Pro Designer Solutions for Sharing a Small Space Studio

published Nov 11, 2016
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

When you have only 350 square feet to work with, you’ve got to be smart with space-maximizing solutions to create a home that’s both functional and nice to look at. When you share that very small space with another person, you’ve got to be even smarter! Thankfully, designer Natasha — of Natasha & Rob’s Super Smart Small Space video house tour — shared some of the secrets her and her husband credit to living successfully in a super small space.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

So, what’s the secret to harmoniously sharing a small space with someone?

The number one secret to living harmoniously in a small space is loving the person you live with! Patience is also key.

What’s the best thing about sharing a tiny space with someone else?

Not sure we have the answer to that? We’ve lived in larger spaces together, and there really is no difference.

“The number one secret to living harmoniously in a small space is loving the person you live with! Patience is also key.”

The worst thing?

The lack of privacy. You can’t have a phone conversation without the other person knowing everything you talked about. Also, sometimes we bump into each other. To avoid that, we make sure not to get ready at the same time.

(Image credit: Natasha)

Has the space changed much (layout-wise, decor-wise) since we first toured your home?

Everything has stayed the same! We have a new side chair, but it is in the same place. The only thing that has changed is the addition of a bunch of plants, including a seven-foot euphorbia that I somehow found room for!

(Image credit: Natasha Habermann)

“Make sure you have equal space for your belongings. The key to designing a small space is listing out everything you need to store.”

It would seem like the key to small-space living is built-ins…are their other things you think help in small spaces?

Built-ins are definitely key. There is nothing we regret about our built-ins. Everything functions perfectly for us. The one thing we often talk about doing differently is the couch. We would have liked to get a pull-out couch. Not only for visitors, but for ourselves! We imagine ourselves pulling it out to watch a movie as our couch isn’t quite large enough for the both of us to lounge. We almost purchased a pull-out, but the lead-time was too long. I think both of us regret not waiting!

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

How do you settle decorating disagreements?

I make most of the decorating decisions! I am an interior decorator, so I guess I have the upper hand. That being said, we generally tend to like the same things.

Do you guys go to bed at the same time or is one of you a night owl and the other an early bird?

We’re pretty much on the same schedule. Sometimes Rob goes into bed earlier to read, but I’m not far behind. You’d be surprised how hard it is to hear each other when one of us is in the bedroom, and the other is on the couch, even with the sliding doors open.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Do you guys work together to control the influx of “stuff” into the house…or is one person sneaking stuff in or out when the other isn’t looking?

I am definitely the one sneaking stuff in. Case and point, the seven-foot euphorbia. I found it on craigslist. There are actually two of them (one is at my parents’ house). I scored them both for $125. I secretly arranged to pick them up after I dropped off Rob at the airport. If I had asked him if I could get them, he would have said “NO, stop being the crazy plant lady.”

Also: Rob says he has not forgiven me yet for throwing out the sweatshirt!

This seems like a cop-out, but we really don’t have much stuff in our house to throw out! I guess each of us would like the other to do their best at minimizing their wardrobe for more closet space.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

What advice do you have for anyone considering moving into and designing a small space that they’ll be sharing with someone else?

Make sure you have equal space for your belongings. The key to designing a small space is listing out everything you need to store. If you don’t know what you need to store, then you’re probably going to make design mistakes. We literally plotted out everything, from our laundry bin, to where we’d store our electronics. We’d advise anyone designing a small space to do the same.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

See more of this stylish home and the smart space solutions:

And alas, after a good run, Natasha and Rob have decided to sell their wonderful small space.