This $1,300 Studio Apartment Makeover Was Done in Just 3 Days

published May 3, 2024
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When you move into a new apartment, you might have a design vision for exactly how you want the place to look. Other times, you might have to ask a friend or a pro for advice on how to arrange things. 

Lucky for studio renter Trevor, his friend was both: Designer, DIYer, and vlogger Drew Michael Scott (@lonefoxhome) helped Trevor redesign his tiny 290-square-foot studio apartment. 

“The apartment was already painted white when Trevor moved in, and while I could have painted it another color, I liked that it was a blank slate where the art and unique furnishings could really shine,” Drew explains. “The beams and the window were the only original details, and while they were beautiful, they didn’t provide much of a starting point.” He was also particularly bothered by the too-short curtains that made the room feel shorter.

Drew notes that this was Trevor’s first apartment living alone, so his furniture was mismatched hand-me-downs that served function over form. Trevor and Drew sold some of the old pieces to make room for new ones.

The furniture is a mix of old and new.

The goal was to make the space feel more sophisticated on a shoestring budget, and this involved a lot of hunting on Facebook Marketplace. Drew found plenty of deals on secondhand furniture, including two burnt orange leather couches for $600, a petite curved coffee table for $80, a mid-century modern dresser for $300, and the unique floor lamp for $125. 

In fact, Drew says the only items that were purchased new for the space were the orange IKEA lamp, the red IKEA lamp, and some $25 IKEA curtains that are the appropriate length. The pendant helps create a distinct zone in the studio, as do some of the other furniture finds and DIYs in the space. 

 Striped fabric gives secondhand chairs a new lease on life. 

In addition to the pop-of-color pendant in the dining area, there’s a bistro table from World Market (bought secondhand) and vintage mid-century modern wooden chairs. 

Drew reupholstered the dining chairs (found on Facebook Marketplace for $90 apiece) with striped velvet fabric to make them feel new for Trevor. 

The wavy headboard DIY is the star of the show.

Drew also used fabric, plywood, batting, and an electric saw to make a headboard for a Facebook Marketplace-found bed frame. “I cut [the plywood] down to a queen-size headboard shape and created a wavy edge along the top of it,” he explains in an Instagram post that shows the DIY process. “I used some batting and some fabric that I got from the fabric store to reupholster the front of it.”

Overall, the pair are extremely happy with the design transformation. Drew says there were a “million different directions” he could’ve taken with the makeover, thanks to the basic white design that it started out with. 

“If I were to do it all over again, I’d probably try something new just because I can,” Drew says. “But I absolutely love how it came out, and I don’t think I would change a thing.” In total, the redo cost about $1,300 and took just three days — but the impact was enormous.