This IKEA-Filled 410-Square-Foot Studio Looks So High-End

published Mar 21, 2024

This IKEA-Filled 410-Square-Foot Studio Looks So High-End

published Mar 21, 2024
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Steven Russell says his apartment — this 410-square-foot studio apartment in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood — is a big part of his life. “Not only is it the space in which a lot of my life happens, I also see it as a reflection of my personality and the things I care about,” he begins. “I have been fully WFH since the start of COVID, and spend a large portion of my time at home, so having a space that can accommodate multiple functions and moods is incredibly important.”

“I have a variety of interests, and I love collecting physical things like books and vinyl records, so figuring out how to find a balance of all of those that feels authentic without being cluttered in a smaller space has been a challenge that I’ve enjoyed undertaking.”

“Despite valuing the ethos and aesthetics of minimalism, I’m a collector and a lover of physical things at heart,” Steven admits. “I think that provides an interesting tension for how I go about designing my spaces. I’ve focused a lot on how to organize my things in a way that puts them on display without feeling cluttered or excessive, and have gotten a lot of inspiration from different small-space Instagram accounts and YouTube channels.”

“I think my guiding design principle is to allow any/all objects or styles that I like into my space, and subsequently create a context for them that feels comfortable and restrained. The color palette I’ve employed involves a lot of blacks, whites, and other neutrals, and then my possessions provide the color and character that make it interesting. I also have a lot of Chicago-related things that make me feel at home in the city I love. Essentially, my advice is to bring in anything that brings you joy, and find a way to make it all work together!”


  • Shoe storage — IKEA


  • Tizio Lamp — Lightology (a local lighting store)
  • Couch, record shelves, storage/display units, and rug) — IKEA
  • Lift-top coffee table — Amazon
  • Accessories — Etsy and different shops around Chicago
  • Samsung Frame TV
  • Console table — Amazon


  • Standing desk frame — Amazon
  • Desktop — IKEA
  • Desk chair — Office Depot


Thanks, Steven!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.