In Partnership With The Home Depot

Before & After: An NYC Couple Configured a Studio Layout for Working, Living, and Entertaining

updated Jul 29, 2022
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Credit: Stylist: Margaret Ward; Photo: Melanie Rieders

All of our homes do double and triple duty these days, but Peggy and Anthony’s apartment is really working overtime: The newly cohabitating couple share an alcove studio in Queens, NYC with an open living space and bedroom nook — and they each work from home.

With such cozy quarters, Peggy and Anthony had to be intentional about arranging their space to support independent work days, chill couple time, and dinner parties with friends. They also wanted to make sure that their new home reflected both of their aesthetics: Peggy’s penchant for jewel tones and gold accents plus Anthony’s modern industrial style.

Credit: Stylist: Margaret Ward; Photo: Melanie Rieders

That’s a lot to ask of a couple hundred square feet, but they made it happen with strategic styling and some very savvy furniture shopping from The Home Depot online store. With affordable, high-quality home decor and furniture, The Home Depot can remake your space from start to finish. Here’s how Peggy and Anthony did just that.

Credit: Stylist: Margaret Ward; Photo: Christopher Broe

If You Don’t Have Rooms, Fake Them

The centerpiece of Peggy and Anthony’s place is a statement area rug with a stunning serpent design. It echoes Peggy’s love of snakes, but that’s not all: It also delineates the living area from the rest of the space. The couple used this trick throughout the apartment, using rugs in distinct but complementary styles to create the illusion of a bedroom and an office.

Before & After: A Tiny Studio for 2

“I thought having three different rugs in a small space would look cluttered, but it did the opposite,” Peggy says. “It gave each area its own ‘room’ and made it feel more organized.” And because the rugs all follow a light neutral color scheme, they keep the studio looking airy and bright.

Their furniture layout achieves a similar effect. By choosing a slim modern sofa and placing it in front of the bedroom alcove, Peggy and Anthony created a soft border between the two areas. And positioning their space-saving desks along the window gestures toward the outside, creating a sense of openness.

Credit: Stylist: Margaret Ward; Photo: Christopher Broe

Shop Smarter, Not Harder

Studio apartment dwellers need to be experts in efficiency. That’s why Peggy and Anthony shopped for pieces that were both stylish and functional. Sometimes, that meant extra storage, like a minimalist TV stand and shelved coffee table. It also meant choosing space-savers like a pub table set, with stools that fit completely under the table when not in use.

And, of course, we love multitaskers in small spaces: This gold bar cart can serve a variety of purposes beyond beverages, from books to stylish containers that hold yet more things. A chic and comfy pouf can be a seat, of course, but add a decorative tray and it turns into a side table. Altogether, these pieces are also “the perfect mix of Anthony’s industrial style and my love of gold,” Peggy says.

Credit: Stylist: Margaret Ward; Photo: Christopher Broe

Embrace Minimalism — to a Point

Have you ever moved into a new home and realized that it feels more spacious with stuff in it than it did empty? It’s a thing! Layering in decor will actually open up your square footage more, so don’t pare down too much — but do be thoughtful about it.

For instance, Peggy and Anthony created a gallery wall with a picture ledge, which draws the eye upward, and geometric, monochromatic artworks that work well together without being overpowering. They also added a handsome full-length mirror, which will reflect light and add airiness.

Credit: Stylist: Margaret Ward; Photo: Melanie Rieders

In contrast, this earthy green floral wallpaper provided just the right amount of drama. And because they chose finishing touches in their favorite styles — gold accents, metal furnishings, and modern neutrals — the whole look is cohesive, not chaotic.

“We were worried about having enough room and having everything we want fit in the space,” Peggy says. “But we’re amazed that this tiny studio actually feels bigger now!”