Before & After: A Studio Apartment Is Totally Transformed with Space-Saving Solutions

updated Jul 29, 2020
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This isn’t the first sad studio apartment architectural and interior designer Francis Dominguez has totally transformed. A few years ago, Apartment Therapy featured his 365-square-foot studio apartment in Miami, and I was wowed by his ability to create so many different functional areas in one small space, especially after seeing what the space looked like before he updated it.

Shortly after his studio transformation published on Apartment Therapy, he was approached by a landlord of another studio apartment who was impressed with what he had done to the small space, and invited Francis to see a studio apartment he had available for rent. Though Francis truly loved the 365-square-foot cozy home he had carved out for himself, he was also excited about the challenge of fixing up another small one-room space.

When Francis first saw this studio apartment, he fell in love with the small four-unit building and its 1930s charm, but did not fall in love with the interior. Inside, not only did he see bold (but like, bad bold) colors and outdated light fixtures, he was also looking at an even SMALLER floor plan; this studio apartment is a mere 305 square feet.

“But the fact that this structure was built in the ’30s and that it had some of the original character, convinced me that this place had a lot of potential,” explains Francis. And thankfully the landlord of this unit was on board with letting Francis make some changes.

“First order of business was painting all the walls a neutral color, which I contrasted by painting the ceiling beams, some accent walls, doors, and window trims in a dark gray color.”

“After this, we replaced all the light fixtures throughout with a more simple and stylish option,” explains Francis.

“In the kitchen, we replaced all the cabinetry hardware with matte black knobs and I installed vinyl tile flooring in a buffalo check pattern, a DIY inspired by Ashley from @thegoldhive to cover the old and dirty looking ceramic tiles.”

“We took out the old closet and I designed a new one using the IKEA ELVARLI system, achieving better storage solution in this small space.”

“I also painted the wall behind the closet in the same dark gray color, making the new closet system stand out even more.”

“One of my favorite things in the unit is the mosaic tile in the bathroom floor, so the only changes we did here was replacing the vanity, sink, and faucet.”

“I also painted the two wall cabinets in an elegant yellow color and replaced the knobs for a more clean and updated look.”