A Super Small & Cozy Santa Cruz Studio

updated Apr 30, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Square feet
Sq ft
Post Image
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Name: Robyn Kleffman, John Morley and their dog Daisy
Location: Seabright — Santa Cruz, California
Size: 350 square feet
Years lived in: Rented 6 months

House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

If John could have it his way, he’d fill his home with comfy La-Z-Boy furniture, but Robyn has completely different tastes, citing Consort, Coup D-Etat, DWR, and Anna Karlin as some of her dream sources. The end result of their tiny Santa Cruz studio is simple and comfortable, with family heirlooms and modern furniture that works for the small space.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Robyn and John moved into the studio just five months ago, and while it’s a work in progress, the couple made sure to find functional furniture that will give them plenty of space to relax and also share the home with Daisy, their Malinois and Catahoula mix dog. It helps that the couple also has the entire yard for Daisy and their five chickens to roam.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Upon move-in, the couple spent time planning the layout of the studio, keeping function and scale in mind. They measured every wall and nook to determine which furniture to keep and get rid of, and while it can be a challenge to find the perfect piece, they’ve finally created a functional yet beautiful space they can call home.

Get the look! → Functional, Simple, & Comfortable

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: John: simplistic, natural and comfortable
Robyn: an eclectic mix of mid-century, vintage, bohemian, and nature-inspired elements.

Inspiration: John: utility and comfort
Robyn: I’m constantly in awe of the colors and materials that I discover in nature and they drive a lot of my design decisions. I’m also a huge fan of fashion photography (particularly Arthur Elgort) and the shapes created through architecture (particularly the work of Frank Gehry). Designers Nate Berkus, Jessica Helgerson, Rees Roberts, and Steven Harris are incredibly inspirational!

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Favorite Element: The abundance of natural light from all of the windows and the sliding glass door make the space feel bright and cheerful while creating an indoor-outdoor feel. The huge yard that we share with the girls in the front house is perfect for Daisy to play and the five chickens to roam.

Biggest Challenge: John: It was difficult to find comfortable furniture that also fits into the space. We are still looking for a more comfortable sofa.; Robyn: Sharing a small closet space was difficult at the beginning so I had to get rid of some clothes so that both of our clothes would fit. I still take up more than half of the closet but it’s much more manageable. I’m learning to live with less and actually really loving it!

What Friends Say: “It’s a lot bigger inside than it seems from the outside.” or “The kitchen is amazing!”

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Biggest Embarrassment: We are very happy with our studio but if we could change one thing we would create more headroom in the sleeping loft. With the 12″ mattress we only have 2′ of vertical space to sleep.

Proudest DIY: John planted a variety of produce in the planter beds that we pick from daily to cook with.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Biggest Indulgence: I (Robyn) purchased a replica of the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chair at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire for $300 a few years ago that I couldn’t pass up. It was basically brand new and it’s one of my all-time favorite chair designs!

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Best Advice: John: Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s all small stuff.
Robyn: In a space this small, function and scale is key. We measured the space and created a furniture layout based on the items we owned to determine what furniture pieces to keep, get rid of and replace.

Dream Sources: John: La-Z-Boy
Robyn: Consort, Coup D-Etat, DWR, Anna Karlin

Get the look! → Functional, Simple, & Comfortable

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)
1 / 27
Robyn and John have lived in their tiny Santa Cruz studio for just five months. (Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Thanks, Robyn & John!

Share Your Style:

See More:
⇒ Recent House Tours
House Tours on Pinterest