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Abbie's Light Life




Norwalk, Connecticut



Square Feet:


What I Love About My Home

When I saw the big windows in this studio, it was love at first sight. They add the illusion of expansiveness, and a feeling of happiness, to a potentially claustrophobic box-like space. My tiny home has encouraged me to embrace living small. I love that it always feel cozy. I love that it only takes 20 minutes to thoroughly tidy up. I love that I can easily multitask on rushed mornings. I love that I've been forced to self edit belongings and take on only what I can afford space for. My small space has lovingly added a lightness to my life. But most of all, since it's the first apartment I've lived in on my own, I love that it's truly "my" space.

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home

Hands down, the tiny size... I was anxious to tackle the small, storage-less, studio layout. I wanted it to feel like a one bedroom home, without feeling awkward and cluttered. After some exhaustive sketching, I came up with a floor plan that creates separate areas for everyday living. And yet it doesn't feel cramped -- just cozy. A challenge that's been a close second, is my lack of patience. It's been difficult to realize that a home is like Rome; it wasn't built in a day. For now, I've gotten some wonderful hand-me-down furniture from my amazing friends and family, which has made the patience part much easier to bear.

Favoriting and voting have ended.

Comments (62)

Love it! And even the kitty goes with your decor.

posted by ruthinaz on April 27, 2011 at 1:37pm
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You've got my vote for the art in the 5th shot alone!

posted by ingridli on April 26, 2011 at 8:27am
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First place? I'm very impressed by the sophistication of your design style. Think of your new place as an ever-evolving work of art that won't and should never be "finished" and enjoy the journey (I change it up at least once a month with vintage finds, paint, DIY projects, etc).

This is one of my favorites for sure. You're right that it's is sunny and happy yet it's very chic too. And the artwork in photo 5? Mmm hmm.

One question for everyone, is IKEA making cats? I'm starting to think these are props. :)

posted by cvgmiami on April 26, 2011 at 9:14am
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What an eclectic mix of decor.

posted by jaydizzle on April 26, 2011 at 10:17am
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Thanks so much for the love, guys! The art in the fifth pic is Indelicate, by Seb Lester.

As for the cat, she's a hand-me-down from some friends that has become my spoiled little snuggler. Sadly she's not available at Ikea...

posted by Abbie G on April 26, 2011 at 10:19am
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Abbie, your place is so chic and livable -- gorgeous! I would love to know where you got the small vanity in the fifth shot. My place is 325sqft and I haven't been able to find a vanity small enough to fit in the space! --Jennifer

posted by jenniferp on April 26, 2011 at 10:35am
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Your cat looks almost identical to my "prop" cat, Jazzy. I thought maybe they were mass producing them now. They do add a lot though, I have to say.

posted by cvgmiami on April 26, 2011 at 10:37am
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Finally get to see your place!

posted by Xin2look on April 26, 2011 at 10:47am
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Jennifer p - that vanity is an antique that my dad passed down to me. My family thought it was just a writing desk, but during my move the top flipped open. Taa-daa! It was actually a vanity table! So I'd keep your eye out for writing desks at tag sales or thrift shops. Maybe it will actually be a vanity...

posted by Abbie G on April 26, 2011 at 11:05am
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I've seen your rug from your living room in a few of these entries. Where did you get it? Your whole space is wonderful!

posted by Tracy333 on April 26, 2011 at 11:34am
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@ ingridi, agreed on the art!

posted by lorrinm on April 26, 2011 at 11:52am
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NONE of your furniture has a hand-me-down look. Everything goes together so well it looks like you planned it from scratch, with plump budget too.

posted by melissapauline on April 26, 2011 at 12:07pm
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Love how you've laid out the space

posted by Stationery Fiend on April 26, 2011 at 12:12pm
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Beautifully done! and love how comfy your kitty looks.

posted by sassy c on April 26, 2011 at 1:57pm
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@tracy333 It's the Milliken black & white vibe rug available at rugsusa.com. Thanks again for the apartment love!

posted by Abbie G on April 26, 2011 at 2:27pm
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I love how you've decorated to match your cat :)

posted by ell.uu on April 26, 2011 at 4:53pm
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Really cute place - and did i spy a washer dryer in there? Lucky!

