How to Decorate a Rental Studio in 6 Weeks—One Room Challenge: Week 1

One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Week 1


Dear future me,

Have we finally learned not to take on too much at once? Do we live in a fabulous studio in New York City? If you’ve answered yes to both those questions, it means the One Room Challenge was a success!

If you follow Savvy Home, you already know that I moved to New York City last week—and the only thing that is currently different in my new studio apartment from the “before” pictures above, is that my furniture and boxes got delivered from Montreal a few days ago—minus my beloved marble bistro table—which got spectacularly smashed in the move. SO this One Room Struggle is REAL you guys. And yes, I know, I move too much. Sue me.

For those who don’t know me yet: hi, welcome! I’m Gabrielle, founder and (sometimes) blogger at Savvy Home. In my daytime life, I also work as a home décor/market editor for MyDomaine. I am a aspiring cocktail reviewer, food enthusiast, wannabe tennis pro (“wannabe” being the key word here), home stylist, competitive domino player, and serial wanderluster.

So thus far there is no plan (other than a plan of attack I wrote for MyDomaine, as a sort of cathartic way to make me feel better about not having a plan). At least you know where to go if you need a game plan for your own makeover. BUT—I’ve been known to tackle great projects under pressure, and this is not my first rodeo, so let’s do this!


One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Week 1

One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Week 1


This time around, we’re taking the One Room Challenge quite literally, because my new living quarters consist of exactly that: one room. Plus a really average bathroom, which I’ll spare you. Welcome to New York City! The good news is: my studio is clean, it’s renovated, it’s in a great area, and it gets a ton of really beautiful natural light. And if I ever decide to move out of this city, and buy a three-bedroom house literally anywhere else in the country, my mortgage will be half the cost of my current rent—so that’ll be a piece of cake.

Shall we look at some inspiration?

Essentially, I’m going for a look that’s both minimal and textured, monochrome and cheerful, old and new. Let’s make this Union Square studio look like a five-star hotel guest room, shall we? Follow along each Wednesday!


One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Week 1

One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Week 1

One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Week 1

Of course, I’m not alone participating, so follow along everyone’s progress below. The group is seriously SO talented this round, I can’t wait to see some of these reveals!



Claire Brody | The Curated House | Design Manifest | Driven by Decor | Honey We’re Home | Hunted Interior | The Makerista  | Making it Lovely | My Sweet Savannah | Pencil and Paper Co. | The Pink Clutch | Savvy Home | Simplified Bee | Sketch 42 | Jill Sorensen | Orlando Soria | Thou Swell | The Vault Files | Waiting on Martha | The Zhush | Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by CIH


Photos: JJ Locations | Felix ForestPia Ulin, design by Joseph Dirant



  • Kevin O’Gara | Thou Swell

    I was expecting this after watching your move-in on Snapchat!! I can’t wait to see you tackle this space!

  • Krystle Pickens

    I love your inspiration for your new tiny space! It’s going to be lovely!! Have fun 🙂

  • CallingitHome

    I am secretly living your life as I watch you. I love how easily you just…go….anywhere. Great bones on this one.

  • Hollie Cooper

    How exciting, literally starting from scratch – I love it!!! Your inspo images are lovely & will be following along!

  • Natalie Catalina

    So exciting!!! WIshing you the BEST of luck. I have no doubt you’ll pull together something amazing. Please snap everything 🙂

  • Nancy @ Slightly Coastal

    I love the space you have to work with. It already looks modern and cool without even adding anything so I’m sure you are going to take it to new heights. Good luck! I’ll be following along!

  • Plain with a POP

    looks wonderful ! all the best for the coming weeks. and of course..a moment of silence for that gorgeous marble table. 🙂

  • Gwen, The Makerista

    Love your inspiration and I can’t wait to see what you do!

  • Vel

    The space is nice! Can’t wait to see how you dress it up!

  • Sherry Hart

    It’s gonna be a challenge but one that I know you can handle! Looking forward to seeing you get your design on!

  • Anna Lynn Garrett

    Love your inspiration photos! Can’t wait to see more!

    Cheers! xo the Waiting on Martha team

  • Kristin @ Postbox Designs

    Wow! I have a feeling your makeover is going to have a totally different look than a lot of them-can’t wait to see what you come up with! I’m following along as a guest participant, so it’s been fun to check out all of your “befores”!

  • Wanda @ From House To Home

    I love the space…can’t wait to see how you make it over!

  • Paige Minear Me

    So fun!!! I can’t wait to see your space come together!! Super excited to be along side you in this amazing thing we call the ORC! xo, paige