Inspiration for the layout of a 450 square foot studio



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This professional project combines all of my favorite things: simple materials, smart design decisions, and compact storage that serves other purposes as well. At just 450 square feet, this studio in New York City might have been too small a space for the couple sharing it. But after interior designer Sandy Xin Wen’s updates to the interior, it’s now a comfortable, modern, stylish, and serene home for two.

From the project submission: “New York-based interior designer Sandy Wen has transformed a simple studio into an extremely spacious apartment for a young couple of artists in New York. It uses a simple yet elegant wooden structure in a downtown studio renovation with layers of natural light and exterior views. In most cases, living in Manhattan means that people have to compromise certain spatial functions in a compact space. However, in the eyes of designer Sandy Wen, there is a way to not sacrifice quality of life, but instead use architectural elements to expand the view, light and function of a space.

“Using simple white oak and plywood materials, Sandy Wen brings out the natural beauty of the wood structures themselves. The whole system is combined with a raised platform bed area, which extends to the living room into a comfortable bench seat for the couple. The vertical shelving system meets the platform and creates a natural separation between two spaces. The push-up window with fluted glass is integrated into the shelving system with simple but elegant details, providing natural light control and privacy between the two areas.

The designer also cleverly uses an arch to visually increase the height of the ceiling and balance the composition of the entire structure, bringing in more natural light, a view of the outer courtyard and the unique New York City skyline. , which includes the Empire State building. The design is well developed thanks to the architectural details and furniture selections. The designer also created custom colored backplates behind each round finger to give the space a playful punch.

“The stripe of mustard yellow paint visually defines the ‘headboard.’ When mixed with the above antique Japanese print from the 1750s above, it unexpectedly creates a tasteful combination of young, modern design and timeless artistry. The designer also chose the mid-century Henningsen pendant in a refreshing olive green hue and the round dining table with wire legs to help create a youthful and airy vibe, which helps define the entire space. The apartment is very functional, with sufficient daylight filling the relatively open layout. It can be adapted to suit different activities and lifestyles by using the wooden system. As Sandy Wen mentioned, “Limited space doesn’t necessarily mean poor quality of life. As an interior designer, I prefer design solutions that can bring more opportunities to clients for their daily life. ‘”

Total cost of the project: $ 65 / square foot

Thanks Sandy! See more photos of the studio as well as floor plans on Sandy’s site.

The responses to this submission have been edited for length and clarity.

Adrienne breaux

Home visit editor

Adrienne enjoys architecture, design, cats, science fiction and watching Star Trek. For the past 10 years, she’s called her home: a pickup truck, an old downtown store in a small town in Texas, and a studio that allegedly belonged to Willie Nelson.


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