One Room Challenge Week 6: Brooklyn Studio Apartment Before & After

This post is in partnership with companies I love & know you’ll love too!
— xo... Albie

Photography by Mariah Texidor

If I told you that 6 weeks ago I knew this is how the project would turn out, I would be lying! But the fun in interior design really is in the unexpected — the challenges that arise and the solutions that are born as a result. You can use the links at the top to catch up on the past couple of weeks but here’s what you need to know:

A few months back, I started an e-design shopping consultation for a studio apartment makeover in Brooklyn, New York. I was charged with helping her transform her small, cluttered apartment into a functional and stylish space that matched her Brooklyn swag. As the months turned to weeks, it hit me that the One Room Challenge was around the corner and she was gracious enough to let me submit her apartment as part of the bi-annual event.

This meant there was now a clock on both of us to bring this project to life.

In addition to advising her on purchases, for this makeover we’d have 6 weeks to:

  • maximize the existing storage, while exploring alternate options

  • optimize the space plan for better flow and function 

  • inject the apartment with style and swag that matched her own

But the bigger objective here was to give her the peace of mind that would empower her to continue to create a home, rental or not, that could support and nourish her lifestyle.

One Room Challenge | Brooklyn, NY Studio Apartment Design by Albie Knows | Photography by Mariah Texidor

While I wasn’t able to get everything done — because life — what’s leftover isn’t anything that can’t be tackled in her free time. Fun fact — since the installation of the design, she’s already made additional purchases from the shopping list I put together!

The starting point for the design was that we’d be upgrading much of the focal pieces of furniture — the bed and the sofa. While functional, for all intents and purposes, her old furniture wasn’t exactly doing the space any favors, especially as it relates to scale and style.

Often, it is assumed as apartment dwellers that there are limitations in the types of furniture available. Apartment dwellers tend to just settle. This is why I was super excited to partner with Apt2B — their catalog of apartment sized sofas are perfect for the smaller footprint of most rentals, in addition to their style and finish assortment.

We started with the Logan Sofa from Apt2B in a charcoal upholstery with the pecan leg finish. The Logan Collection features a loveseat (54”), an apartment size sofa (68”), and the 77” sofa that we got, in addition to a sectional and arm chair. Going bigger than an apartment size sofa was a strategic risk, knowing that this isn’t her forever apartment and that there would be a fair amount of clearance given her measurements.

Next up was the bed — the Everett Upholstered bed with linen upholstery and antique bronze nail heads. We were replacing a simple bed frame that, while it did its job, wasn’t something to write home about. The more stately headboard and upholstered frame was sophisticated without overpowering the space, and the linen was a perfect contrast to the sofa.

From here on end the focus was on the two remaining s’s — storage and styling!

Having a clear idea of her lifestyle and needs, I drilled into her the importance of purging — if it’s not serving you, get rid of it! The freed up space made bringing in the necessary accents to round out the design, even alongside some existing pieces, super easy. I can’t tell you how phenomenal the new two-tone wood chest looked in the space with her existing cocktail table and desk, without being too matchy-matchy. And don’t even get me started on the artwork — a total showstopper!

Photography by Mariah Texidor

The combination of old and new made the studio look like it should’ve always been this way, as oppose to a newly done home. And with hues of pink — aka her fav color — threaded throughout, the apartment now has a feminine flair in a way that is still chic and grown-up. This was exactly what she needed to feel completely settled in her apartment.

I know now what I need to tackle and can do so in steps.

Time for some thank you’s before wrapping up this reveal:

To Linda and the Calling it Home team for organizing the One Room Challenge, season after season.

To the companies who sponsored and helped me pull off this transformation!


Apt2B provided the new linen upholstered bed and charcoal grey with pecan legs sofa that were at the center of elevating this space into a “real adult apartment” without sacrificing space or style.

Simplify Storage provided valet storage solutions, allowing me to free up space and maximize the existing storage.

And lastly, Brooklinen provided all the accouterments — from the pillows to the duvet insert — with their Luxe Move-In Bundle. Nothing says, “A grown up lives here” like clean, crisp bedding…especially in a studio where the bed is visible from the front door.

Photography by Mariah Texidor

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Albie Knows