Are you struggling to organise your rented studio flat? Looking for studio apartment design tips that could save you money? I feel you.
When me and my boyfriend Rick decided to attempt living in a 22sqm studio flat in North London, I thought it would be the perfect occasion to test my ability to design a really small space. And I was pretty confident that, being a professional interior architect, it would be pretty easy. It wasn't.
Let me tell you: small spaces on a budget are a lot more complicated than big luxurious flats. Simply because you don't have that much design freedom. You might actually have no freedom at all in some cases.
It's been quite a challenge, but I discovered a 5 easy steps formula that you can also follow. Your rented studio flat will feel bigger and super functional. The secret is to plan everything in advance and make a shopping list.
In this post I'm going to share my own shopping list, which includes all the essentials a home needs, with style.
I always say that my first approach to designing anything is to start with the layout. In this initial phase, you need to look carefully at the new home and see whether the furniture that is provided is suitable.
But you also have to look at your existing situation: is there anything you would like to improve? Are there objects you could re-use in the new flat?
I suggest you do a massive decluttering: as Marie Kondo teaches, you'll most likely get more clear about your personality and the lifestyle you desire.
In our situation, the flat came with basic furniture: a double bed with a brand-new mattress, a double wardrobe (no drawers!), a faux-leather small sofa (which was in bad shape) and a square dining table. The kitchen had an old electric oven, fridge, and no hobs.
The best way to solve these issues is to first be very clear with the agent or landlord about your requirements.
I asked for new electric hobs, the possibility to replace the sofa and dining table, and the freedom to drill stuff on the walls (providing I would cover the holes when I leave).
Once the above was sorted I could get on with my design.
It wasn't easy, but after spending a couple of hours on my laptop, I managed to draw the perfect layout. And we are finding it quite comfortable so far.
Below you can see the solution I came up with. Hope you find it useful!
*Extra tip: Buy neutral furniture that you could easily bring to a new home or sell in the future. Get colour through accessories*
Multipurpose furniture is literally saving us! That and the fact that our kitchen is in a separate room, which is an upgrade from a traditional studio flat.
We added a folding table with folding chairs in the kitchen so that we could potentially work in two separate rooms. Or we could even have a meal in the kitchen if the desk is too busy with papers and laptops. Also, the little table provides more available surface while cooking, which doesn't hurt in such a small kitchen. Finally, the chairs can be moved to the main room when we have guests for dinner (there are four in total). The table is from Habitat (like the chairs): AIRO, HABITAT - Metal 2 seat folding dining table, Black - £40
On the other hand, the small sofa bed allows us to host overnight guests.
Below you can see the accessories I chose. If you like the look of them, feel free to use the list as a reference for your own shopping.
*Please consider that I didn't have to buy all these. When I say that I spent £500 is because I had already bought some of them in the past (some were second-hand) or they were given as gifts. I assume that you as well won't need to buy everything, so I'm confident that the £500 budget will suit most of you.
Did you notice that I haven't talked about tea towels? Those were not in my priority list because we already had some (which I didn't like but they were still in good condition and not worth replacing). A week later a friend gave me some tea towels as a birthday gift!
She wasn't told, she just guessed. That was the Universe, wanting me to have some beautiful towels as I desired. Also, when I was Elisabetta's plus one at the Amara Interior Blog Awards (remember? Italianbark won!), I was given a massive goodie bag. Guess what I found in there? A Missoni tea towel!
If that wasn't enough, this week the old (rusty and dirty) electric oven got broken all of a sudden. Now it needs replacing and the landlord will buy a new one. I'm so looking forward to receiving it.
This stuff works, or at least it's worth a try. Manifest what you want (but it's not in the 'must-have' list) and see what the Universe gives you. Good luck!
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