Before and After: A Blah 200-Square-Foot Studio Gets a Dreamy Travel-Inspired Makeover
For me, one of the best parts about travel is taking inspiration from places around the world, and creating new spaces that channel that vibe. I can’t say I bought an apartment building with my BFF/business partner just so I could renovate and furnish apartments for mid-term rentals and do just that… but I can’t not say it, either!
In my most recent studio redo, I wanted to channel some of the vibrant colors and bold patterns I saw on a trip to Morocco, which have stuck with me ever since. The studio definitely needed that energy, since it started with beige walls and dingy blue carpeting.
But having that inspiration to anchor us made the transformation of the tiny studio — all 200 square feet of it — easy. The kitchen is directly open to the bedroom/living space, so I continued the color palette throughout. Jewelry box pink (Benjamin Moore’s Vintage) went on the walls and ceiling, with a charcoal black (Cheating Heart) on the woodwork popping against it. We were lucky enough to uncover original hardwood flooring under the carpet, so that was an amazing start to our project.
I thought back to my dream room as a little kid, to the night I spent under the Sahara stars (OK, in a tent), and of course to the stunning Medina of Marrakesh — the oldest district in the city, dating to the 11th century — and got to work.
I chose a wooden daybed with an antiqued gray finish (a World Market find), but made it really special with a gauzy canopy overhead — all the better to encourage sweet dreams of far-flung adventures. Tons of pillows add to the guesthouse feel. Near the wonderful south-facing 10-foot-tall window, I hung a brass lantern just like those found everywhere in Morocco. And this was no knock-off! I’m fortunate to live just a few blocks from a wholesaler that sells treasures from all corners of the globe; Blue Ocean Traders had not only the lanterns from Morocco, but handmade rugs and leather poufs as well.
A vintage school map of the continent of Africa placed over a pink fringed lamp made for a sweet moment in the corner by the window. Mirrors placed throughout help give this tiny studio a more spacious feel, and bring it all together. While this redo was totally cosmetic, it was a pretty incredible transformation. And while this rental may be firmly stateside, I hope that visitors find it as inspiring as the places that influenced its design!
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