Apartment Musings

So, I'm thinking about moving to a new place. And, as I tend to do, I got very excited and fixated on this new opportunity. So, I'm going to take an aside from sewing today to explore my newest housing option. I went and viewed the first apartment today and, without even hearing back from the landlord, I may have left my current landlord a voicemail giving my 30 days notice--without having a new place lined up yet.

What follows are my obsessive decorating thoughts from most of an afternoon and the entire evening of thinking on the subject.

current tenant's layout
Now, this place has several pros and cons. 

Pros: affordable rent; amazing location near park, restaurants and public transportation; hardwood floors; large walk-in closet; linen closet; shares only one wall with neighbor with a closet in between to shield the noise.

Cons: not very big layout; small kitchen (not much counter space AT ALL); electric stove; no dishwasher/garbage disposal (let's be real, I'm used to that); lots of doorways that make arranging furniture hard.

All in all it's got most of the features that I want in a great location for a great price, but is not much bigger than my current space and has no counter-space in the kitchen.

In order to help me think about whether this place will work for me or not, I started to play with layouts. I think my challenge overall is that I'm trying to fit essentially three living spaces into one studio apartment: a bedroom space, a living space, and a studio space for sewing (I seem to have given up on having an eating space).

In terms of layout, I want the living space to hit you right as you walk in, with the bed hidden from view. My current apartment manages to hide the bed from immediate view, but doesn't present you with that cute living room vignette (aka usable living room space). You can make your own layout at HomeStyler.com

Here are some ideas:

1) With this layout, the door opens to the living area, a curtain or furniture piece hiding the bed from view. I like the idea of having a projector set up to project television onto the curtain dividing the bed from the room. My studio flanks the far wall with a long, thin table. A second chair is kept at the far end near the kitchen so the studio table can also be used for dining. With this layout, however, I worry that the room might not be wide enough to include a bed and a sewing table, so I also included a modified version:

2) My next idea I'm calling the artist's layout, because the first thing you will see when you walk in the door is my sewing studio (inspiration photo from Apartment Therapy). The couch is to the right of the front door up against the bed, again with a curtain dividing the two pieces of furniture and hiding the bed from view (couch picture from The High Heeled Hostess). In this design, the whole entry way can be used as the living area. You would be able to use a projector to project onto the wall across from the couch.

4) No matter how I play with it, the bed always seems to end up in the same place. The next one I'm calling the flow layout because the angling of the furniture opens up the room. You again see the living room when you come in, with the studio set off to the right and the bed hidden from view by the curtain. Inspiration comes from (clockwise from top right): Apartment Therapy, Apartment Therapy, and We Love Domino.

5) This next one is a bit radical, but definitely a new way to arrange furniture. In this view, everything is in the middle of the room: the bed, the couch, the studio table. It does waste a lot of space with hallways though. You can read more about the inspiration here.

6) If I eliminate my burning desire to hide the bed and just admit that I live in a studio, I get inspired by Rashida Jones's NYC studio. If I liked her before, I am now totally inspired that she still lives in a studio.

7) Again keeping the bed in sight, this one is a flip from my current set-up. I like it because the couch is near the kitchen, which might encourage more eating than fabric obsessing. Inspiration comes from Apartment Therapy and Free Home Decorating Ideas.

8) OK, last one for now, I promise! I used to have my sewing room in my living room, so why not do that again now? In this layout, the couch is adjacent to the sewing table, and the bed gets its own separate space in the back. The advantage to this layout is that you can get out of bed on either side (maybe). The bed is pushed out from the wall because the heater vent is there.

To recap: I think my favorite (and most practical designs) right now are the artist, the flow, the Rashida, and the open layout.

Whatever I decide, I still need to actually get the place. If the manager calls me back, here's my checklist for apartment inspection: get apt measurements, and know what the acceptable size is for me; turn the water on in the bathroom, tub, and kitchen sink; turn the heater on; ask about the windows (double paned); check for street noise; check to see if there is a light in the closet; see where the outlets are...


  1. Is it sad that I'm glad my choice (#7, the open layout) is winning? I just don't like the idea of you having to walk around the bed all the time :-)

  2. I was hoping you would ask for opinions! I voted for the open layout.


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