MakeShift: Making the Most of Small Studio Spaces

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MakeShift is a new design series for city dwellers with roommates, space constrictions, and other such awkwardness. It's a conversation for people who are being artful with their space and kicking ass while doing it.

Want to be in the next MakeShift? Submit to:

We spent our morning with super cute couple Jenny Dronsky, a comedian, and April, a graphic narrative artist surrounded by elegant humor in their small and sweet Tenderloin apartment.

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There are a handful of options for a bedroom/living room combo: 

1.) a murphy bed, which, thanks to The Pine Shop, can be affordable
2.) a loft bed,
3.) daybed
4.) sofabed (dang expensive and has a reputation for being the least comfortable both as a sofa and bed)
5.) the cheapest option: my-bed's-going-here-living-room-be-damned. Always a respectable option.

Jenny and April went the loft bed route, sending for one through CollegeBedLofts, which has custom options for those of the post-college age. For the loft bed phobic: We know, it's not for everyone, but we can't think of a more utilitarian way to flaunt a high ceiling.

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April in the act of their morning ritual, looking chic.

Brady just chillin' and sippin' her caffeine brew. Her facebook status update: "Mrrw, biotch."

This fine couple's two pitty-tats, Brady and Dotty, can come up the loft too, using the homemade stair-shelf at Jenny's sewing station.

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Made from wood found on the street: Shelves love to be steps, and steps love to be shelves.

Kitschy kitchen:

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Jenny, did this puzzle ever-so-slightly ruin your eyes? If it did, it was worth it.

You know you're dealing with real live cat people when their cat portraits come in the form of a massive, exhaustive puzzle. It is the furry focal point of the kitchen, and almost as obsessive as their organization. Every pared down object in its place! It is common knowledge that we don't own our stuff -- our stuff owns us.

Which is why a smaller fridge and smaller coffee maker aren't bad ideas:

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Uh, why do people in almost every other country have smaller refrigerators than we do?

Jenny and April's refrigerator is less than half the size of a typical American one. It frees up space for this delightful business:

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Scrounged used, an ornate but clean cabinet to house necessary and decorative vintage nuggets.

Just so you know: you don't have to go to IKEA to have a pot rack! Jenny and April's basic IKEA pot rack can be made from cut conduit pipe and any number of fixtures from the hardware store. We love that they use their S-hooks to hold their spatulas and other kitchenware.

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In the hallway, a guest wouldn't even notice the trim utility string above that serves as a laundry line for Jenny and April's unmentionables:

jenny and april laundry line.jpeg
... and adorned with pine cones -- because we are wild forest animals and crave familiar surroundings.

The molding (which, by the way, is there to hang stuff without wrecking your walls, so google "molding hooks" and you'll see what we mean) and the outlets are loaded with woodland creatures, prehistoric lizards, or what-have-you.

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The tiny retro suitcases and boxes make for open shelving without stuff falling all over the place.


Dotty isn't like, "Where's my diaphragm?" anymore. It's right where it's supposed to be.

So yeah, sweethearts. Sparse living = happy living. Plus it frees extra room for a couple pointy-eared dears.

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@JennDron mazel tov.. Or something.. I don't remember much after 13..

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