A Smart Layout Makes This Studio Feel Big and Bright

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Name: Emily
Location: Lincoln Park — Chicago, Illinois

My apartment is a 400 square foot studio located in a lively Chicago neighborhood. I would describe my style as very eclectic. I have elements of my apartment that are mid-century, Scandinavian, traditional and vintage. When decorating my apartment, my inspiration was to choose items that I simply just liked rather than trying to stick to a specific design style. I gravitate towards whites, hints of black, wood tones, a few pops of color to keep things happy and a bit quirky – and a lot of live plants!

My studio apartment is divided into four main areas: one main room that I have divided into the kitchen space, the living space, the desk space, and the bedroom space; a small dressing room with a dresser and a jewelry chest; the bathroom; and a walk-in closet.

I am a big DIY-er and a lot of pieces in my apartment are items I have made myself including my TV stand, my copper “bedroom” screen grid divider, my jewelry chest (which is actually an old kitchen cabinet!) and some artwork.

This is the first studio apartment I have lived in, so a big design dilemma was finding a way to separate my “bedroom” area from my living area. I put up a large bookshelf wall that is the main divider between the two areas and then I made a hanging copper grid screen divider out of cut copper pipes that hangs from the ceiling between my bed and front door. I knew I wanted a divider between my bed and front door, but I didn’t want it to feel too closed off or to be an eye-sore. After having no luck finding anything online and in stores that would accomplish the look I was going for, I decided to create something! The openness and lightness of the grid screen allows it to not feel overwhelming or bulky and it creates a simple division of space when you first enter the apartment.

I also like to use things in unconventional ways. For instance, the hanging baskets above my desk are actually meant for fruit. But I use it to store my stationary and envelopes for easy access and to put them on display.

I hoped to create an inviting, comfortable space that I love coming home to everyday. Where I could host dinner parties for friends or where I could just curl up with a glass of wine and a good book after a long day.

By softening the starkness of minimalism/mid-century pieces with natural materials, wood accents, and lots of greenery, my hope was that each room felt balanced and had a feeling of relaxation.

Thanks, Emily!

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