It’s Incredible How Much Storage (and Style) Fits in This 296-Square-Foot Brooklyn Studio Apartment

updated May 28, 2020

It’s Incredible How Much Storage (and Style) Fits in This 296-Square-Foot Brooklyn Studio Apartment

updated May 28, 2020
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Style
Bedrooms
Square feet
296
Sq ft
296

Name: Kim White
Location: Bedford–Stuyvesant — Brooklyn, NYC
Size: 296 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

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New York-based makeup artist and stylist Kim White wasn’t expecting to live in this 296-square-foot studio apartment for very long. She found the Brooklyn space two years ago when going through a rough patch with an ex. “It was tiny and filled with so many trash bags from the last tenant that you couldn’t move around,” she explains. “I decided to take it because I was exhausted and I thought it would be a great place to put on Airbnb when my boyfriend and I got back together.” The rough patch turned out to be a breakup, and two years later Kim has absolutely transformed this tiny space into a stunning home full of style and great small-space ideas.

Even though it’s a rental apartment, she has invested money and energy on many projects to make the space more efficient and comfortable. “Before I moved in I knew that every inch of the place needed purpose, so I outfitted the kitchen with basic IKEA cabinets up to the ceiling to store kitchenwares as well as other less-used items that I needed to store,” she describes. “I found a roll of gold contact paper at Canal Plastics that I decided to cover the cabinets in to bounce light around the room. During the planning process, I was lucky to find a free IKEA PAX unit as well as a Murphy bed on Craigslist, both of which were a godsend and make the space incredibly functional.”

Credit: Andrew Bui

Along with being smart and practical, many of her home projects were also very budget-friendly. “I found a TV stand for $15 at IKEA in their scratch and dent area, and was inspired to build a channeled banquette based off of a headboard I’d seen on Emily Henderson’s site (yay, more storage),” writes Kim. “I’m a makeup artist and those two drawers in the banquette are home to lots of product!”

Credit: Andrew Bui

Of course, Kim’s home is more than just a place to store things. This little apartment has been a place of healing and growth for her. “Honestly I think the size of the apartment forced me to deal with myself. It’s so small that chores don’t take long and I don’t get sidetracked piddling around the house. It’s been a nest of sorts and I love looking back at the before and after pictures; they symbolize the rebuilding process that I experienced in the unit and within.”

Credit: Andrew Bui

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Cozy nester.

Inspiration: Hip hotels.

Favorite Element: l love taking long hot baths so the vintage oversized cast iron clawfoot tub is the place that I go to unwind and recharge. I spend hours in that tub, watching movies, eating meals, and turning into a prune.

Credit: Andrew Bui

Biggest Challenge: One of the biggest challenges was bringing in enough storage without making the space feel like a tiny cave. I made sure to hang all of my storage options all the way to the ceiling and by using gold reflective contact paper and mirrors, I was able to bounce warm light around the space and create a sense of depth.  

Proudest DIY: I’m very happy with the way my banquette turned out. Seating and storage that looks chic—hooray!!  

Credit: Andrew Bui

Biggest Indulgence: Remodeling the kitchen in a rental was a pretty big indulgence, but the amount of storage that I gained really makes a huge difference in how I live in the space.  

Best Advice: Since I live in a studio, I like changing the mood  in the space by switching the art on my Samsung Frame TV, changing the fragrance in my diffuser, or adding seasonal decorations here and there—each of those things take minimal effort but create a different vibe around the apartment.

Resources

Credit: Andrew Bui

PAINT & COLORS

  • Sherwin-Williams — Worldly Gray
  • Benjamin Moore — Soot
Credit: Andrew Bui

LIVING ROOM

  • Nightscape rug — West Elm
  • Mirrors — Facebook Marketplace
Credit: Andrew Bui

DINING ROOM

  • Besta TV unit with drawers hacked — IKEA
  • Pub table — Wayfair
Credit: Andrew Bui

KITCHEN

Credit: Andrew Bui

BEDROOM

Credit: Andrew Bui

BATHROOM

Thanks Kim! You can check out Kim on Youtube.

Correction – Tour has been updated to include resource for living room mirror.