A 570-Square-Foot Seattle Studio’s Style Is Best Described as ‘Little Women’ Attic Meets Nautical Seaside Inn

published May 10, 2022

A 570-Square-Foot Seattle Studio’s Style Is Best Described as ‘Little Women’ Attic Meets Nautical Seaside Inn

published May 10, 2022
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Name: Madison and my cat Jo (full name, Miss Jo March)
Location: Capitol Hill, Seattle, Washington
Size: 570 square feet
Type of Home: Studio apartment
Years Lived In: 1.5 years, renting

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Madison is a self-proclaimed “film geek, fervent reader, and very unsuccessful amateur baker” and she calls this 570-square-foot studio apartment home. Currently working in marketing and PR at the Seattle International Film Festival, Madison also has a podcast (@ReelFriendsPod) with a friend about favorite movies and genres. When it came to decorating her small Capitol Hill home, she says her main goal was to create a space where everyone who enters says: “yep, Madison lives here.”

“I moved here a few months into the pandemic, after a hard breakup and in the middle of a real phase of self-discovery, so having a space that felt like me was imperative and the whole process ended up being really cathartic,” says Madison.

“I definitely lean towards maximalist decor; I want my space to feel lived in and like you could be locked inside for a rainy weekend (or a two-year pandemic) and have countless adventures to explore on the bookshelf, through some good movie inspo, and with space to get creative in the kitchen. I love being surrounded by my favorite books, characters, movies, or creations by artists I admire but tried to be a bit more coy and cheeky with those inclusions rather than just putting up all my favorite movie posters.”

“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the paint projects I’ve taken on; that was definitely a mid-pandemic project that I’m sure I’ll regret when it’s time to move out but for now I’m so pleased with how it’s turned out. A fun but horrifying story: the salmon pink color stripe in the TV area was actually supposed to be a terracotta but, in classic klutz fashion, I dropped the entire can of paint in my apartment lobby when I was carrying it upstairs. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at terracotta again without crying and remembering scrubbing it off the floor. So… pink it is!”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Colorful, maximalist, creative comfort.

Inspiration: Somewhere between the attic Jo March writes all her best work in, the Gryffindor common room, and a nautical seaside inn.

Favorite Element: Probably the sense of identity I feel in the space. It feels like a physical representation of the happiest recess of my brain. My home feels comfortable and functional which I’m proud of, but the real joy for me comes from the quirky, goofy elements that really make it feel like home. There really isn’t a piece of art, a movie referenced or a book displayed that I couldn’t talk about for hours.

But if I’m being specific it has to be the “Honk if you’d rather be watching the 1999 cinematic masterpiece ‘The Mummy’ starring Brendan Frasier and Rachel Weisz” sticker I have prominently displayed. For obvious reasons.

Biggest Challenge: Honestly, probably reeling myself in with color. I’ve always loved colorful spaces but I’ve never been great with picking a palette and sticking to it. I knew I would need to have some sense of cohesion in a studio, so I put a lot of effort into choosing fun colors that still (somewhat) adhere to a palette.

Proudest DIY: Definitely all the painting projects I’ve done, despite disastrously spilling an entire can of paint in my apartment lobby in the process. I’m really pleased with all my quirky paint projects and actually a good amount of my furniture (TV stand, dressers, hall mirror) have been painted as well. I used to be scared of committing to paint but now I can’t seem to stop.

Biggest Indulgence: I’m quite proud of my budget shopping, but I have some prints above my reading chair that I definitely splurged to get nicely framed. I actually designed them myself and they’re pulled from the title cards of four of my favorite directors, but I paid to have them nicely printed and framed, which turned what was originally a fun DIY into quite the pricey project.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? I’ve really tried to make a rectangular space feel like two (and sometimes even seven) separate rooms, and it definitely feels that way to me!

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? Probably my couch. I joke a lot that I should be making an affiliate commission because I’ve had three friends now who have bought it after my referring them.

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: I think the key to optimizing small spaces is thinking of each space individually rather than as one room. Technically, my kitchen, living room, office, bedroom, reading area, and gym are all in one room, but because I curated each of them carefully it rarely feels like the spaces are invading each other!

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? For god’s sake, have fun. Your home doesn’t need to look like an Instagram photo, it just needs to feel like you. Decorating can be stressful if you’re trying to attain a specific look, but hopefully most people find it joyful and as a fun way to get to know themselves a bit better.







Thanks Madison!

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