me since grade school.

The back of the bedroom door, with carefully preserved paint swatches that hint at the house's history.
(Image credit: Lucas Vasilko)

Describe your home's style in 5 words or less: Cheerful and eclectic indoor jungle

A view from the bed. The couch is from a furniture startup business that college classmates ran, and my boyfriend and I made the floor lamp on a recent studio date.
(Image credit: Lucas Vasilko)

Any advice for creating a home you love? If you can't find the perfect furniture piece for your space, be patient—it's better to sit on the floor than look at an ugly couch.

As per museum guidelines, all the candles are either electric or permanently out of commission.
(Image credit: Lucas Vasilko)

Thanks, Kyra!

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