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What do you do with a boring, beige, 45-square-foot kitchen in a studio apartment? Well, if you’ve just come home from Milan, where your favorite afternoon was spent soaking up the Wes Anderson-designed Bar Luce at the Fondazione Prada, you go all in on pink and green and make it the kind of place you could totally invite a famous filmmaker to hang out.

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APartment Therapy one-bedroom before & After

Before and After: A Paint-Fueled Redo Gives This Beige Box Apartment Some Much-Needed Charm

As a serial renovator, I’ve always worked with old houses; most have been a hundred years old or more, and the newest probably was still about 90 years old. So when I launched a hospitality venture with my best friend, in which we converted apartments to furnished medium-term rentals (like this studio inspired by an eclectic taxidermy shop), confronting my first 1970s build was a new challenge.

Apartment Therapy Studio Before & After

Before and After: This 202-Square-Foot Studio’s Chic Redo Was Inspired by an Unlikely Source

The great thing about a boring brown-and-beige box of an apartment? It’s essentially a blank canvas, meaning your imagination can run wild when it comes to renovating. That’s part of what attracted me and my BFF and business partner, Mike, to this 202-square-foot studio apartment inside a Victorian-era-house-turned-apartment-building in Louisville, Kentucky.