Studio Living Update

July 9th, 2013 | Posted by Erica House in Life

So something strange happened when I shared a video of my new studio apartment.

People watched it. A lot. 20,000 times actually! I think a lot of those people were searching for more info on what life is like living in a studio, and how to decorate it. I know I spent a ton of time looking at places online trying to decide if I could stand living in a studio or not. After a while people started asking me for an update. At first I couldn’t think of anything I could update with since my place still looks the same, then I realized I have learned so much from living here for 6 months!


Overall, I still love it. I’m 100% happy with my decision to move into a studio. There have been a few unexpected events since moving in that I thought it would be nice to share so others thinking of downsizing to a studio may be better prepared!


Video Summary:


– Entire house can be cleaned in 10 minutes

– Super cheap

– Forced minimalism. I thought it felt great to get rid of half the stuff I owned before I moved. I didn’t quite realize that as long as I live in a studio whenever I buy anything new – even something small like a DVD – it usually means I have to get rid of something else. I actually like this!


– Zero sound protection if you have noisy neighbors (no walls to absorb the sound or to hide from loud parts of the house!)

– Can be hard to sleep in since you have no isolated ‘sleep’ area. For the first few weeks I’d wake up in the middle of the night and it would take me forever to fall back asleep because I’d basically be waking up in the middle of my house and it was super distracting.

– If you see a bug there is no where to run and hide

– Salem misses more space to run and play


Do you think you could stand living in 490 sq ft?

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31 Responses

  • My first apartment was a studio! Rent and utilities all for $300/month. It was super cheap (but not in a really great area) but I was only home to sleep really back then so it didn’t bother me. I was just finishing my undergrad so I didn’t have a lot of “things” and most of that stuff was still back home with my parents (before my dad told me to get it out!). It was ok to live in but again I wasn’t home a lot. I didn’t even have room for a couch. Just my bed/dresser/desk. It was good as a starter apartment, but I ended up moving after a year because I didn’t like my landlady/mice/the neighborhood. Having a studio made it hard to upgrade to a 1 bedroom. I had this huge living room with nothing in it but my “new” kitchen table and my television (I couldn’t afford a couch back then.)

    Could I do it again? Sure, if I had a place that looked like yours- it’s gorgeous. :)

    • Erica House says:

      I think my parents are getting tired of housing boxes for me as well. They have about 5-6 huge bins of my stuff – all Halloween and Christmas decorations! I hadn’t though ahead to how little I may have as far as furnishing go if I go back to a 1-2 bedroom. Looks like I just need to stick with my tiny place for a while longer :)

  • Andree says:

    I lived in a dorm for a year and managed fine then. I’m currently apartment hunting. If I was on my own, I think a smaller space would be good, but since I will be living with my boyfriend and it would be good to have distinct rooms especially since we have slightly different schedules.
    Your place looks great. Perhaps you could share some tips on organizing in a small space?

    • Erica House says:

      I would definitely need more space if I was living with someone! I’ve had people comment on my original post/video that they live in a studio w/their significant other and I would probably go insane. I like ‘my’ space to much. I’ll have to do another post soon looking at organization!

  • dotsie924 says:

    Your studio is so nice! Was the wooden door the closet? Is the bathroom back past the kitchen? I’m living in what’s meant to be a studio apt (unfinished as of now). at my parents house…too bad it was part man-cave for my Dad,part storage, part hurricane supplies and so that is what I share space with. BUT…my bed is comfy :D and my bulldog can run around in the a/c.

    • Erica House says:

      The door near my ‘bedroom’ is the walk-in closet, and the bathroom is just behind the kitchen.

      Seems like I haven’t heard from you in a while – hope life is well!

  • Vicki says:

    I don’t think I could do a studio, I need to have distinct spaces. In hindsight my first post college apartment was awesome. 1 bedroom, livingroom, 1 bathroom, small galley kitchen. Ahhh, I miss it, it was the perfect space for a young kid trying to find her way in the world :)

    • Erica House says:

      I sometimes miss having distinct spaces but now I’m so used to living in a studio I think I’ll feel like I’m suffocating when I go back to a place that has walls everywhere!

