- Anju Abraham turned her 400-square foot apartment in Washington, DC into a luxe, gilded oasis.
- Abraham made the apartment feel larger with her light colour scheme and creative storage hacks.
- She recommends getting multipurpose furniture and room dividers when downsizing to a smaller space.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Anju Abraham moved into a 400 square-foot studio apartment in DC two years ago and has since implemented tons of clever design hacks in her tiny space.
After a decade of living with roommates, Anju Abraham moved into a studio apartment in Washington, DC’s Dupont Circle neighbourhood.
“Like a lot of big cities, it can be pretty competitive to find an apartment in the District,” Abraham told Insider. “So I was thrilled when I found this space, even if it meant living without a few amenities like a dishwasher or central air.”
Abraham said she has found that a natural, luxe design is ideal for her style and her tiny space.
“The apartment is decorated with a white base and punctuated with touches of gold,” she said.
Since moving into her studio apartment, Abraham has found that furniture with dual functions serves the space best.
For example, her bed, couch, and coffee table have hidden storage space.
“When people ask ‘Where is all your stuff?’ the better question is probably ‘Where isn’t my stuff?'” Abraham said.
Abraham keeps items like extra bedding and blankets inside of her furniture.
“My advice to small apartment dwellers is to commit to finding pieces that have a storage component,” she said. “You won’t regret it.”
Abraham said the more functions a piece has, the better. She installed wheels on her coffee table trunk so she can roll it around to wherever she needs a surface.
“Add wheels to heavy pieces for more versatility,” Abraham said.
Abraham also found creative ways to temporarily carve out spaces in her apartment.
She has a three-panel room divider that she puts behind her desk for Zoom calls.
She has a room divider that she moves around throughout the day as needed.
When guests come, Abraham said she places the divider next to her bed.
And Abraham divides her closet from the rest of the room with a rolling shade she installed herself.
Abraham said the shade was meant for outdoor use.
“It really helps hide the visual clutter of my closet while making my space look bigger,” Abraham said of the rolling shade.
Abraham keeps another trunk of storage in front of her closet that doubles as a seat.
Abraham added outdoor seat cushions to the trunk to turn it into a comfy seat.
Since her bathroom has no outlets, Abraham created a wall-mounted vanity area for doing hair and makeup.
Once she realised her bathroom had no outlets in it, Abraham got six white boxes, six acrylic shelves, and a mirror to create her wall vanity.
“I went with lidded boxes for a cleaner minimal aesthetic and ended up finding that the only product that could meet my sizing requirements were cable cord organisers,” Abraham said.
She also added a makeshift light fixture to the space.
“I strung up a bare, three-bulb pendant light and a hallway vanity was born – the first of its kind I’d like to think,” she said.
In the kitchen, Abraham stores some of her dishes vertically by hanging them up.
“I used to keep my pots and pans inside the kitchen cabinets, but then I found them hard to access quickly,” she said.
Plus, hanging her cookware clears up some kitchen space.
Abraham also created a magnetic spice rack that lives on her fridge to save space.
The spice jars have magnetic lids and are customisable.
In the bathroom, Abraham uses more vertical storage for her belongings with shelving and stackable bins.
For additional bathroom storage, Abraham installed this wall-mounted shelf.
Abraham said she opted for the self with the greatest depth when selecting the perfect piece for the space.
In her workspace, Abraham uses vertical storage to save space with a leaning ladder desk.
Abraham said she used to have a desk that was four feet wide, but she realised she didn’t need all that space.
Her current desk is only 30 inches wide, “but it packs a punch because of the vertical storage,” Abraham said.
Abraham said the best space-saving tip she has for living small is to continuously edit-down your belongings.
“At least once a month, I make a donation bin drop, and I regularly give things away on Buy Nothing, which is a great Facebook group for giving and receiving items for free,” Abraham said.