Before & After: A Small 570 Square Foot Studio Gets Stylish

Before & After: A Small 570 Square Foot Studio Gets Stylish

Adrienne Breaux
Sep 7, 2014
(Image credit: Johnelle Mancha )

Project by: Johnelle Mancha of Mignonne Décor
Location: Oakland, CA

From Johnelle: This project was a perfect example of the importance in getting creative with layout and the magic involved when customizing a small space! If you live in a studio apartment, then you are familiar with the big challenge of placement and of course the dreaded question of how to make your space feel bigger and more spacious.

(Image credit: Johnelle Mancha )

With this client's apartment, we took the approach of strategically breaking up the open room into appropriate spaces. Showcased in this cool and artsy project, you can see the impact of something as simple as the custom vintage door partition we built to separate a 'living space' from the 'bedroom' space.

But there are other creative ways to break up an open floor plan, like our custom kitchen island we built by taking a vintage dresser and adding castors and a wooden top. Notice how this piece instantly creates a seating area and makes the kitchen feel more defined and most importantly spacious (seats four comfortably).

(Image credit: Johnelle Mancha )

Aside from wanting the space to feel more spacious, storage was a main concern, and we embraced the challenge. We transformed the empty entryway with a custom shelving unit that we built. Industrial and modern in its silhouette, this piece not only adds storage but visual interest. (It's also a mobile piece that the client will be able to relocate if she ever moves.)

(Image credit: Johnelle Mancha )

With tight spaces it's so important to be smart about what we bring in and where we put it. It's all about the layout! The custom elements we collaborated with were smart ways in creating a well curated layout.

(Image credit: Johnelle Mancha )
(Image credit: Johnelle Mancha )

The icing on the cake was blending some vintage items that we brought with some new budget savvy decor items such as the IKEA rug and accent pillows to really enhance the decor! The vintage crates we scouted for and picked up at a flea market, were storage savvy solutions and create an aesthetically pleasing design, along with the other vintage pieces we sourced such as the lamp, side dresser, bookshelf, etc.

(Image credit: Johnelle Mancha )


Custom pieces designed by Johnelle Mancha and built by carpenter Brian Hill:
  • Entry piped shelf unit that can be broken down so the client can take it to a future home down the road.
  • The kitchen island was custom. We added castors for mobility and a custom pine top that we aged, creating an overhang so it has the capability of seating 4-5 comfortably for dinner parties etc. It was a great way to add a dining experience to a studio. She can use this down the road in different apartments as well.
  • The wall divider using vintage white doors was custom made by us as well. This piece too, could be transformed as a headboard down the road. We really tried to think of ways the custom pieces could be re-used if she ever was to move.
  • The crates on the wall. Johnelle Mancha scouted at the Alameda flea and polished and sealed them. The vintage top box one with metal bar was an awesome way for client to mix practicality with unusual styling with her scarves.
Bought elements:
  • IKEA 1.99 frames for clients pin up postcard art
  • IKEA accent black linen covers & down inserts used on red couch
  • Pop art bed pillow IKEA
  • IKEA geometric rug $79.99
  • The 3 drawer bedside table and yellow bell jar lamp (new shade from Ross) from Mignonne Decor
  • Warehouse hanging chandelier sourced by Mignonne
  • Mid century petite bookshelf scouted & sourced by Mignonne
(Image credit: Johnelle Mancha )

Thanks, Johnelle Mancha of Mignonne Décor'!

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