Studio Apartment Renovation | Living Room, Bedroom...

Studio Apartment Renovation | Living Room, Bedroom, Bathroom

If you didn’t catch the first part of Cali’s studio apartment reno project, we fixed up her kitchen space. Basically what we did there was paint the cabinets, refinish the floor, we added some more storage, and built out a more functional dining space. Once we completed all of that, our focus was then to make some updates to the rest of the studio living spaces and the bathroom.

Sources: Plant Basket

Being that the bedroom area and living area are in the same room in a studio style space like this, it takes some creative thinking as far as laying everything out on it’s own. But on top of that, Cali and her husband Billy, were expecting their first baby so we needed to incorporate a nursery area into the room as well. A pretty tall order for a single room.

Here’s some photos of the space before they moved in:

Cali painted the walls all white (Droplets by Dunn Edwards) just after moving in 4 years ago to freshen it up a bit initially. Apart from adding a wallpaper accent wall, she hadn’t made any other big improvements to the studio prior to this reno, with the exception of a few small things here and there like replacing the ceiling fan and some light fixtures.

We had quite a long to-do list to update this space and make it baby ready, so we tackled one thing at a time starting with the mantle space…


When Cali and her husband first moved in, there was an old stove fireplace in the center of the room with a brick facade behind it. The stove was cool, but wasn’t really a necessity because of the warmer climate here in Santa Barbara. So they sold the stove and decided they’d rather do a mantle with the tv mounted above it on the brick wall instead. The idea there was that this would help center the room, and free up some much needed space in that other part of the room where a nursery could go. Prior to this renovation the tv and couch area was off to the right of the fire place stove, taking up a whole corner of the room.

Sources: Wood Tiles

Our design for the mantle was to have it be floating and fairly simple in shape. But we did want it to conceal all of the tv boxes and power cords, so we built it so we could pass things through and store them on the inside of it. Cali also had some wooden carved tiles that fit in with the boho vibe she was wanting in the room, so we affixed those to the mantle box, trimmed those out and then did a rough white wash over the entire thing to make it look more like a Balinese style piece of furniture.


One of the biggest changes in this reno was replacing the old, cream colored carpet. Cali and her husband toyed with different ideas for flooring, but ultimately decided they just wanted new, fresh carpet since they were having a baby and they’d be spending a lot of time on the floor. They chose a low knap white Lifeproof patterned carpet (Recognition I, Ice Cap) from Home Depot, who had a third party company come and do the install.

The new carpet really brightened up the whole room and made it feel bigger, which is great in a studio apartment.

Bedroom/Living Area

Sources: Aqua Rug

As we mentioned before, the “living room” was in the right corner of the room. The tv/tv table, couch, coffee table, etc. We decided that with moving the tv above the mantle we should move the couch to the foot of the bed right in front of the tv, and use that freed up corner of the room for the baby’s “nursery” space.

We kept the “bedroom” set up as it was before on the wallpaper accent wall. But we added a large area rug to define the space a little bit more and then painted all the furniture white for a fresh update and to create a more seamless look.


Sources: Barstools, Ceiling Fan

For the nursery space, Cali wanted to keep it simple since it would be in the same space as their “living room & bedroom” and also visible from the kitchen. But she still wanted to have the functionality of a full sized nursery. So she went with the basics – a crib, a rocker, and a dresser/changing table for furniture and then converted the small closet on that side of the room into the baby’s closet. Stay tuned for a full “nursery” tour coming soon!


Sources: Hand Towel

The bathroom was probably the most time consuming part of this project and that was because the whole thing just needed a complete face lift. The floor was covered in these dated, tan colored tiles. The shower was tan tiles with pansy flowers – it was just old/dingy looking. Not wanting to get into a huge tile project right before the baby came, we decided to just go ahead and paint the whole room white.

We painted the walls the same white as the rest of the studio walls, Droplets by Dunn Edwards. We then painted the tile floor white, sealed that, and then refinished the shower with an epoxy tub & tile kit.

Sources: Stencil

We sanded down the front of the vanity and added a pebble back splash around the sink to give it a tropical vibe. We switched out the cabinet hardware and lighting sconces. Then Cali stenciled a Moroccan flower pattern on the on makeup counter and stool to add a little boho more detail.

Overall we feel the room makeover turned out as planned. We were able to accomplish everything we set out to do before the baby got here – we were able to make space for the nursery area by mounting the tv and rearranging and getting rid of some furniture.

We even have a decent amount of opened floor space now which will be great for baby toys and for doing activities. We were really able to make all the updates to the room and bathroom that we wanted. Now when you look at the studio as a whole it just feels so fresh and bright.

Lots of white and pops of color at play with little hints of boho accents- it all ties together really well which was really important considering we were trying to make essentially four or five different rooms that you find in a typical home, all work together in one space.

Stay tuned for the nursery “tour” and thanks so much for following along with our first home renovation!


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