This 400-Square-Foot Studio Apartment Is the Most Incredibly Organized and Versatile Home We’ve Ever Seen

published Jul 30, 2019

This 400-Square-Foot Studio Apartment Is the Most Incredibly Organized and Versatile Home We’ve Ever Seen

published Jul 30, 2019
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Name: Raechel Lambert and Ryan Lambert
Location: Hell’s Kitchen NYC
Size: 400 square feet. We used to live in 240, so this feels palatial.
Years lived in: 4 months, renting

For this couple, 400 square feet is actually HUGE. They were living in just 240 square feet when we toured their San Francisco studio apartment last year, which was filled with inspiring small space ideas and solutions. Now relocated to the East Coast in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, they’ve upgraded to a slightly larger space, but it’s still teeny, especially for two people.

Raechel Lambert—of Small Space Big Taste—and her husband Ryan have once again proven that with smart planning, good organizing, and a little flexibility, small space living can not only be doable, but actually enjoyable and beautiful. You’d think sharing less than 300 square feet would turn anyone off from future small space living, but for Raechel and Ryan, they decided to go small again when they moved to Manhattan for one large reason: They estimate they’re able to save about $8000 a year by choosing to live in this small apartment over a larger one. This enables them to put more money in savings and do more travel, among other things. Talk about priorities!

Again, this is not a couple suffering or sacrificing for their finances; thanks to their clever furniture arranging, brilliant organizing ideas, and overall sleek style, their small home functions just as well as a larger one, and is the perfect setup for their current lifestyle. Watch the video tour, click through the gallery, or read Raechel’s survey answers for a lot of great small space solutions (like you might even want to take notes—it’s that good) or be sure to visit her website and Instagram for more ideas.

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Raechel was kind enough to share not just one floor plan, but several of the way they change up their furniture through the day in order to maximize their space. She provided an example of a Friday in their lives to explain the different ways in which they can set up their home's flexible furniture.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I tend to choose function over form. I love organic modern vibes and things being easy to keep clean.

Inspiration: Trying to blend our airy San Francisco style with the edgier vibe of NYC.

Favorite Element: Floor-to-ceiling southeast corner windows with brilliant light in the morning and The New Yorker and Empire State Buildings glowing in the skyline at night. Runner up is the shower with strong water pressure and a window that opens.

Biggest Challenge: Office space! I started my own business and work from home now. It was a big challenge to have a comfortable standing workstation without giving up our musical instruments. Our solution was to put risers on our rolling dining table and have a removable monitor arm.

What Friends Say: They love how we can rearrange our furniture to suit our needs and moods.

Biggest Embarrassment: Not so much anything in our space, but that people wrongfully assume we’re broke because we still live in a studio at this age (32 and 34). We’re not broke because we live in a studio! A one-bedroom in our building would cost an extra $8,000 a year. We’ve happily put that money towards savings and traveled every year for the last decade. To me, success is about self-actualization and it’s annoying that the size of your home is considered a proxy for success. That or our crooked picture frame ledge. Installing things that look level in NYC is so challenging!

Proudest DIY: We hired a professional to install our wall bed, so I’m not sure that counts as DIY. But we did go custom with the green stone knobs.

Biggest Indulgence: My 88-key keyboard and the floor plant! Ryan’s guitars mount on the wall so they don’t take up any floor space, but I can’t say the same for my stuff.

Best Advice: Let go of where things are “supposed” to go. In a studio, things go wherever they can fit. I knew a woman who never cooked but had a killer shoe collection, which she kept in the kitchen cabinets. We have a huge refrigerator so we use it to store dry goods even though they don’t need to be kept cold.

Dream Sources: West Elm, CB2, and Anthropologie. I thought I would suddenly become cool when I moved here and go thrifting in Brooklyn. Turns out, I still hate shopping and just stick with what I know to save time.



  • Butler Stand — CB2
  • Whitmore Over the Door Shoe Rack — Amazon


  • Bird paintings “Fresh Coat” and “Morph” by Jon Ching
  • ABC Flying Letters 18 Print — Fy
  • Naughty Garden Gnome — Amazon
  • Build Your Own Mid-Century Banquette in Twill, Stone — West Elm
  • Oxford Marble Side Tables — CB2 
  • Leather stool — Amara
  • Carlson ii white towers —CB2
  • Piano White Wall Shelf — CB2
  • Plants — The Sill
  • Pendant Plug-In Canopy in Antique Bronze — West Elm
  • Tala 3W Squirrel Cage Bulb — West Elm
  • 18″ Izel Black and White Fair Isle Pillow — CB2


  • Go-Cart White Rolling Counter Stand Up Desk — CB2
  • Adjustable Industrial Stools — West Elm


  • Schmidt Brothers Acacia 18” Magnetic Wall Bar — Crate and Barrel
  • Matte Black Utensil Holder — Crate and Barrel
  • Bento Matte Black Mini Bowl (sponge holder) — CB2
  • Bento Matte Black Rectangular Platter — CB2
  • Prep Small White Canister (dish scrubby holder) — CB2
  • Magnetic Spice Tins — Container Store



  • Hookless Waffle Fabric Shower Curtain — Amazon
  • Lateral teak bath mat—CB2
  • Bridgette Towel Hooks in Chrome — Anthropologie
  • Black Dip Platter — CB2
  • Pekoe Black and White Storage Box with Lid (wet wipe container) — CB2
  • Post-Poo Drops — Aesop

Thanks, Raechel and Ryan!

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