My childhood friend from Michigan is excited to move to New York. Her rental budget can maaaaaaybe stretch to a one-bedroom place, but she will likely end up in a studio. “Will it feel claustrophobic?” she wondered. “Can I make it feel like a home?” So, I’m curious, have you ever lived in a studio? Here are six tips from past home tours…
Photos of Kara’s apartment by Lena Corwin
“During parties, when people sit down on my bed, I’m such a wet blanket,” laughs Kara, who lives in San Francisco. “I’m like, ‘No no no no no don’t sit on the bed! Come and I’ll make you a drink!’ I try to couch it in something sweet, not just neurotic.”
Photo of Hollister and Porter’s apartment by Julia Robbs
“When we first moved in, we painted all the walls black, then baby blue, then white, and now pink,” says Hollister, who shared this Williamsburg loft with her sister, Porter. “Pink is warm and makes your skin glow-y. It’s nice to feel pretty against a wall.
Photo of Stella’s apartment by Julia Robbs
“Since my apartment is so small — only 175 square feet — I usually just call it my ‘room,'” says Stella, who lived in this studio a few years ago. “My boyfriend stays for weeks at a time. We laugh that it’s the ultimate test of a relationship to go from long-distance dating to being 12 feet away from each other at all times. Our first fight here was over whether we had enough space to get a printer! But mostly it feels like an adventure — even if that means streaming Bravo shows from an empty bathtub for alone time.”
Photo of Chelsea and Ryan’s apartment by Nikole Herriott and Michael Graydon
“A thrifted mirror makes the dining area brighter,” says Chelsea, who shared this Toronto studio with her husband. “The frame was originally gold and gaudy, but we painted it white to feel more modern.”
Photo of Emily’s apartment by Alpha Smoot
“There’s no real physical separation between the bed and living room,” points out Emily, who shares in a Brooklyn studio with her dog. “So, I make sure to be on the bed only when I’m in pajamas and ready to sleep, so I get mental separation and don’t feel like I live on my bed.”
Photo of David’s apartment by Stephen Kent Johnson
“I enjoy living by myself,” says David, who lives in Manhattan. “I’m solitary to a certain extent, and my life is a habit. I like doing the dishes when I get out of the shower, while I’m drying. I recommend this to anyone who lives on one floor. You drip dry, you’re getting something done, you’re starting your morning. To me, it seems very logical.”
Thoughts? Do you — or would you — live in a studio apartment? What advice would you give? Plus, at the end of the day, says Stella, “the best part of living in New York is living in New York. You walk out the door and there you are — the skyline, dollar pizza and sometimes a jogging Ethan Hawke. It’s the greatest backyard ever.”
P.S. More home tours, and 15 genius tips for living in a small space.