Small Space Love: The Artist Whose 500 Square Feet Are Both Home and Studio

published Feb 22, 2017
Post Image
(Image credit: Ana Gambuto)

Renter: Elizabeth Andersen
Lives in: Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, NY
How Small Is Her Space: 500 square feet
Objects of Desire: Windsor Modular Desk

I’m a nester and an artist. It was never my dream to live in a small space, but in NYC you don’t really have an option. So, I’ve learned to appreciate it. It only takes a few great pieces of furniture to make my space feel like home, and then I can spend my money on traveling and experiences with friends. Plus, cleaning the entire apartment takes a mere 30 minutes, so I have more time for hobbies and fun things (like not cleaning). Small living has taught me to be more selective in my purchases.

(Image credit: Eric Wuu)

The Blueprint

I’m either constantly reorganizing my apartment, fussing with decor to make it “just so,” or taking some time out to create and chill. I don’t get to use my hands much during my day job (I work in an office and commute on subways with music constantly playing in my earbuds, like many New Yorkers). My home is where I can express myself and get back to my creative roots.

I only have so much room to put things, so I’m constantly editing in my head before buying something. I’m eyeing Pottery Barn’s Windsor Modular Desk to give me the surface and storage I need for a mini art studio. I could tuck it into a little alcove next to the fireplace, where it would just fit. (Tip: Always measure before buying furniture.) I love the desk because it’s compact and simple — perfect for this little nook!

The Inspiration

I like things to be neither too fussy nor too stark, so I kept my selections about 50/50. My general rule of thumb is: If it’s a piece that I want to feel cozy, like upholstered furniture or rugs, I’ll veer towards the more traditional look. And items that are more utilitarian, like tables or storage, I’ll go more minimal. The desk chair adds a bit of style and coziness next to the simple desk design.

Why I Love Small Space Living

I’ve lived in my little Brooklyn apartment for about two years now, and I love the light and charm. Living alone, I don’t need a whole bunch of space, so smaller apartments are just cozier and more efficient. I think for me, a smaller space makes other areas of my life more manageable!

The Windsor Modular Desk is part of Pottery Barn’s new collection of small space solutions. Many of the pieces are multi-functional and provide storage while still being of the high quality and thoughtful design Pottery Barn is known for. The collection is available in select stores across the U.S., and is also available online at

See how Elizabeth applies the 50/50 principle in her House Tour.

This post is sponsored by Pottery Barn and was created by the Apartment Therapy Creative Studio. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Apartment Therapy possible.