This Designer Uses Color to Create Distinct Areas in Her 415-Square-Foot Studio
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Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Size: 415 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year
When Abigail moved into her tiny Bay Area apartment, she realized that creating distinct spaces in one open room would be most difficult. Up for the challenge, Abigail took a colorful approach, using her furniture and accessories to give each “room” its own character.
“My ‘living room’ has gray and gold furniture, while my ‘bedroom’ has pink and white furniture,” says Abigail, who shares her favorite decor tips on her Instagram. “I have accents of both colors throughout my studio to create cohesion, and because the color of my furniture contrasts, it’s easy to see where my living room ends and my bedroom begins.”
This is just one of many #smallspaceliving tips found in Abigail’s glam-on-a-budget apartment. Another favorite tip she shares is to use beautifully packaged fragrance bottles as a decor. In Abigail’s studio, they adorn bar carts, coffee tables, and wall shelves. Her collection of perfumes has grown so large she asks her guests to take home a bottle as a gift!
“I love my studio’s floor plan. I get to be creative with space and design — I love finding ways to glam up my apartment on a budget!” Abigail says. “I’m always looking for different tips to share with people who are struggling to decorate their studio apartment.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: It’s totally a mix. I draw inspiration from boho, contemporary, glam, farmhouse design styles.
Inspiration: I follow so many beautiful home decor accounts on Instagram and draw inspiration from them. One of my all-time favorite accounts is @celeste.escarcega. I also draw a lot of inspiration from shopping at World Market. God’s also blessed me with some inherent creativity when it comes to home decor, so when I’m out shopping sometimes ideas just pop in my head!
Favorite Element: I absolutely love my color scheme. I have an adorable pink velvet bed from Urban Outfitters. At first, I thought having pink statement furniture would make my apartment feel too juvenile, but paired with a gray retro couch, and accents of gold, white, and forest green, my apartment still feels chic and sophisticated!
Biggest Challenge: One of the challenges with studio apartments is figuring out how to create distinct spaces in one open room. A common way to do this is to use room dividers (bookshelves, curtains, etc). I considered this, but decided against it because I thought it may actually make my space look smaller. A more subtle way to do this is to define each space with color. I did this specifically with the color of my furniture. My “living room” has gray and gold furniture, while my “bedroom” has pink and white furniture. I have accents of both colors throughout my studio to create cohesion, and because the color of my furniture contrasts, it’s easy to see where my living room ends and my bedroom begins.
Proudest DIY: Hiding my TV cord using a plant was an accidental DIY that I shared on @kutfromkente and everyone loved! Random, but so good!
Biggest Indulgence: My pink velvet bed frame was my biggest expense, but it was totally worth it. After that, my couch — it’s super cute, but not the most cozy couch in the world. I’ve added a few pillows to help with that!
Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? I was very intentional about every inch of space. I was able to maximize all 415 square feet and create an entryway, living room, dining room, bar, bedroom, and office out of my tiny space!
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? I love the aesthetic bar carts bring to a space. They are typically not cheap (unless thrifted), which is why I was real hype when I found one at World Market for $40! It perfectly fit an empty space I had opposite of my dining table. I love that it has wheels because I can move it around.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Maximize your space by using wall shelves! If you live in a studio apartment you know maximizing your space is key. One easy way to do that is to use your wall space. To maximize my living room space I decided to go with a larger coffee table and to mount my TV on the wall. To eliminate the need for a TV stand I added a cute marble shelf with gold brackets underneath my TV. I’m obsessed! I use this shelf as a way to break up the space in my living room, and as a home for my remote (so I don’t lose it), and as an additional place for decor.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? My favorite @kutfromkente tip has to be using everyday items like beauty and fragrance products as decor. I always pick up candles that can be reused as decor once the wax runs out. There are multiple empty candle holders in my apartment lol! Fragrances and oils always have the best packaging and add a cute touch to any space.
- Bench — Marshalls
- Rug — Urban Outfitters
- Macrame wall hanging — Urban Outfitters
- Hats — H&M
- Plant — Marshalls
- Couch — World Market
- Pillows — World Market & Busa Designs
- Throw blanket — World Market
- Coffee table — Wayfair
- Mirror — Homegoods
- Floor pillows — World Market
- Shelf & brackets — World Market
- TV — Best Buy
- Marble tray — World Market
- Coasters — Anthropologie
- Candle — Anthropologie
- Diffuser — Anthropologie
- Vases — Anthropologie & Wayfair
- Basket — World Market
- Lamp — TJ Maxx
- Dried plant — Anthropologie
- Rug — Homegoods
- Chairs — World Market
- Rug — Ruggable
- Table — Wayfair
- Bowl — Anthropologie
- Vase — World Market
- Placemat — World Market
- Bar cart — World Market
- Globe — Marshalls
- Vase — Ross
- Marble trays — Ross
- Candle — Anthropologie
- Bed — Urban Outfitters
- Bedding — Marshalls
- Gold pillow — Anthropologie
- Gold throw blanket — Nordstrom
- Desk — Wayfair
- Desk Chair — Amazon
- Shelf — Marshalls
- Vase — World Market
- Pampas grass — World Market
This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.
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