A 300-Square-Foot Studio Is a Cozy, Crafty, Kitschy, “Spinster” Pad

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(Image credit: Chelsea Del Rio)

Name: Chelsea Del Rio, and cats Cat Millett and Fannie Purrkins
Location: Sunnyside, NYC
Size: 300 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, renting

I share my apartment with my feline companions Cat Millett and Fannie Purrkins (named after queer women in history because that’s my thing). This home was a miracle. I had a month to relocate to New York for work and when I left the midwest in a moving van with at least a dozen plants, three cats, and everything else I own; I wasn’t sure I’d have an apartment when I arrived. On day two of the trip, while in a hotel room in New Jersey, I got word that I’d be able to move in upon arrival. I’ve never lived in a place this small but the cats and I adjusted surprisingly well. The plants, however, have struggled…

(Image credit: Chelsea Del Rio)

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Cozy, crafty, kitschy, spinster pad

(Image credit: Chelsea Del Rio)

What is your favorite room and why? Well, it’s pretty much just the one room! What made me fall in love with it were the windows that look out into a large courtyard. From spring to fall I am greeted with a wall of trees that help me relax into home and forget the frenetic energy of living in New York. That, and the kitchen island that offered way more space than any other apartment I saw. In grad school I started channeling anxiety into baking pies so I love the wide counter space for rolling out dough.

(Image credit: Chelsea Del Rio)

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? Space? I’d love it if there was just a little alcove or tiny room to tuck my bed away. That and better sun exposure. I love having houseplants throughout my home and it has been incredibly difficult keeping them healthy. I have good windows but being in the corner of a courtyard facing east, I just don’t get much direct light.

(Image credit: Chelsea Del Rio)

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I’ve been keeping an eye out for fiber art to hang in my kitchen when out the blue my cousin sent me this beautiful muted rainbow piece that fits the space over my sink perfectly.

(Also, books. Always lots of books.)

(Image credit: Chelsea Del Rio)

Any advice for creating a home you love? I don’t feel like I have a set, specific style so I suppose I’d say don’t feel beholden to any one aesthetic. I feel like as long as each item speaks to me it will come together organically. I also like to blend my interests throughout the home so that wherever I look I get a glimpse of my favorite things: feminism, queer lady history, books, plants, the kitties, the color orange.

(Image credit: Chelsea Del Rio)

Thanks, Chelsea Del Rio!

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