This Engineer Created Clever Storage Spaces in a San Francisco Studio

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A living room with a tan couch, two chairs, and a tv
Credit: Hayley Dickson
The main living area

Name: Hayley Dickson
Location: Lower Pac Heights — San Francisco, California
Type of home: Studio
Size: 450 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

Credit: Hayley Dickson
I love that there is plenty of space for a large desk and my piano in this bay window.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I was lucky enough to move into this unit in the same building I already lived in back at the beginning of the pandemic. Though still a studio, the apartment is slightly bigger than my last place and has enough room for my desk and a much better layout for suddenly being home all the time. It has a walk-in closet large enough for a bed, so if we’re generous we can even call it a “junior one-bedroom.”

Credit: Hayley Dickson
Art I've collected traveling and made by my talented friend.

I had to get creative with storage since it only has one other small closet, but it became a fun creative outlet for me while being stuck at home. Now permanently working from home, this place is so cozy and I’m happy to spend all day in here.

Credit: Hayley Dickson
The closet that my bed is in has a window, making it feel more like a real room

The desk feels like its own little office being set in the bay window, and with the bed in the closet, the living and kitchen space is actually pretty large for just me. I love cooking, and the kitchen and nook area allow me enough space to have people over and not feel crowded. I even have enough room for my piano, another hobby I suddenly had more time to focus on.

Credit: Hayley Dickson
Kitchen and dining nook: I love the original built-in cabinet! I replaced all of the draw pulls with glass ones that fit the building period.

I’m an engineer and design enthusiast, and I think that is reflected in my apartment. I’ve come up with creative ways to store my stuff (in a way that I can actually access it!), and even built out my entryway shoe and clothing rack by myself. I like neutral tones with pops of color and fun/unique pieces.

Credit: Hayley Dickson
My small but cozy bed nook

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Cozy, neutral, and eclectic

Credit: Hayley Dickson
The low round coffee table is a practical size and still allows for easy movement around the space.

What is your favorite room and why? I love the main living space. I have a corner unit, so having the two bay windows brings in so much light and gives me just a little bit of extra space that makes a huge difference in a small apartment. I love how bright and cozy this room is (with plenty of space for my desk, since I work from home now).

Credit: Hayley Dickson
I turned my entryway into my closet storage. I built out this shoe and hanging rack (all from IKEA) and it keeps me very organized.

Any advice for creating a home you love? It takes time! And it’s okay to change your mind. Looking back on how I decorated my last apartment I can see how much my style has matured and changed. It’s fun to give yourself room to grow, and don’t be afraid of trying something that might not work. You can always change it!

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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