posted by lili09 on April 26, 2011 at 5:40pm
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I love the poster in the last photo!

posted by knitsmcgee on April 26, 2011 at 6:11pm
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Love the use of the bookshelves for a divider And a cat that mirrors the color scheme. The best. Loved your floor plan diagram.

posted by commonwealth on April 26, 2011 at 6:27pm
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Abbie - Is your rug the 5x8 or the 8x10? I'm definitely going to buy that rug but having trouble deciding which size I want. Thanks!

posted by lonestarstateofstyle on April 26, 2011 at 7:32pm
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Gorgeous! I'd love to know your paint color.

posted by panacea05 on April 26, 2011 at 7:29pm
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Ditto - love the space and would love to know the which paint/color you used. Great use of space !

posted by jsian on April 26, 2011 at 7:56pm
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My goodness I'm blown away by all this apartment love!! Thanks so much!

@lonestarstateofstyle The rug is the 5x8. It fits the loveseat area perfectly.

@panacea05 and @jsian The paint color is Behr Pensive Sky in flat. I can't remember the chip number but I'm sure you can look it up on the Behr website.

posted by Abbie G on April 26, 2011 at 8:26pm
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Shout out to Connecticut! LOL!
Your studio is so well put together and looks light and airy. Great job!

posted by elbaramos on April 26, 2011 at 9:09pm
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LOVE!!!! And the kitty is super cute :)

posted by hurricanekc on April 26, 2011 at 9:35pm
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The span of spacial feelings - close cooking, cozy sleeping, ample dining, tall and bright makingup, and spacious couching - creating 5 distinct areas is impressive for only 452 square feet. Well done!

posted by ArchiTech in Maine on April 26, 2011 at 10:39pm
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Classy, functional, well put together.....

posted by SmallIsBeautiful on April 27, 2011 at 12:57am
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My two favorite parts: The Sylvia Ji print and the matching bedset/cat combo :D

posted by Sidhe Cat on April 26, 2011 at 11:52pm
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Black and white - one word: amazing!

posted by Renaisssance Chick on April 27, 2011 at 1:20am
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Finally, Ikea used for good, not for evil. Seriously, what an accomplishment. Beautiful.

posted by Terry3 on April 27, 2011 at 2:13am
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Love the Silvia Ji print!!

posted by smearedmascara on April 27, 2011 at 7:47am
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Now, THIS is how a first apartment should be! well done, you.

posted by msmezzo on April 27, 2011 at 9:00am
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Abbie - love your space. Love what you've done with your small kitchen! Is the island that you have one that you bought or was it part of your kitchen?

posted by sara01 on April 27, 2011 at 9:50am
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Very cute place. It does seem more like a 1 bedroom than a studio. I like the vanity, please tell us where it's from. I'm looking for one that would fit well in my studio, as the bathroom is tiny, no way I can manage to put my face on in there.

posted by studioren on April 27, 2011 at 10:02am
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@sara01 The kitchen island came with the studio. But I did sew some fabric panels, and hung them on the sides with small 3M Command hooks to create some extra out-of-sight storage.

@studioren The vanity is an antique piece my dad gave me. We thought it was just a writing desk, but during the move it flipped open to reveal a vanity. It was a very happy accidental discovery! Keep your eyes open at tagsales and thriftstores for your very own surprise piece!

Thanks again for all the love!

posted by Abbie G on April 27, 2011 at 10:28am
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I love the colors! and you've achieved that difficult task of having "just enough" stuff. The only thing that jarred me was the coffee table -- I'd paint it. What is the space behind the console table/loveseat used for?

posted by Holly14 on April 27, 2011 at 12:57pm
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I love everything about your sweet place! The picture in #5....love it!

posted by S.J.P. on April 27, 2011 at 1:32pm
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Excellent job!! One of my favorites.

posted by GreatFriend on April 27, 2011 at 1:57pm
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I really like the antlers, conventionally "masculine" unexpectedly hung over the traditionally feminine vanity. Perfect.

posted by tomgyrll on April 27, 2011 at 2:05pm
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Big ups to CT from a New Haven-er!! Great place. Kudos to making your 1st place look so hip and inviting! Well done!

posted by shannont on April 27, 2011 at 2:09pm
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Very snazzy, vibrant & fun. Your cat perfectly embodies the muse role... black and white and wildly expressive, nothing mousey about this abode!

