Happy Tuesday Everyone! I’ve decided that today’s post is going to focus on my top tips for living in a studio. A lot of people have been in touch with me recently who seem to be making the move to New York which is so exciting! I never ever thought I would end up living in a studio, so maybe this might help a few people out.
I’ve been living in a studio on the Upper East Side in Manhattan since the beginning on November 2015. Before you jump to any conclusions, it’s very bearable and not at all like something you would imagine. As in, our oven isn’t at the end of the bed, and we do have space to walk around freely! We got very lucky in terms of space and layout with our place. Our kitchen is completely separate from the rest of the room, and is totally out of sight – which I think is the most important aspect. We also have an unnecessarily big bath in our bathroom which I definitely feel could have been put to better use, but anyway!
My boyfriend and I moved in when we got here pretty soon after we got here, so needless to say, the fact that it was a studio apartment on top of everything else that goes along with emigrating was definitely a bit daunting. We’ve made the best of what we have though and haven’t killed each other yet so I definitely think that’s quite the achievement, haha! I really think that it’s all about the space your in and how you use it. I’m happy with what we’ve done with it so I definitely think that someone else could benefit from our advice. So here you go…Pick a color scheme – I’m the furthest thing from an interior designer, but I knew that spending a lot of time in a small space meant that the colors needed to and neutral and calm as possible. I initially wanted all-white-everythang, but had to compromise when Conor pointed out that he actually had to live there as well. We went with grey in the end which is very gender neutral I think! I initially panicked when I realized that everything we were buying (sheets, pillows, couch, cushions) was never going to all be the same color grey, but I remember Erika advising to just keep adding in lots of different tones, textures and a pattern here and there to mix it up, so we did just that!
Shop around – We decided on a fold out couch so that visitors could stay without too much hassle. I spent a solid hour trying to purchase one from Over Stock, but they kept rejecting my card for some reason. I copied and pasted the name of the couch style into Amazon, and the exact same model popped up for $30 cheaper! I was delighted with myself! So always, always, always try and get the best bang for your buck!
Keep it simple – In the beginning, I wanted either a divider wall, a bookshelf, or curtains to separate the bed from the rest of the room. In the end we went with none of the above. The simpler the better, to allow more light so you can create the illusion of more space. We don’t even have a bed frame, just a base, because it would look quite bulky, and we wanted to keep it really minimal. By we, I mean me, haha!
Build gradually – We started with a mattress and some cushions, then a rug and a bedside table. It’s only in the last few months that we completely finished off the studio. There’s no point in rushing anything, because you want it to be right, so don’t buy things for the sake of it. We got a few things like tables and shelves from neighbors who were moving out and in the end it worked out just fine!
Be crafty – We found a table on our street one day (there is no shame in taking what you see, everyone does it trust me!). It’s an unwritten rule that if you leave something out on your road, it’s up for grabs until it’s taken to the dump by the bin men. So anyway, we found a table and it was the ugliest brown color ever. To keep in line with our color scheme I spent a morning painting it white, and now it’s perfect. It really brightens up the room!
Smart storage – Investing in some clever storage, or just being smart about where you put everything is so essential. I got the best invention ever from The Container Store when we first moved in, and I haven’t looked back! This storage box also doubles up as a seat, and I am obsessed! Couldn’t recommend it more.
Be tidy – I feel like our apartment looks like a bomb went off if I leave a single sock on the ground. Keeping it as clean and tidy as possible is absolutely essential to make the small space bearable.
Clearouts – You wouldn’t believe how much you can accumulate in one year! I arrived with two suitcases, and Conor only had one. I swear though, our apartment is bursting at the seams sometimes with just general crap. You need to be so cut throat to make space for what you love, so regular clear-outs are mandatory!
So there you have it! If you liked this post I would love to know. Also, feel free to get out my Pinterest board which I filled with ideas that I loved when we moved in!
See you on Thursday for another #ThursdayTreats post! Apologies for missing the last one, sometimes life gets in the way of blog posts! 🙂