This 450-Square-Foot Philly Apartment Proves You CAN Be a Maximalist in a Small Space

updated Mar 4, 2021

This 450-Square-Foot Philly Apartment Proves You CAN Be a Maximalist in a Small Space

updated Mar 4, 2021
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Name: Amanda Marshall and Bug (the kitty)
Location: Queen Village — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Size: 450 square feet
Years Lived In: 1.5 years, renting

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Amanda lived in this quaint 450-square-foot apartment in Queen Village with her cat Bug [She’s since moved into a new apartment since this house tour first published, in an also equally charming and vintage filled space.] Her day job is at Bluecadet Interactive in Fishtown, where she’s surrounded by positive, creative people. An artist herself, Amanda has found decorating her home to be a great outlet for her creative energy; most of the brightly colored interior paintings scattered throughout the space are her own.

“My previous apartment was a good amount larger than this one,” Amanda reveals. “I did however trade up for more natural light and hardwood floors. It had a lot of personality and I think leaning into that vibe made me a lot more adventurous in my style choices.” When she downsized, she had to purge her wardrobe and many unnecessary papers from college, but some items were impossible to part with. The mid-century modern drawers and shelf combo were part of a set in Amanda’s dad’s childhood bedroom; her Grandma Ev who had a very distinctive ’60s modern style picked it out. “Her style has always inspired me. We shared a love of black and orange which you can see! I feel closer to her having her things in my home.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Harmonious Hodgepodge.

Inspiration: My grandma’s mid-century modern flair with a whole lot of yard sale bohemian thrown in.

Favorite Element: The wood burning fireplace. It’s really wonderful on cold nights!

Biggest Challenge: Fitting all the furniture I loved into a condensed space.

What Friends Say: “So cozy” and “The colors Duke, the colors!”

Biggest Embarrassment: Dated and dark kitchen cabinets.

Proudest DIY: My birdcage pendant lamp in my kitchen.

Biggest Indulgence: I don’t think I have one particular thing that is an indulgence but I like to get lots of little things to add to my collection and I love the hunt.

Best Advice: If something catches your eye go for it! Random items can become special by elevating them in your space.

Dream Sources: Having first dibs on anything that comes up on Jinxed’s Instagram. And maybe the perfect velvet sofa from Article.



  • Swiss Bally Shoes Villemot Legs Print — Etsy
  • Night In Print (Girl with Cats) — Stay Home Club
  • Small Oil Paintings throughout — My own
  • Round Mirror Top Table — Vintage from Tucker’s Digs
  • Black Round Coffee Table — IKEA
  • White Area Rug — Anthropologie
  • Turkish Kilim Rug — Vintage from estate sale building
  • Needlepoint — Vintage from Retrospect Vintage
  • Tiki Bar and Stool — Vintage from yard sale
  • Happy Hour Sign — Target
  • Brass Deer Candle Holder — Vintage from Nostalgic Nook in Newtown, Pennsylvania
  • Yellow Desk — Vintage from Uhuru Furniture and Collectibles
  • Santa Maria Ship Lamp — Vintage from Philly AIDS Thrift
  • Sofa Slipcover — Amazon
  • Stuffed Octopus — @bigstuffed on Instagram




  • Moroccan Metal Pendant Lamp — Eyes Gallery
  • Figurative Drawing — The incredibly talented Doron Langberg
  • Moon Altar Print — Camille Chew on Society6
  • Black Floral Bedding — Urban Outfitters
  • The embroidery hoops, Fox Mask, rabbit drawing, and yarn dream catcher are all my own.
  • Small Green Face Print — Fran Crum
  • “You are doing a great f*cking job” Sign — Openhouse
  • BB-8 Alarm Clock — Target


  • Metal Circle Shelf — Target
  • Nature Walks Flora and Fauna Print — Jessica Roux on Society6

Thanks, Amanda and Bug!

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.