A 400-Square-Foot Studio Feels Much Larger Than It Is

updated Apr 30, 2019

A 400-Square-Foot Studio Feels Much Larger Than It Is

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Molly Crist
Location: Los Feliz — Los Angeles, California
Size: 400 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years, renting

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Molly knows a thing or two about small space living; she’s been renting this lovely studio apartment since her arrival in Los Angeles five years ago. And though it’s a challenge, it’s a challenge she enjoys tackling: she’s used all the square feet in her home, from corner to corner and top to bottom. Molly believes the most essential part of designing a home is to keep it functional but reflective of the homeowner. “Every space has potential to show some personality!”

Molly certainly isn’t afraid of color and texture in her home. And she has an amazing collection of artwork and books. But she did note her most significant thing in the house was, “the little blue Tetris game on my bookshelves. It was my grandpa’s and I used to play with it when I was a little girl. It reminds me of him.”

Not only does she love the artistic culture of Los Angeles she has embraced all the creative people she’s met and is constantly inspired by them. “Design wise, I think a lot of California design is very light and airy, which is beautiful and I have incorporated into my look. But I also have an attraction to rich colors and textiles that feel more East Coast.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I would say I have an artistic bohemian style.

Inspiration: My biggest creative inspiration is international travel. I recently went to Morocco. Everywhere you looked, it was just so beautiful—the architecture, the tile, the textiles, the people. I shipped so much back and I started an Etsy shop, MStudio by Molly, selling the goods. Overall though, I have so many inspirations, I don’t know that I can count them.

Favorite Element: My plants. They give the place life and bring the outside in. I don’t think I could live in a place without plants.

Biggest Challenge: Space! I have lived in studio apartments a lot of my life and I really love the challenge of them.

What Friends Say: My friends like my little apartment. I have always felt weird hosting in a studio, but I have friends who ask if they can come see my place, so I guess I need to get over that.

Biggest Embarrassment: Heater on my wall! It’s ugly, but it sure keeps me warm at night.

Proudest DIY: I make ceramics, so a lot of my plant holders and my hanging planter in my kitchen are my own designs! I sell them in my Etsy shop, too.

Biggest Indulgence: My rug from my trip. It just makes me happy to look at!

Best Advice: Don’t be afraid to purge when something is no longer serving you. A lot of curation in a small space comes from getting rid of old things and not having too much clutter.

Dream Sources: Right now my dream source is a furniture store I found in Morocco. No shop in the states can compare!


White wall hanging — KoolCatWallArt Etsy shop
Couch — Article
Rug — Morocco
Mirror — Anthropologie

Teal hanging planter — Molly
Wall shelf — CB2
Terra Cotta hanging planter — CB2
Ceramic bowls — Molly

PomPom bedspread — MStudio by Molly Etsy shop
Pink Sheets — Nate Berkus for Target
Curtain room divider — roomdividers.com

Shower curtain — Target

Thanks, Molly!

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