posted by visualeyes on April 27, 2011 at 2:38pm
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Where did you make the floorplan?? I need exactly that. Thanks! (and great space).

posted by k8r on April 27, 2011 at 2:45pm
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@holly14 That coffee table is on loan until I find something I love, so painting is off limits sadly. It's saving grace is it ties in with the lighter floors. And the area behind the couch is a wide entry hallway. I've used it for a small desk area and my dresser, which is used for storage and a "landing strip".

posted by Abbie G on April 27, 2011 at 2:54pm
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@k8r Adobe Illustrator. Drawn to scale. Perfect for playing furniture tetris when you're trying out floor plans. Feel free to steal!

posted by Abbie G on April 27, 2011 at 3:00pm
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The expressively eloquent art won it all!

posted by Shadlyn on April 27, 2011 at 10:44pm
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What a great apt! You did an amazing job. May I ask please where you got the shelf/lighting piece that you have over your bed? I've been looking for something like this. Congrats again on having such a great eye for design.

posted by smokegurl14 on April 27, 2011 at 6:20pm
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posted by kimscollectables on April 27, 2011 at 6:27pm
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I love this; very sophisticated and clean looking! Great job, especially considering the small amount of square footage.

posted by olderworker on April 27, 2011 at 9:58pm
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Inspiring!! I've been looking for a rug exactly like that!

As many other people previously stated, that Seb Lester print is incredible! Where on earth did you find it, as every site I've searched on is UK shipping only!

posted by cbraun on April 28, 2011 at 12:37am
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yah, mostly i dislike seeing people's shedding, smelly, flea bitten animals draped all over their immaculate apartments,,,, BUT your kitty won my heart by matching the bedroom.

posted by queenyellowsun on April 28, 2011 at 4:52am
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@smokegurl14 That shelf & lighting over the bed are two separate products from Ikea that I've put together and wall mounted.

@Mello1 Yeah, the white chairs suck, I know. Sadly, they came with the apartment, so I'm stuck with them, and they don't fit anywhere else, so at the table they stay. The craftsman coffee table is on loan until I save up to get a glass & chrome number I have my eye on. It's not perfect, but works for now!

@cbraun The Seb Lester print was a gift, so I'm not exactly sure where it's from, but I'm pretty sure it was a UK shop. See previous comments for the rug info...

Thanks for all the constructive comments guys! I'll have to save faster for that new coffee table!!

posted by Abbie G on April 28, 2011 at 9:17am
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Super efficient use of every inch (zero wasted space) without feeling squeezed. Love it!

posted by Five O'Clock on April 28, 2011 at 10:05am
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Love your digs--it is like a sanctuary for peace in a noisy world! A very intelligent use of space and light--you have a good eye Abbie!

Jennifer S.

posted by Egdirdle on April 28, 2011 at 10:30am
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Love, love, love your place!

posted by robinuf on April 28, 2011 at 11:32am
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Your "headboard" is amazing. I've never seen anything like that, and I think it is incredibly creative.

Beautiful space.

posted by Jessica Jeanne on April 28, 2011 at 1:14pm
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I remember what you started with. It looks great. Your landlord must be thrilled--you have definitely made the Realtor's job easier the when you decide to move!

posted by wendye1 on April 28, 2011 at 9:29pm
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Love the kitchen.

posted by owlmug on April 29, 2011 at 1:07am
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If there was one thing I'd change, it'd be putting a huge mirror between the windows next to the loveseat!

posted by owlmug on April 29, 2011 at 2:11am
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Absolutely LOVE your place & style - bravo!

posted by ColoradoMel on April 29, 2011 at 4:02pm
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amazing place, efficient, stylish and modern.

posted by ta ta timbo on April 30, 2011 at 4:35am
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I'm very interested in what two particular products you bought from Ikea?

posted by NinaMarieA on August 12, 2012 at 10:05am
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I would like to know what the name/style of the shelf/bookcase above your bed is? I know you stated in previous comments that you had purchased it from Ikea. I have the same LED lights around my house in the kids rooms. They come in handy & I would love to do this same set up in my eldest child's room. Thanks in advance for your reply.

posted by babyblue79 on September 19, 2012 at 3:06pm
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