This Renter Skipped the One Piece of Furniture You’d Never Think to Live Without

published Nov 13, 2022
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Ainsley Fleetwood Chicago House Tour - Living Room

Furnishing a studio apartment requires creativity. When you have one room to squeeze your living, dining, sleeping, and cooking quarters into — not to mention exercise, hobbies, and work — things don’t always play out like you might imagine. What you see most often with a studio is a “bedroom” separated from the rest of the space by some kind of room divider (shoutout to the trusty KALLAX unit!). That said, some floor plans don’t even allow for this kind of configuration. Take Ainsley Fleetwood’s Chicago studio, for example, which has an odd layout.

“In first talking with someone from the management company, the studio’s shape seemed delivered as almost a disclaimer or warning when mentioned on the phone,” Fleetwood says. That’s because the building runs along a diagonal alley, so the apartment is shaped like a triangle, with the narrowest point being only three feet wide.

Credit: Ainsley Fleetwood

Instead of opting for a more common studio configuration (since her space is anything but common), Fleetwood actually traded a bed and a loveseat for two larger sleeper sofas in her main living area. At first, the photos of her space were a little confusing — did she have a bedroom that wasn’t visible in the house tour? After careful scrolling through, it became evident that Fleetwood cleverly maximized her space by creating two sleeping areas disguised as living quarters, which both serve as seating as well as beds. “Multi-use furniture comes in handy,” she says, “I parted with an antique pea green, velvet loveseat for a loveseat that would convert into another sleeping space for myself or guests.”

Fleetwood’s non-traditional decision paid off, because the small, 460-square-foot apartment feels larger and airier without a bulky bed clogging up the narrow space. Plus, now she has two different places to live, lounge, and entertain in inside a space that would otherwise prove difficult to host guests. In the end, Fleetwood says she’s “amused by the triangular shape of the apartment,” adding that “the shape also offers a lot of length for ease of designating separate areas in such a small space.” Moral of the story? If you have a long, narrow place, and you’re okay with sleeping on a smaller twin or pull-out mattress every night, your home might be better served by skipping a big bed and opting for a sleeper loveseat or daybed sofa instead.