Decorate a Small Space Fabulously
Meet my fabulous friend, Amber. I met Amber while in college and we’ve always shared an affinity for all things lavish, extravagant and exceptionally polished. Amber was the first of our friend group to move out on her own and took on these life changes with ease and grace. I recently had the chance to visit her studio apartment and was blown away with how she decorated it. Everything was carefully curated to perfection. While decorating a studio seems like a daunting task, she was incredibly smart at how she set up her space and did it in the most fashionable way. I sat down with her to chat about her choices and here’s what she had to say:
Tell me about yourself
Amber A. Bennett and I am a recent graduate from Hofstra University and I currently work for American Ballet Theatre as an Arts Administrator.
Describe your design style in three words.
Feminine, chic, whimsical.
What did you do first once you got your apartment?
When I first moved in all I had was my bed, a couch, a dining room table, and the bookcase. So my first concern was the walls (I hate nothing more than empty walls). I was constantly searching for paintings, frames, shelves - anything to add personality and make the place feel a little more like me. As a post grad, I knew that larger pieces would come in time, as they are far pricier than accent pieces.
Where did you find your furniture?
My bed frame and faux cow hide chair are from Wayfair. My couch, bookshelf, dresser, and various furniture accents (pillow, hanging plant, large wall frames) are from Ikea, and other home decor accents and trinkets, if you will, are from HomeGoods.
When decorating, where do you draw inspiration from?
My main design inspiration comes from my mother’s ability to fill a space without over crowding. The idea that no matter where you are in a space your eye is drawn to something new, whether that be a statement piece or subtle details.
Where do you like to shop for apartment decor?
I absolutely love HomeGoods! I love that their shipments vary weekly and especially by season. Sometimes I avoid going because it has the classic “Target Effect”, where you go in for one thing and you leave with ten other things that you didn’t necessarily need but you love.
What was your favorite part about decorating?
My favorite part about decorating is seeing everything come together. It’s incredibly satisfying when all of your purchases coordinate and rooms/spaces feel finished.
Talk about your wall divider.
The wall divider is truly the best investment I've ever made for my apartment. It is the perfect piece of furniture for studio apartments because it allows you to break up the space however works best for you. It creates the illusion that your bed is in fact not right next to where you eat dinner every night and it doubles as great storage. My dream for the divider is for it to one day be almost entirely full of books!
What’s your favorite part about your apartment?
Definitely my collage wall! Collage walls are a great focal point of any space to express who you are as a person, but because they are so personal they tend to take a while to create - I waited about 8 months to collect all the frames and art before I finally put it together.
What’s one thing you would recommend when setting up a small space?
My number one recommendation for setting up small spaces is finding multi-functional furniture pieces. It becomes less about the decorating and more about how you arrange everything you need in the square footage you’re given. This applies especially to the “just out of college, studio/shared spaces”. My dresser that doubles as a mantle/entertainment center under my TV along with the wall divider/bookcase are the best 2-in-1 purchases I could have made. Also, don’t limit yourself because you think things will look “overcrowded” or “too busy”, more often than not a space will actually look larger once it’s filled.
Finally, how do you decorate for the holidays and what’s your favorite holiday decoration?
The one holiday where I really try to incorporate themed decor is Christmas. When I graduated and moved, it was only a few days before Christmas and my tree was my first purchase so it holds a special place in my heart. Since space is limited, I got a six foot skinny tree. I would also like to switch out my wreath either per holiday or season.
Feeling inspired? Let me know how you decorate your space.