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When I had to move to California for a job, I went on a short house hunting trip before moving. With limited time, I stopped into a real estate office to see if they could give me any leads.
After I explained what I was looking for, and my price range, the agent told me, “You’re not gonna find anything, honey.”
You’re not gonna find anything, honey.
The very next day, I found a landlord who was in the process of fixing up a studio apartment, just steps from the beach. It was small, but I could afford the rent. Perfect.
Here’s how I turned that little space into a home.
Studio Apartment Transformation
This is what my little apartment at the beach looked like when I first saw it:
Standing in the front entrance, this is the eating area / living area. Behind the room divider is the sleeping area. To the left is the kitchen.
It has potential, right?
Someone who loves to cook might be turned off by this space. But since I don’t love to cook, this was the perfect size for me.
And this is the whole sleeping space. Tiny. Wait, cozy.
In order to plan for my move, I took pictures of the whole apartment after I had signed the rental agreement. I wanted to use furniture pieces I already owned as much as possible, so planning out how it would all fit in the space was an important step.
Making the Most of the Space
And here’s what it looked like after I moved in:
I placed the couch up against the room divider, keeping as much open floor space as possible. Bins on top of the room divider / wardrobe were great for extra storage.
The tall wood cabinet on the left was one of the two special pieces of furniture I bought for the space. This computer armoire became my tiny office, and entertainment center. There’s a computer and a TV hiding in there! I’ll show you how I did it one day.
The dining table I brought with me was fairly slim, so it fit nicely against the wall. It had a hidden leaf, and could be pulled out from the wall for dinner parties. Extra chairs seemed to be everywhere, but they were out of the way tucked under the breakfast bar.
With room for a microwave and toaster oven, what more do you need in a kitchen?
There wasn’t a lot of drawer space, so some of my larger utensils lived in a jar on the counter.
In the sleeping area, this twin size captain’s bed was the other piece of furniture that I bought for this apartment. It was really all that would fit back in that little cubby.
The drawers under the bed were perfect for storing clothes. Since the landlord used a wardrobe as the room divider, there was a little more space for hanging clothes, and storing shoes. This was a brilliant way to create functional space, if you ever need an idea.
Check out some of my closet organizing tips to make the most of your small spaces.
Don’t Forget Outdoor Living
And, just because I love making places homey, I even added a touch of personality to the front and back patios, too. This gave me a little extra living space, when the weather was nice.
Download your free copy of our Outdoor Living Idea Guide for tips on how to get more use out of your yard.
So, that’s how I made the most use of a small living space. Hopefully you found some useful ideas or inspiration.
I only lived in this apartment for about a year before moving for a different job, but it was a lovely little space. I always wanted to go back and find that real estate agent, and tell her, “Well, I actually found the perfect place, honey.”
Home is where you make it.