Before & After: My Studio Apartment in Downtown Seattle
Confession time: I love my studio apartment more than I’ve loved any man.
We’re talking butterflies in the stomach, daydreaming about coming home to it, chatting with my girlfriends about it, introducing it to my parents with nervous pride… my little studio in Seattle is my one true love.
In February 2017, I moved into this dreamy studio of mine. Since then, I have been living my dream: to live by myself in my own apartment and to decorate the hell out of it. And even a year and half later, I’m not done yet.
Even though I don’t feel like I'll ever stop decorating (as I’m sure many of you know, it’s an addiction. And frankly, compulsive decorating is an addiction I’m uninterested in kicking), I do feel like my apartment is in a place where it is more or less “complete”.
In this post, I’m going to show you the before and after photos of my studio, which is my true love in my life. I swear, one of the many reasons why I’m not in a relationship right now is because I don’t want some guy to come in and and mess up my perfect living situation. ;-)
My love of this place stems not only from the hard work and money I’ve put into it, but from what it represents. This little studio of mine represents independence, years of dreaming of living on my own without roommates, and a decade of living away in New York and LA during which I never stopped missing my home: Seattle. My apartment is Seattle’s cool embrace welcoming me back to the city my heart never left. (Notice how I say cool embrace - something about saying “warm” in reference to Seattle just doesn’t seem right haha. If Seattle were to hug you, it would probably feel wonderfully cool.)
Well, let’s get this little tour started! If you’re moving into or are currently living in a studio apartment, I hope you’ll find some inspiration in these before and after photos of my place. I know first hand that styling a studio is no easy feat - due to the simple fact that everything needs to exist in one open space - and the way I dealt with it was by pouring over other people’s studio decor for guidance. I hope to prove a worthy guide to you, noble reader.
The main open space of my studio was the most difficult to figure out.
The biggest challenge was simply deciding where things should go. How on earth are you supposed to decide where to put a bed, a couch, a chair, etc. when there are no walls to tell you what to do?
With a studio, you have little to no architectural guidance tipping you off on where things should go. And on top of that, you have limited space. I'm telling you, figuring this out was like solving a math equation. Like some geometry type shit had to happen - lots of measurements and angles to consider, and I'm no good at math.
Something eventually occurred to me, though. The key was the couch. I decided to do something that counter-intuitive yet right: placing the couch in the middle of the space.
You placed a big couch in the middle of a small space??
Yes. That's what I did. And it ended up being the solution to the apartment's lack of walls. My couch acts as a kind of wall; it's a visual divider that separates the "living room" area from the "bedroom" area. And bonus: if I'm feeling really lazy after a long Netflix binge, I can get from my living room to my bed without my feet even touching the ground. I can just sloth on over from couch to bed. Living the dream, right?
The main takeaway here, aside from the major lazy girl goals I'm achieving, is that the key to making a studio work is to divide the space into "mini rooms" by using furniture to create separation in a space that is not naturally separated.
More Before & After Photos of Living Room/Bedroom
I'm not going to lie, compared to the main area of the studio, my work space section was kind of a breeze simply because it's a separate little nook area. My studio forms sort of a shape of an L, with the main area being the long part of the L and this nook area being the short part of the L.
There was a time when I was considering making this nook my bedroom space, but the idea of having my home office all up on my living room did not sound ideal. Who wants to mix their work space with their relaxation space? It just wouldn't have felt right.
Plus, I like that my bed and my couch serve as two large anchor pieces in the main open space of the studio; they're both strong focal points that define their respective room identities, while a desk area wouldn't have packed as much impact. It wouldn't have been able to compete visually with my living room area.
My kitchen was a pretty sad, boring place before I sank my teeth into it.
One thing it did have going for it was the fact that it was completely updated. So while it lacked personality in a model-homey sort of way, at least it wasn't old and dingy. It's a 1920's building, so an old, dingy kitchen was not far outside the realm of possibility.
Since it's such a tiny kitchen, all I could really do here was add some accessories, with which I continued the rustic vibe from the rest of the apartment.
One quick tip I have for decorating a small, windowless kitchen is, if you can, to use a piece of wall art that features outdoor scenery. The wall art I have here makes me feel like I have a window with a view of a forest in a kitchen that doesn't actually have any windows. It makes the space feel bigger and less claustrophobic.
Sadly, I don't have a before photo of my bathroom, but here's a little sliver what it looks like now. It's too tiny to get a good shot of the full thing, so this is all I have for you. I wanted to include a photo of my bathroom despite my lack of a before shot, because otherwise this post would just feel incomplete.
And so, I leave you with a glimpse of my little bathroom, in which I did something pretty out of character for me: I embraced the color pink.
So there you have it: the apartment that stole my heart. together since February 2017.
Do you have any good move-in tales to tell? Horror stories? Success stories? Share them in the comments!
Hey there! I’m Steffi, creator of Moda Misfit - a lifestyle blog that aims to inspire you to embrace who you are and express your creative self through decor, fashion, & music. We're all Moda Misfits here!