Three Roommates Share a Small Attic Apartment

updated Apr 30, 2019

Three Roommates Share a Small Attic Apartment

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Home Type
Square feet
Sq ft

Name: 3 roommates (plus their cats Boogie and Sammie)
Location: California
Size: ~600 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years

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These three roommates live in a two-bedroom attic apartment in a historic mansion that was converted to apartments. The space has its perks, such as the walls painted yellow and its convenience to downtown Oakland and public transit. But the awkward attic space also has its drawbacks: small windows resulting in low light, weird ceilings angles, and a tiny kitchen. Despite that, the three roommates admit that its awkwardness has made coming up with solutions a fun challenge.

They brainstormed to find the best configuration for a makeshift kitchen island using IKEA tables, and they came up with seating options in the living room even though fitting a couch up the narrow stairway is nearly impossible.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: We love bright colors, vintage decor and things with interesting textures.

Inspiration: Saturated colors found in nature.

Favorite Element: Plants!

Biggest Challenge: The ceiling angles are one thing, but the low light and dark floors and trim that came with the apartment are the toughest part. Sometimes the lighting is actually better at night with artificial light.

What Friends Say: “It feels like a tree house palace.”

Biggest Embarrassment: The kitchen floors are awful! The tiles are better suited for a patio.

Proudest DIY: Building two IKEA counters in this TINY kitchen! Figuring out the configuration was a big win, too.

Biggest Indulgence: Plants

Best Advice: Rearrange your space often.

Dream Sources: Traveling the world to find awesome pottery.


The apartment came with these paint colors. We like the light shade of green and yellow, but wish it was brighter.

Kitchen island — Two IKEA counters put together
La Llorona Desperately Seeking Coyolxauhqui print — Alma Lopez via Serie Project
Jarritos print — Serie Project
No War print — Melanie Cervantes
Chips & Lemons prints — Purchased at The Grease Diner on San Pablo Avenue
Metal Tomato and Chiles prints — Garden signs purchased at dollar store
Kitty hall of fame — A shrine to our cats past and present

Plants — Gifts or from local nurseries (Dry Garden, Cactus Jungle, etc.)
Pottery — Cactus Jungle, thrifted, or from the dollar store
Record shelves — IKEA
Bench — Made from a sturdy wood coffee table
Crochet pillow — Mary of Green Horse Craft
Beaded Jaguar — Gathering Tribes (purchased from a traveling Huichol artist)
Painted skulls and carved wood animals — From Mexico
Jaguar mask — Made in Guatemala

Flower print tea towel— Lisa Rupp for Harriott Grace
Cat portrait — Ema Kubo
Cat print — Boyoun Kim
Nude Garden Party print — Mike Perry
Two Girls illustration — From a free pile at Ladies Drawing Night event hosted by Chronicle’s Books
Night stand — Kids desk from Ikea
Small chair — Thrift store find
Desk and chair — Amazon
Mystical deer cushion cover — From Mexico City

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