Ideas + Advice

Baby + Kids

Design Crew Makeover

A Small-Space Studio For 2

What would you do with a $5,000 home makeover? For our first-ever Room Redo Contest, we asked just that—and more than 300 of you answered! We chose 3 lucky winners to team up with west elm Design Crew to create their dream space. First up: Anna Bui!


Anna Bui

Design Crew:

Jessica Sulo, west elm Charlotte


Charlotte, NC


585ft² studio

Let's set the scene: You're moving in with your S.O. You're melding your two styles into one cohesive space that feels like home to both of you. You're starting from scratch, so your to-do list can feel overwhelming. Plus, your new shared space is a 585ft² studio—making all of the above trickier.

That's why Anna Bui in Charlotte, NC entered our Room Redo Contest. After she + her boyfriend moved into their new Uptown Charlotte studio, they needed help with a floor plan, organization and style.

"Our space was really bare," Anna says. "I wanted to make it feel more like a home. One of the biggest challenges that we had was with the open layout. We didn't know how to divide up the living area from the kitchen or bedroom."

Jessica Sullo, lead Design Crew designer at west elm Charlotte, knew exactly what needed to be done.

"We prioritized the apartment's flow, extra storage and personal elements to tie the space together," says Jessica.

Charlotte DesignCrew Before


Charlotte DesignCrew After


She zoned their floor plan, creating different areas that perform different functions:

  • Living Space: An area rug, our clean-lined Henry Sofa + Austin Swivel Arm Chair section off lounging, TV watching + hosting friends.
  • Dining: The Wren Bistro Table and Crest Bentwood Chairs set the stage for morning coffee + dinners for two.
  • Home Office: The Mid-Century Pop-Up Coffee Table turns living-room lounging into an at-the-ready workstation.
  • Bedroom: A corner nook is the natural choice for semi-private sleeping quarters.

Plenty of storage and double-duty designs keep the studio looking neat and open.

"In a small space, there's no room for pieces you don't really need," says Jessica. "Everything should have purpose and multifunction."

The Mid-Century Pop-Up Storage Coffee table can play stage to Anna's morning coffee while stashing extra throws + magazines. Her preexisting console now doubles as a dresser.

To bring more personality into the space, Jessica tapped into the couple's hobbies + passions.

"Anna's boyfriend has a real knack for photography," Jessica says. She made prints of the couple's favorites for a custom photo display that's anything but off-the-shelf.

"My job was to turn their apartment into their home." - Jessica Sullo

The result? A livable layout, chock-full of smart storage and personal touches.

"When I first walked into the finished space, I was overwhelmed with emotions," Anna says. "Jessica transformed the whole space and tackled all our issues. I couldn't believe it was the same apartment."

We hope you love your new home sweet home, Anna!

Interested in a room redo of your own? We'll make it easy.
Book a free design consultation with our Design Crew experts to get started.

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