How to Live in a Shoebox

If you’ve visited our new apartment in Chicago you know we live in a little shoebox of fun. Excluding our long hallway, our apartment is about 230 square feet. Crazy, right? And there are three bodies living in this space. I think we’re doing a good job with the furniture, but I’m already getting bored with the layout. Who wants to help rearrange?

I want to show that it is possible to live in a tiny place and feel comfortable with other beings in it with  you. The key to success: multipurpose furniture.

Take a look at how we managed to lay this out.

The view of the space coming from our long hallway. The chalkboard trunk houses are winter coats, some luggage, blankets, and board games. We got an orange tray from West Elm so it would be easier to pick one thing up rather than 20 things to get stuff out of it.

The main living space. Our love seat hides our laundry basket and ugly radiator. It was a hand me down from my parents. It’s really comfortable and ready for any guests.
The clothing/ refrigerator/study wall. Our chalkboard dresser is nestled in the corner. We just had our broken mirror doors taken off our closet, so I hung a picture frame inside to make it look more put together. We want to hang panels in front of it. Maybe get the matching pairs to the curtains hanging on the windows, so everything finally matches. Ha. As you can see, we have a very colorful wardrobe. The space where our frig. is used to be a pantry, but we asked for a smaller frig. so it could fit there.

Our frig. stores our baking goods, blender, and cereal. Oh, and friends and family pictures! To the right is our little “study” area. Lots of blogging happens here. We hung the shelves above the computer. It used to be our bar, but we drank all the booze. The cart that the computer is on is a thrift store find. It’s a Crate and Barrel island that was $15. We personalized it by painting it red. It also acts as extra prep area for meals since it’s butcher block. The white chair was my grandparents, so it was free. I used to sit on it every meal and my grandparent’s house so it means a little something extra. I don’t mind my butt hurting so much when I think about the history of the chair.
Another angle of the computer area. Yes, we’re becoming self-centered with our pictures.
Our kitchen wall! Yes, that’s all we have for a kitchen. Thanks to my mom, we have a great “enjoy” sign to make it a little more us.
Oh hey, there’s Lex’s kennel. It’s probably not the most hygienic layout but we haven’t died yet. There’s a door to our landing behind the kennel with a barn door window that opens so we can get the breeze from the lake. And that leads us to our dining room table.
This dining room table was my grandparents as well. I made my grandma’s famous noodles with her many times and now it’s in my apartment! I love it. The two flaps pop up for more space. We also use this for more prep space. Lex’s dog bed is right next to Mike’s chair. All we need is two more chairs so we can have guests for dinner.
The main blank wall in our apartment. This picture used to be a Banksy decal my sister gave me, but I decided to make it into something else. I created a sunset with magazine pieces. The chair in front of it is a PBK chair that my mom and I reupholstered with cheap fabric from Walmart and Ikea.
Our Bed! Yes, that’s a queen size bed. Even though our space is really small, we didn’t want to sacrifice our sleeping comfort. All the bedding is West Elm and the throw is PBK. Thank you discounts. All we need is another feather topper and a couple more pillows and you will rarely see me out of this bed. It’s right next to the windows so it’s really nice when it rains and we get the nice smells of our rosemary and basil plants.
And we can’t forget our long hallway that takes up all that square footage our realtor told us about. We made the bookcase out of crates (thank you Des Moines J.Crew!). It’s also a space to show off our artwork that we are slowing collecting, to store our DVDs and books, my jewelry, and Lex’s things.
Thee art!
And that’s basically it! What do you think?

4 thoughts on “How to Live in a Shoebox

  1. It looks good to me. You have a lot better kitchen area than Gina had in Korea and you have a table which she did not have. What is your bathroom like?

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