A Baker’s 250-Square-Foot Studio Celebrates Art, Women, and Creativity

published Jul 17, 2018

A Baker’s 250-Square-Foot Studio Celebrates Art, Women, and Creativity

published Jul 17, 2018
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Name: Krystal Mack
Location: Washington Hill — Baltimore, Maryland
Size: 250 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting

Krystal’s studio is peaceful, inviting, and full of inspiration. Cozy maximalism is the vibe. Everything holds meaning, and her belongings are arranged into what Krystal calls “moments”—be it a pair of pom-pom heels she wore on a special day in her career, or beer bottles she enjoyed with friends that now live on as bud vases. From the bromeliads on the bookshelf to the love letters to Baltimore, Krystal’s “eclectic comfort” shines as she continues to build meaningful connections through her food and life experiences.

Krystal is a baker, food professional, and owner of BLK//SUGAR bakery. Her home kitchen is her laboratory, where you can find bulk ingredients for her work and an array of culinary-themed art (including, among other things, an illustration of an epic battle between cake and pie. She is Team Pie). Krystal also collaborates regularly with local shop B. Willow to create arrangements based on the foods that she’s currently using in her kitchen. She features the pieces on her mantel, and then sprinkles the cuttings and stems throughout her home.

Living in a studio, Krystal has been intentional with her square footage, employing clever storage systems and making the most of every inch to showcase the things she values most. The first element guests comment on when they visit her home are the floor-to-ceiling gallery walls—and for good reason! A sweeping presence, Krystal created both in one day (with no level or ruler!) She encourages others living in small spaces to find ways to make their walls pop, as it makes the space more inviting.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic Comfort. I like to have one-off pieces or items with meaning in my home. Everything serves a dual purpose or has a special meaning to me.

Inspiration: I’m most inspired by the artists and creatives in Baltimore. Their work is really what make my home so special. My apartment totally wears its “heart” so to speak on its sleeve/walls.

Favorite Element: My mirrors are one of my favorite elements of my home. Since my studio is so small, I like to use mirrors to open up my space and bring in more light into my home.

Biggest Challenge: Storage. It’s hard as a business owner on a budget when you want to save money on storage and keep some things at home.

What Friends Say: My friends say my home is cozy. It’s great for just hanging out and perfect as a “crash pad full of inspiration.”

Biggest Embarrassment: I think my biggest embarrassment is that I don’t have a proper dining room table to entertain. I used to host pretty big dinner parties but now I can only entertain a few folks at a time. It actually has helped me be more discerning with who I allow into my personal space. I like to think that my small space has actually helped me grow in that regard.

Proudest DIY: My starburst mirror design on my fireplace as well as the gallery walls at the entryway and by my tea bar. I did the gallery walls in one whole day with no level or ruler! It has a collection of things from my travels as well as local art that really means a lot to me. The starburst mirror design on my mantel was a cute touch I randomly came up with on a trip to IKEA.

Biggest Indulgence: Plants! I love philodendrons and tropical plants! I like to get weekly stems from my local flower shop B.Willow. I like to let their floral designer Sara Ruberto know what I’m playing around with in the kitchen and then she comes up with the most amazing pieces of living art. It’s an indulgence but it brings me so much joy to see after a long day.

Best Advice: Your home should feel comforting and cozy. Don’t be afraid to make your walls pop in a small space. It makes it inviting.

Dream Sources: I’d love to buy a piece from an artist like Njideka Akunyili Crosby or Mickelene Thomas someday. Maybe a lightwork by Dan Flavin. A girl can dream.


Nina Collage — Katelyn Brown
Wicker Monkey — Cedar & Cotton
Digital Collage — Khadija Nia Adell
African Mask — Keepers Vintage

Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance) — Amy Sherald
Vintage Brighton Pavilion Chinoiserie Chinese Chippendale Chairs — Cedar & Cotton
Hive Tray — D.Patterson Design Studio
Floral Arrangement — B.Willow
Wicker Side Table — Cedar & Cotton
Cake Slice Sculpture — Alice Gadzinski
Cigarette Butt Sculpture — Alice Gadzinski

Dinner Plate — Tina Haines

Excalibur 9-tray Dehydrator — Excalibur
Curious Feast Postcards — Trohv
Lost In The Sauce Screenprint — Caleb Luke Lin
Guerilla Girls Tea Towel — Guerilla Girls
“Cake Vs. Pie” Illustration — Andrea Tsurumi

Organic Lavender Vetiver linen spray — Priya Means Love
Team Hawaii x Ikea Stunsig Duvet — IKEA

Murray & Lanman Florida Water Cologne New York — Walgreens
Bud Vase — Not Neutral
Bottle Vases Designed by Foekje Fleur van Duin — Middle Kingdom
“Pass Thru” and “This Day Tho” Ink Illustrations — Matt Freire

Thanks, Krystal!

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