200 sqft studio after

The place had to be put together fast and as inexpensive as possible. Luckily I was able to reuse existing pieces from the previous apartment. One thing we were happy to reuse was her beautiful glass chandelier and were beyond disappointed when we removed the existing light and saw a mess that my installer said looked as if a beaver chewed a hole thru the ceiling, no seriously that’s exactly what it looked like. So putting up our fab and heavy light just wasn’t an option. Needless to say we were all quite upset to have to put that light back in… Ugh.

I didn’t take any shots of the kitchen (sorry Marie!). She doesn’t cook so I didn’t have to do anything special like install shelves or pot racks or anything.

We’re not sure how long she’ll be in this apartment and it is a rental so we decided not to do anything too dramatic like painting or doing too many installations. All of her things fit pretty well as is (with the exception of family memorabilia that her children are storing) and she can’t easily climb a ladder to access high shelves anyway so the dressers and low bookshelf work just fine.

We did install a hook rack near the front door, shown in the fourth shot. Hats, gloves, and scarves are in the top cubbies of the low open bookcase with extra blankets and files in the bottom cubbies. There’s a small closet with open shelves near the entry that holds extra toiletries, an iron, medicine and a first aid kit, travel toiletries, small summer fan, etc. Cleaning supplies and a vacuum are under the sink in the kitchen. There are clothes in the 2 dressers, and the white drawer units that are acting as nightstands hold office supplies, checkbooks, gift cards, stationery and stamps, kindle and charger, jewelry, glasses….

The one thing we do plan on buying is a set of small upholstered chairs for the round glass table near the window to use as a dining chair. Other than that we figure she should live there for a while to see if there’s anything else she’d like me to do to make the space better. Otherwise we think it looks pretty good (especially considering it was done in 2 days).

update on alcove studio design

The apartment has come a long way since you’ve last seen it. The art above the sofa was painted by her daughter-in-law’s mother, who’s also giving her a couple more to go in the dining area. The gold mirror that was hung behind the dining table is now in the entry. Click here for more pics.
Still need to:
  • frame paintings over sofa
  • install art over dining area
  • sell small sofa (currently at dining table), replace with bench
  • paint wall behind bed (still picking a color)
  • buy area rug for entry

alcove studio: 3 weeks in…

The new entry dresser holds gloves, scarves, hats, umbrellas, keys, tissue packs, mints, etc…
The new sofa and side chairs all convert to beds so her kids and grandkids can easily + comfortably spend the night.

The main things left to do: sell the small original sofa, order a headboard, rugs and coffee table and add decorative elements like pillows. The plan for this space is crisp white with bursts of intense colors, contrary to the subdued palette of her previous apartment.

alcove studio: setting up the tv


Since this space is so much larger than her last apartment, there isn’t such a desperate need for storage so we’ve sacrificed half of the lower shelf (on the right side) of the console for the modem, power strip, and all cords. The back panel was damaged during the move so we cut that part out to pass everything through.
The only plug on this length of wall is directly behind the left hamper, pushing the hamper away from the wall a few inches, so we’re using the plug around the right corner located in the entry. The cord in the last pic to the right will be gone once I replace it with a white extension cord that I can tack along the baseboard to make it less noticeable.

alcove studio: bathroom before + after


– installed lucite shelves
– hung art
– installed single hook near shower
– installed ceiling track for curtain
– need to buy and hang opaque curtain
The bathroom is 2 small rooms; the first with the sink on one side, linen closet on the other, then the second with the shower and toilet. There’s a door to the first room, but not the second and since she has family staying with her often, we installed the ceiling track for a curtain. Also, I hung the shelves pretty high because her family are quite tall.

alcove studio… continued





Day 6 update:

– installed 4 double hooks on wall and closet doors
– switched out overhead light for glass chandelier
– need to buy dresser (out of stock) for scarves, gloves, etc currently hanging on kitchen door
– impulse purchase of orange rug to be returned, too small
– need to assemble other 2 chairs
– ordered plug-in chandelier

– researching sofa beds
– need to purchase 2 chair-beds

– installed ceiling track with 4 curtains
– want to add 2-4 more curtains
– installed 2 single hooks near bed (you can see them in last pic)
– will order headboard after we get sofa
– need to install sconce
– want new bedding
We’re moving right along with the progress of the apartment because:
– we did major edit and organizing before moving
– new space is much bigger than last apt with plenty of storage (4 closets) that don’t need major changes
– client made great suggestions; need and placement of dresser + bedroom curtains
– client quick to approve new furniture, lighting, etc

move to alcove studio continued…



This apt has two great clothes closets and I wanted to show the progress we’ve made with them. Closet #1 has boxed and hanging off-season clothes, special occasion clothes (hanging on the right) with jewelry organizer in the middle. We added the mesh drawer unit after we completely filled the new dresser.
Closet #2 also has boxed off-season clothes on the top shelf, with current season folded and hanging clothes and shoes lining the floor. I’m hoping to make room to use a hanging shoe organizer or store the shoes somewhere a bit more accessible as this client has arthritis and it’s not so easy to bend down to see the shoes.
My installer is coming tomorrow to hang art, mirrors, etc. Stay tuned!!

move to alcove studio continued…

IMG_0120friday afternoon, her son was there to help
saturday morning


friday afternoon


saturday morning

My goal move day (which was friday) was to unpack as much as I could to see what storage issues there were. For instance: I didn’t see inside the 2nd clothes closet when I did the walk-through (it didn’t have a knob) so I didn’t know both closets have a hanging bar with 2 upper shelves. We decided on a dresser near her bed for folded items and undergarments (which have been in the TV console this whole time). Also instead of the original plan of a console table for the entry, we’re doing a dresser to hold her scarves, gloves, hats and umbrellas since we don’t want to crowd the coat closet with a hanging organizer.

Today we remeasured everything, went over some new ideas and made a few final furniture selections. Tomorrow I’m buying the entry dresser, bedroom dresser, nightstands, and dining table, and will assemble them, put what is going in them, and hopefully hang some art and mirrors…