Small Apartment, Big Style
It's official: I have managed to live in one place for longer than a year for the first time since I was 17.
Is this what adulting feels like?
In 2017, I moved into an attic studio apartment in downtown #HamOnt. That year brought a lot of change for me, and I needed to have some consistency in my life for the first time in what felt like forever. I knew that if I found the perfect place to live, I might be able to stabilize the rest of my life and get it together.
As much as I love the space, it really has taken me a lot of time and money to make it work. This apartment is much smaller than anywhere I've lived before. Finding ways to make it spacious, functional and stylish has proven to be more difficult than I anticipated...however, I feel like I can finally share with you some of my favourite parts of my home, and also give you some tips for making a small space more functional.
Because I live in a studio, I don't technically have a bedroom. My living space and bedroom are combined into one large room, so I had to be careful about how I styled my bedroom space. There's a lot of different ways to actually divide up the bedroom and living area so they do feel like separate spaces, but everything I tried I hated and wound up just opening the space back up into one room.
I tried to keep my bedroom as simple as possible. I have a bar cart that I use as a night stand because it doubles as extra storage and shelf space, and a bed with a vintage antique barn door headboard. I opted away from having a bed frame because I didn't want the bed to sit higher than the front window, so my bed actually sits directly on the floor. I bought the barn door with the original hardware from a farmer on Kijiji for $40, and then white washed it with Annie Sloan chalk paint. I opted for a plain white duvet set with just one accent pillow so I don't overload the space with patterns and colour.
My vanity is one of my favourite parts of my apartment. Ever since I became obsessed with makeup (2015) I have never wanted to live without a vanity. I used to have a large oversized vanity and mirror, but they didn't work in my smaller apartment. I opted for a small desk and mirror with custom LED lighting that I installed myself with inspiration and help from a family friend.
I hung wooden plank shelving beside the vanity as extra storage for my brushes, tools and excess makeup in order to clear up space on the actual vanity top. I also hung an accessory holder on the side to store my flatiron and blowdryer. This entire set up cost me under $100.
The Living Area
This space is still under construction (once I have more $$), but I've managed to make it fairly functional and spacious for the time being. I opted for a larger one-seater sofa that doubles as a pull-out bed and I recently ditched my full size area rug for a small tapestry runner because I couldn't keep up with cleaning all the fur from my 2 furry snuggle buddies. The tapestry runner is just large enough to fit under my vintage steamer trunk that I use as a coffee table. Once I get a skeleton key from a locksmith for the trunk, I'll be able to also use the trunk for extra storage too!
I also recently bought a blanket ladder from The Rustic Rose in #HamOnt for $40. I chose one that was a washed out red colour to stay true to my red, white, and blue decor theme - and I love it! My record player (*similar) sits on top of a storage unit that houses my PJ's and other small trinkets, white I use a storage crate that I stained a medium wash to hold my vinyl collection.
My living area also features a small electric fireplace I bought off of Kijiji for $20, as well as a polaroid mural and collection of plants and other things I've collected over the years. I also recently bought this hand-crafted Volkswagen Bus painting from a vendor during #ArtCrawl in the Summer.
Now I don't know if this space even qualifies as a full kitchen, but it seems to get the job done. I've managed to cook up some mean meals in this space and make it somewhat functional, even though the angled ceilings restrict my counter space by A LOT. I have to use a bit of open storage on the counter top because I don't have much space for dried goods, and I've used clear canisters and decorative containers to make the space feel a little more friendly. Even in the Kitchen, I tried to keep my rustic red, white and blue theme alive, and even found some adorable pirate kitten tea towels at Marshalls for $10!
The Home Office
I am SO PROUD of this amazing ladder desk find! Just as I was about to give up my online search and drop $200 on a desk, I managed to find a used ladder desk on Facebook marketplace for $20! Lucky for me, it was the perfect size for this space and I added this adorable grey sofa chair (that the cats have already destroyed) to make it extra cozy. Now I can work for hours in comfort without hurting my back sitting on a tiny stool at my breakfast bar.
I added some small trinkets to the shelves, and decorated the walls with a painting I made in highschool, and a black & white portrait of Marilyn Monroe that used to hang in my Dad's old office.
For a studio apartment, I actually have a fairly spacious washroom. I had to cut my toiletries down quite a bit to keep it clutter-free but I found this awesome tiny storage shelf at Ikea for $20, and it holds all of my towels and major toiletries I use daily. I tired to keep the colours in the washroom very light and airy, so the space feels even bigger since there is no window. I found this rustic wooden picture frame at Walmart and just typed up a saying on my computer and printed it to put into the frame. Art on a budget, amirite??
As for storage, I grabbed some mason jars from my Mum's collection and used the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to "pinterest-ize" them. I grabbed some cute blue faux fleurs from Dollarama and BAM! Photo worthy bathroom decor.
I've truly made this space my own, and I feel like every single item in it reflects my personality and style perfectly. Using new and old items, I think I've created an awesome mix of decor that is unique to me and I'm so happy to finally have somewhere that feels like a home. Of course, I'm always in the mood to re-decorate and change things up at time goes on, but I'm happier than I ever thought I would be in a studio apartment with two cats.
Sometimes you just gotta wait for the right place to come along, and be patient making it feel like home.