A Lovely Light 380-Square-Foot “Dollhouse” Studio

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Lovely Light 380-Square-Foot “Dollhouse” Studio

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Melissa Morgan
Location: Pleasanton, California
Size: 380 square feet
Years lived in: Renting 4 years

Melissa’s been renting this tiny 380-square-foot rental for four years — a long time to try and squeeze your life and stuff in just one room. Does she ever get sick of small space living? “All the time!” she admits. “At least a few times a week I crave more space to have a sofa, a bigger bathroom to take a bath, and a bigger kitchen to cook anything I want.” And while Melissa knows that one day she’ll eventually get a bigger space, she’s in no hurry. “I do absolutely love my tiny ‘dollhouse’ studio.”

How was Melissa able to make 380 square feet work so well (and look good)? Living so close to Silicon Valley, five years ago Melissa switched careers to work for Apple. But her bachelor’s degree is in interior design, and she still designs interiors here and there (she just finished a new salon downtown a year ago).

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Mid-Century eclectic

Favorite Element: The space is very light and bright; I love the large windows and white linens on the bed.

Biggest Challenge: The small space!! Living in such a tiny space means you have to get VERY creative in storage solutions. I even have to keep my vacuum underneath my bed!

What Friends Say: Everyone LOVES my apartment. One of my close friends has coined it the “dollhouse,” as he finds it to be a beautiful and magical yet small space.

Proudest DIY: The two chests at the foot of my bed are Ikea hacks!

Biggest Indulgence: My dresser – it’s from West Elm and is the first purchase I made over $1000.

Best Advice: Keep your space personalized. Nothing makes me happier than looking at accessories in my space and being reminded of the location and vacation I purchased it on.


Bathroom – Kelly-Moore “Black Cat”

Bookcase – Ikea

Dining table – Amazon, Marble Tulip 39″ table
Chairs – Crate & Barrel
Chair cover fabric – Kelly Wearstler “Channels”
Island – Ikea
Bookcase – Ikea, painted w/ Martha Stewart Metallic Paint
Artwork – Wayfair
Marble round tray — Wayfair

Bedding – Macy’s Hotel Collection
Pillows – Etsy
Sunglasses wall organizer – Amazon
Bed frame – Ikea (discontinued)
Chests – Ikea
Dresser – West Elm Mid-Century 6-drawer Dresser White
Lamps – Nate Berkus Target
Chair – Amazon “Barcelona Chair”
Bird wall décor – Dwell Studio

Thanks, Morgan!

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