See How a Stager Gave a 362-Square Foot Studio “Live, Eat, and Sleep” Zones

published Oct 9, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Bedroom before renovation.
Credit: Homevisit

This tiny studio apartment checks off nearly all the features you’d want in a city pad. Great location? Check. Incredible windows? Check. Corner unit? Check! 

But square footage was one area it was severely lacking.

At just 362 square feet, the studio needed major creativity to show off how it could function for someone to sleep, eat, work, and relax all in one room.

“This was a big puzzle,” says stager Mary Liz Lichtenfels, owner of Redesign by ML. “Previously the condo was sparsely furnished with a double bed on the left wall, a desk to the right of the bed in the corner, an end table with one chair, and a dresser opposite the bed on the right wall as you walked in.”

Lichtenfels approached this project as a blank slate that needed to be configured in a way that would give the room multiple living zones and make the most of its show-stopping feature. “The dreamy windows gave this small condo a European feel. The views were amazing, and the light was truly transformative,” Lichtenfels says. She designed the layout to frame the windows and draw the eye out, making the space seem bigger. “I wanted the future buyer to envision enjoying the beautiful window views by sitting on the bed or sofa.”

While there wasn’t ample space to work with, adding a seating area and creating a multi-purpose dining and work area were top priorities. She flipped the placement of the double bed and tucked a smaller dresser into a nook. This opened up the wall opposite the bed to put a love seat, two small drink tables, and a petite round coffee table. Despite taking up little square footage, this seating area makes the unit feel like a place you could actually hang out and live in, rather than just a glorified bedroom.

Credit: Homevisit

Then, near the kitchen, she added a cafe table with two slim dining chairs. This created a versatile space that’s perfect for both WFH and sitting down to eat a meal at an actual table — something that can feel like a luxury when you’re a small-space dweller. 

Overall, Lichtenfels says that function is always a goal in staging but giving it a sense of style is equally important. Despite maximizing every square inch for function, Lichtenfels still found opportunities to add design moments. “I added an oversized mirror above the dresser to continue the ‘wall of windows’ across the back and to bounce off light in that space. I added a nice Studio McGee for Target lamp on the dresser, then finished off that surface with a little plant and pretty white bird accessory,” explains Lichentenfels. 

She chose decor that she felt could bridge generations. “The buyer could have been a single young professional who valued location over space, but they could also be an empty nester.” She wanted to appeal to wherever this person might be in their lives.

Credit: Homevisit

“I kept the palette neutral to expand the sense of space, then I mixed in textures like wood and rattan to give the space some interest and dimension. Punches of black popped in the photos,” explains Lichtenfels.

She also used a staging trick to make the space look as spacious as possible. “The studio could have handled an even larger sofa and a queen bed, but I used a love seat and a double bed to make the space look light and airy.” For other items, like the console, she chose materials like glass and chrome that wouldn’t take up visual real estate. 

This demure little condo went under contract within days and sold for list price. In a market where small units don’t necessarily command the same listing power that single family homes do, this was a huge win for a tiny home.