Ok, so in my last blog post I wrote about how I first realized home is my happy place in my childhood bedroom, and today I’m sharing about my first apartment in my 20’s and how I made it a home despite the small size.   It was a studio apartment that was about 450 sq ft, and I was able to define 4 separate functional areas in the space.  I’ll share tips on how you can do this too.

So the only place with an actual door in this apartment was the bathroom, which was immediately to the right when I entered through the outside door.  Just after that on the right was a small kitchenette area and then everything to the left was just a long rectangular room.   Check out my drawing below – pardon my elementary drawing skills; an architect I am not …

The different flooring from the bathroom/kitchenette areas was the first (and easiest) way to distinguish areas in this space, so let’s count those as the 1st area of 4.   If you have a small space and want to separate functional areas, you can do so by using a rug, or different type of flooring.   In this case there was a small area with tile and then carpet for the rest of the apartment.

The next 2 areas were the dining and living spaces, and I defined each area with specific furniture placement.   As you can see in my lovely illustration, I set the sofa, loveseat, coffee table, and media console in a manner that defined that space as the “living room.”   I did the same with the dining table and chairs.  While they were in the same area as the living room, they had their definitive space and it was clear that the area was made for dining.   Perhaps I was ahead of the times with the “open concept” trend that we’ve loved in homes for several years now!

Where the heck did I sleep, you ask?   Well, one of the things I did to separate my sleeping area from the living area was, again, to utilize furniture to separate and define the areas.  I mentioned before that I had a media console (aka entertainment center) in the living area.  It was pretty tall, so it acted as a separator between the areas.  But nope, I didn’t stop there – I put my dresser with mirror back-to back with the media console unit to definitely divide the spaces.   Lastly I put my bed against the end of the room in the corner and voila, a bedroom was created!    The best part was that it gave my bedroom some privacy for the days I didn’t feel like making my bed – we’ve all had those days, right?

I only lived in this apartment for about a year, but have so many fond memories of having family visit, and hosting cook-outs on the back patio with co-workers and friends.   Once again, I created a space that was perfect for “me” and I loved it.

So I’ll wrap up to say that whether living in a studio apartment or very small home, or trying to sell either, you can use furniture, rugs, and other ideas to define different functional areas.  I mentioned using a media console unit, and a dresser, but another idea is to use tall bookshelves.   I’ve copied below a picture of an example I saw online (not my work) with a tall armoire dividing the space that I thought was a great example.

(photo credit: vtwonen)

Please comment or contact me if I can help with your home dwelling or selling opportunities:   Jeanne@graciouslysimple.com or (770) 366-2408.

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