A Renter Made Her Denver Studio Feel So Much Bigger with This Subtle Trick

published Mar 12, 2024

A Renter Made Her Denver Studio Feel So Much Bigger with This Subtle Trick

published Mar 12, 2024
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For two years, Emily Ann Salles has shared this 503-square-foot studio apartment in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood with her 20-pound chihuahua/poodle/pug mix. “I did my Denver apartment search remotely before moving here. Because of that, I ended up in a newer building where they were well set up to do virtual tours,” she begins. “My challenge upon arrival was how to turn the corporate-feeling 500-square-foot box into something cozy that would make me (and my dog!) feel at home in our new city.”

Credit: Emily Ann Salles
The Nest Storage Bed from Design Within Reach was a big but important splurge: "Having extra hideaway storage in a studio is key," she explains. "I painted the canvas above the bed to match."

“I’m a city girl who loves getting outdoors and into nature. This comes out in my decor as a blend of glam elements and bohemian touches. I love to bring the outdoors in with things like photography, house plants, and little collections of natural objects. Additionally, I picked green as the recurring color for my space, which can be earthy or luxurious depending on how it’s used,” she continues.

Credit: Emily Ann Salles
What's your best decorating, shopping, cleaning, or organizing advice? Consume interior design content. I learned so much about making the pieces I already had work together by reading Apartment Therapy and watching interior design content on YouTube like Kristen McGowan and Alexandra Gater. Over time you start to build an internal design reference and see your own pieces differently. I work in software design, and this is exactly what I do in that field as well.

“Over the six months it took for my bed frame to arrive (thanks, supply chain issues!) I tried out about half a dozen furniture layouts. Through this experimentation, I discovered how important it was not to block the natural light from the entry. This arrangement helps create a feeling of spaciousness upon entering that is very easy to lose in a studio.”

Credit: Emily Ann Salles


  • Armchair — Living Spaces
  • Curtains — Overstock
  • High Top Table — Craigslist
  • Shoe Cabinet — IKEA
  • Console Bench — Pier 1 Imports
  • Nest Storage Bed — Design Within Reach
  • Peel and Stick Wallpaper — Spoonflower
  • Desk — IKEA
  • Desk Chair — Knoll Generation via Craigslist
  • Couch — Burrow

Thanks, Emily!

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