Elbow Grease Made This Small 400-Square-Foot Studio Extremely Livable

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(Image credit: Jenii Stewart)

Name: Jenii Stewart and two cats, Robin Hood and Will Scarlet
Location: Uptown — Chicago, Illinois
Size: 400 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years, renting

I’m a graphic designer and animator and love plants (I’m slowly growing a green thumb), bugs, and my two cats, Robin Hood and Will Scarlet. They both have an excess of personality and it keeps things interesting.

My living space. I love the huge windows and all the light. I get a ton of light even though my windows are all north-facing. (Image credit: Jenii Stewart)

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Mid-century bohemian nerd chic.

I recently did a bit of a facelift to my kitchen and couldn’t be happier. It’s a space where I actually want to spend time now. The backsplash and countertops are all peel and stick, so they can be easily removed when I move someday. (Image credit: Jenii Stewart)
The corner with the gallery wall and most of my plants is one of my favorite spots. (Image credit: Jenii Stewart)

What is your favorite room and why? I actually love being in my kitchen since redoing the backsplash and counters. I also find that I’m better about keeping it clean now. I think maybe I have more respect for the space since putting in the elbow grease to make it my own.

(Image credit: Jenii Stewart)

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? I would love to have laundry in unit and some kind of balcony or outdoor space. I really miss being able to grill in the summer and it would be nice to have more space for plants.

(Image credit: Jenii Stewart)

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last thing I bought was the peel-and-stick wallpaper I put up in my entryway. I’m obsessed. It completely transformed that tiny space and it has real visual interest now.

I love great art and have it all over my apartment. The print above my bed is by Erik Jones (my favorite painter). (Image credit: Jenii Stewart)

Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? That’s a tough question! I think I’d have to say Marian from my favorite book, “The Outlaws of Sherwood.” She’s not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get stuff done. She’s also totally at home among plants, bugs, and beasts.

Robin (the orange cat) and Will (the tuxedo kitten) love cuddling up by the radiator. (Image credit: Jenii Stewart)

Any advice for creating a home you love? It takes time. My home has slowly evolved over the last five years. When you’re working on a tight budget, you can’t do everything at once. Allow your home to grow with you.

Thanks, Jenii!

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