Philadelphia Studio Apartment Design - Furniture Scheme

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I'm writing this blog post on a rainy, lazy Sunday from my cozy Philadelphia apartment! I am super excited to be sharing this post with you because my little sister has officially moved to Philly!

I feel like we are taking one step closer to living out our childhood dreams of being neighbors and living in mansions that have an adjoining underground path so we can visit each other when it snows... We don't quite have all those luxuries yet but I'll take the 11 minute walk away to visit each other!

So, I had a pretty relaxing weekend and have been working on pulling together the initial furniture selection for her small studio apartment so I can share progress updates as we move along in the design process. 

How we found her design style

When she decided she was moving here, she of course wanted me to help her design her apartment. She had never truly had an apartment that was all her own and she was ready to start investing in "grown up" furniture that would be a great base for her furniture collection. 

But the trouble was she had NO idea what her style was. So, I had her pin images of things she liked and spoke with her about what she is drawn to and we came to the conclusion that her style was contemporary, feminine, sophisticated and reminiscent of a boutique hotel.

The Moodboard

We wanted a creamy, buttery neutral base with touches of marble and gold. Soft, textured accessories like pillows, rugs and florals will play a very important role in making her neutral furniture selection come to life in a feminine, boutique-hotel way. See below the moodboard we pulled together to get an idea of the vibes she was going for.

small studio apartment layout

And now the Layout

Since she was living in such a small space, it was actually helpful that we were starting with the furniture selection from scratch. We went back and forth between having a daybed that could turn into a bed at night, or a lofted bed that her desk could sit underneath, but we decided that both of those options wouldn't give her the functionality or the boutique-hotel vibes she was going for. So we opted for a full sized bed and an XL armchair, or as I like to call it, a cuddle-couch! Because it's perfect for two people to snuggle up and watch a movie on. As a real-estate agent she also works from home every morning from 8am-12pm, so she needed a nice big desk so she could focus on work and get stuff done. 

As you'll see the in final layout later, I kept it very efficient - so she has everything she needs while having enough space to work, relax and enjoy that amazing view of the city! In small spaces it's very important that function is a top priority. Keeping the layout efficient and maximising space was important to make this studio apartment feel like you're walking into a boutique-hotel.


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Also can we all just stop to ogle over her adorable new pup Daisy!? For cute puppy photos follow her on instagram @daisy_the_cavapup ;)

studio apartment design layout

studio apartment floor plans

The Furniture Selection

So I got to work looking for sophisticated pieces with clean lines. I wanted to make sure the upholstered furniture was visually neutral and pair them with gold and marble accent pieces, adding a feminine & luxurious touch to her space. With a budget of 2K for her entire studio I was looking for affordable but quality furniture. We bought everything on the list below for $1,600 and we have $400 left over for accessories.


Stay tuned to see the my accessory and artwork selection, and watch her apartment come to life! 

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