Home with Lisa Quinn Episodes

Studio Makeover

Lisa Quinn pulls off a studio makeover that utilizes every space. Will Samantha and Sebastian like what she's done?

Inside Scoop for a Studio Makeover by Fabian Scrivani

This week we ended up in Berkeley to help out a young couple decorate their first studio. Meet Samantha and Sebastian: they are twenty somethings just starting out and were looking for the LQ hook up. Samantha is a teacher who works with special needs children and Sebastian is a student, so between the two of them time and money for decorating and style are fairly limited. Lisa and I love a challenge and we had never done a studio apartment before, especially not in a case such as this where the living/sleeping/working/entertaining area is literally one room. That said, Lisa came up with some awesome ideas that will appeal to anyone living in a tight space.

Let's talk wall color. Because Samantha and Sebastian are renting, we were concerned about painting but got clearance from the landlord and wanted to keep it fairly neutral so there would be no issues later. Lisa specified a subdued, earthy brown that made the existing carpet look a little more intentional. The couple really wanted a clear delineation of space between the sleeping and recreation area, but had no idea what that meant save building a wall. Lisa and I soon realized that in that tight space there would be no room for a piece of furniture as a divider, so the next best thing was a plan B-- bed curtains. In this way, there was no actual wall, but the curtains could be drawn as needed for privacy when there were guests over. Also, by hanging the curtains from the ceiling, the eye is instantly drawn up and the room seems much larger. Pair of elegant sconces flanks the bed. Some very funky side tables with hidden storage finish off the look and add a little sparkle.

Another huge change we made in the room was adding a media wall with beautifully finished cabinetry to house not only the TV and components, but also provide a ton of extra storage. Really compact picture lighting on the tops of the cabinets added another level of interest and made the piece feel built-in. If one set of shelving wasn't enough, Lisa took it to the next level and added a second wall of shelving opposite the entry door that has both open and closed-door storage. We used Samantha's artwork and added a set of lamps and accessorized with some poted grass for a little greenery. A new sofa with a slimmer silhouette made up the seating area along with a sleek new green linen chair Lisa picked up at IKEA on clearance-- it really was amazing to find a gorgeous piece almost waiting for us! We added a reading lamp in the corner and a jute rug to the floor.

This room ranks among the teams' collective favorites--it really is amazing what can be done in a small space with just a little planning. Samantha and Sebastian were probably more shocked than surprised by the transformation given that they had left on our build day and were seeing it for the first time during our reveal day with our cameras rolling!

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