Step Inside a 500-Square-Foot Studio That Exudes California Vibes

Small Williamsburg apartment tour
Genevieve Garruppo for Homepolish

Furnishing a studio apartment comes with its own particular set of challenges. Simply put, no matter how many ruthless design decisions or Marie Kondo–style editing efforts you make, maximizing such a small space is no easy feat. However, when Lily Kunin, the founder of Clean Food Dirty City and the author of Good Clean Food, moved into a modern, 500-square foot studio in Williamsburg, she added yet another challenge to the list: decorate exclusively with non-toxic, sustainably sourced items.

Naturally, she enlisted the help of Homepolish designer Olivia Stutz to curate a clean living space that didn't sacrifice style for the sake of being non-toxic. "We brought in a lot of natural and organic elements and products, such as organic cotton and sustainably sourced wood furniture and vintage rugs," explains Stutz. "Creating beautiful homes is what I love to do, but it's equally important to me that I'm purchasing responsibly," the Homepolish designer tells MyDomaine.

Keep scrolling to take a tour of a 500-square-foot studio that's filled with nontoxic finds and exudes laid-back California vibes.

500-square-foot NYC studio tour
Genevieve Garruppo for Homepolish

"We both knew right away that the color scheme was going to be soft and airy," explains Stutz. "Because we chose to rely on neutral colors for this project, I emphasized the use of textural fabrics, rugs, and blankets."

In the bedroom, linen sheets, mudcloth-striped pillows, and a pom-pom throw bring this vision to life and lend understated, California cool vibes to the space.

Williamsburg apartment tour
Genevieve Garruppo for Homepolish

The Homepolish designer's favorite thing about the space is the neutral color palette. "Lily also chose to have a lot of greenery and live plants in the home which really add such great energy to the space," says Stutz. "I love the all-around style of the home, which falls in the category of 'pure organic modernism,'" she adds.

Small space bedroom
Genevieve Garruppo for Homepolish

"The first thing we bought were the Serena and Lily wicker sconces," says Stutz. "We thought they would add so much character to the bedroom since there was no headboard to work with," she explains. "It ended up turning out so nicely with the beach print framed above the bed."

Studio living room space
Genevieve Garruppo for Homepolish

Although the space's palette is decidedly neutral, there are a few pops of color that stand out. "In terms of art, we really chose minimal seascape photographs but included one bright pink painting above the orange leather chair in the corner of the living space for a dose of color and fun," Stutz reveals to MyDomaine.

Small space living room
Genevieve Garruppo for Homepolish

One of the Homepolish designer's greatest finds was a reclaimed wood heart-shaped coffee table from Chango & Co. "I also sourced some amazing pillows and décor from a few Etsy dealers (the secret is out!) to create that lived-in Malibu home beach feeling we were striving for," reveals Stutz.

Lily Kunin, founder of Clean Food Dirty City, apartment tour
Genevieve Garruppo for Homepolish

The biggest challenge of the project, according to Stutz, was choosing the right sofa for the space. "At first, we really wanted a shabby-chic sofa with a Moroccan wedding blanket draped over it to create a really bohemian feel," Stutz explains. However, the pair ended up opting for a comfortable sofa made with a soft Belgian linen in a white-taupe color. "Looking back, I am so happy we went in that direction," confesses Stutz. "Simply because of how it is—everyone wants to sit on that couch!"

Small space bathroom
Genevieve Garruppo for Homepolish

Even the small-space studio bathroom exudes beachy vibes with its predominately blue-toned décor. The ethically sourced materials, notably the shower curtain and self-care products, also reflect the mission Stutz and Kunin shared in curating a space that's both beautiful and sustainable. 

Lily Kunin, founder of Clean Food Dirty City
Genevieve Garruppo for Homepolish

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