  • I lived in a bachelor which is pretty similar to a studio. Minimalism at its finest. I really enjoyed it. My very first apt. :)

    • Erica House says:

      It’s funny how the places I live in keep getting smaller! As I age and earn more money you’d think it would be the opposite!

  • I don’t live in a studio but I do live in a one bedroom. It is about 750 sq ft and there are two of us. We would love to upgrade to a two bedder but they are crazy expensive so looks like we will be renewing again in August! It’s actually not too bad and we’ve even managed to host a 12 person sit down dinner (with some re-arranging of furniture).

    Your studio is so clean. I would have so much trouble storing my stuff and keeping the place clean! Props to you!

    • Erica House says:

      My ex and I lived in a 780 sq ft apt and it was a tight fit. We had crazy work schedules (both of us teaching various night classes) so it wasn’t to bad but I would definitely prefer a bigger space if I was co-habitating!

  • Bronwyn says:

    I lived in a university dorm that was a studio. It was much smaller than yours and I hated it. The kitchen was the worst because it was the hallway entrance. Basically there was no space. It only had a bar fridge! Not good for a foodie.

    • Erica House says:

      I don’t think I could be happy in a place much smaller than mine either! I lucked out and have a giant kitchen for a studio.

  • I think I’d be okay living on my own. I lived in a dorm for two years in college and it was annoying to have a room mate, but during the summer I was on my own and it was plenty of space for just me.

    Now with a husband, two kids, and two dogs? We’d kill each other!

    • Erica House says:

      I don’t think I could ever have a roommate again unless it was a huge house! The last time I had one I lived in a 3500 sq ft victorian and we *never* saw each other. It was perfect!

  • Meredith says:

    I think I’d really like a studio :) Your decor job is lovely! This was a nice update with lots of informative tidbits for people downsizing. Thanks!

  • I live in LESS than 490 square feet – with another person!! The biggest negative is him not being as organized as I am, but it’s so worth it to save the money for a house and find a way to appreciate what we DO have by being forced to live as a minimalist!

  • Katy says:

    You can run and hide in the washroom! ;)

    I live in a 600sqft 1 bedroom condo and I feel like if I downgraded to a studio (in fact, the unit next to mine is a studio), I can definitely live in it since I live by myself anyway and don’t need that much space. The only thing is that I do want a bigger kitchen!

  • HOW CUTE. I love your place. I am a fan of smaller spaces. Our house right now is on the smaller side just at 1000sqft, but I can’t imagine buying anything bigger. I lived in an apt that was 1 bedroom (with the bathroom in the bedroom) but the whole place was 520 sq ft. I totally know what you mean about having the “closed” space to sleep in — however, with your setup, it’d be super easy to put up a simple folding room divider or even put up a track and hang a nice fabric that you can pull back if you have guests over and don’t want them looking at your bed. I would take budget friendly digs over a wallet buster any day!

    • Erica House says:

      Oh man the money I’m saving is incredible! Not just on rent & utilities but all the stuff I’ve passed on buying because I don’t have the room for it. I love it!

  • katsnf says:

    Your place is adorbs! I miss cleaning a smaller place that’s for sure!

  • Your place is the cutest! I’m not sure I would be able to live in 490 sq ft but know I would love how much money I would be saving!

  • Jodi says:

    I’m pretty sure I could deal with a studio if I was single and kidless. I’d definitely be willing to at least give it a try! The minimal cleaning needed would be awesome, but the whole smelling dinner all night long after cooking (depending on what you make) would suck when I was laying in bed at night. :)

  • Heather says:

    I lived in something similar up until I got married 10 years ago. Someday, we will go back to a 1 bedroom. I loved it then and I will love it in the future. I find it fun to figure out how to fit things, you really become laser focused on what is important and you have more time to do what you love. Enjoying your blog and your apartment.

  • Deb says:

    I loved your apartment. my question is, what is this thing that looks like a small fireplace in your studio apartment?? where can i find one??