A Studio-Dwelling Designer Shares 3 Key Pieces of Advice

Living in a studio apartment may seem like a challenge for a design enthusiast. There’s only so much room for furniture and accessories, and redecorating can be a bit tricky when you have limited space to change. But Washington, DC based home influencer Imani Keal doesn’t let a lack of square footage cramp her style by any means. In fact, the creative behind Imani at Home says that living in a small studio (see her house tour here!) has prompted her to think outside the box. “The best part of living in a small space is realizing the lack of square footage is an opportunity to be more creative, not an excuse to have a boring apartment,” Keal shares.

Pay attention to the layout

Keal advises those shopping for a studio to prioritize “a good layout and maximizing storage.” Keal adds, “My studio apartment is great because my galley kitchen and dining nook are separate from the ‘sleeping area,’ providing that much-needed separation.” Likewise, look for a place with ample closet space, kitchen cabinets, and other built-in storage that can make studio living easier.

And when Keal suggests going all out, she really means all out. A major proponent of mixing patterns, she says, “When you live in a small space, many people think you have to keep everything simple, or things will clash, but I have to disagree. I mixed peel-and-stick zebra wallpaper with pink marble and added in a vintage rug for a bit of razzle-dazzle, and it looks fantastic.”

Invest in storage solutions

Keal notes that there are plenty of ways to make a bold impact in a space design-wise while still prioritizing function. “As a maximalist, I balk at those ‘One in, one out’ rules,” she says. So Keal has had to make adequate storage space a priority. She’s done so by “utilizing the space under the couch, making smart furniture choices like having a china cabinet to display my glassware collection, and using a slim storage unit in my entryway.”

Some final words of wisdom from this proud studio dweller? “Go all out,” Keal reiterates. “Go crazy. Have fun!”

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