How to Maximize Space in a One-Bedroom Apartment—And Make it Livable for Two

How to Maximize Space in a One-Bedroom Apartment—And Make it Livable for Two
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We all know the feeling of being overwhelmed by a new apartment. Homepolish designer Sandie Tsai and her boyfriend Rad, moved into an Atlanta one-bedroom, and the space was … less than ideal. Beige carpeting, yellowy walls, ugly light fixtures—it all came together to a home that was “depressing.” (Her words, not ours.)

The solution? Infusing the 850 square feet with a blend of both their styles. Rad brought in handcrafted accessories, artwork, and rugs from his native Morocco. As for Sandie, she introduced ideas of reorganizing the floorplan and painting the bedroom … black. Gasp!

Despite the contrarian advice from friends and family, they went forward with the bold color choice, and to everyone’s surprise (maybe even Sandie’s), it made for a stunning space. Transport yourself by touring the gallery.

Text by Matt Powell.

Homepolish is the go-to brand for home and office inspiration. With beautiful photos of only Homepolish-designed projects, a funny, irreverent voice, and an inexhaustible supply of design ideas from their talented designers, the Homepolish Instagram and online magazine are mainstays of original, informative and creative content.

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Homepolish designer Sandie Tsai isn't one to shy away from bold design ideas. When we asked her what the craziest idea was in her new Atlanta 1 BR, she immediately answered, "Painting my entire bedroom black!" (Sense that enthusiasm.) According to Sandie, "This was a last-minute decision made on a whim. It's very different from what I normally gravitate towards."

Nightstand accessories and vanity beauty supplies cluster under a hanging mirror found on Etsy. The jewelry holder hand seems like it wants to reach out for that brass sconce.

"The black really makes things pop," notes Sandie. "Even an Ikea dresser looks better against this color."

A rustic ladder in the bedroom may look like some scavenged antique from far-off lands, but it's actually from Burke Decor.

A white oak headboard stands out from the black, and the duvet cover further lightens the space.

Just because you have a typical floorplan doesn't mean you can't switch things up. Sandie says, "The office and guest bed area was actually a dining nook. Since the living room is large enough for a dining table, I turned the dining nook into an office space and guest bed area."

A leather chair pulls up to a leather-covered desk, styled to look like antique steamer trunks once used for ocean travels.

Recognizing the importance of balancing work life and home life, Sandie says, "I work from home, so having that separate office space has done wonders for my sanity, and the daybed has proven to be excellent for curling up with a good read or lazy weekend afternoon naps."

The living room really highlights Sandie's ability to balance old with new. The sofa is an Ikea find, while side tables and stools were found in local consignment stores. And how about those prints on the wall?

The rattan chair is similar to handmade pieces from her boyfriend Rad's native Marrakesh. This is their first apartment together, and Sandie wanted to make sure the space jived with both of their tastes.

As with many apartments, the flooring in the 850-square-foot space was ... less than desirable. Sandie covered up the beige carpeting with handmade rugs, many of which Rad brought back from Morocco.

A sideboard turns into a makeshift bar. We're especially loving the gunmetal lamp.

Even looking at the details, you can see that the space reflects both Sandie and Rad. Here, we see an Arabic text, but what's that peeking out from behind? Yep, that's a design magazine.

One of Sandie's favorite pieces is the painted hide in the dining room. "Rad bought it right off of a store owner's wall for twelve dollars when we were in Fez, Morocco."

Sandie in her "shocking" black-painted bedroom.

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