Editor’s Note: What would you do with a $5,000 room makeover? When we asked, you answered! Anna Bui in Charlotte, NC, was one of 300+ West Elm entries in our Room Redo Contest, where we gave 3 winners a West Elm Design Crew makeover. See how we transformed her 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 and 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.

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


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 and 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.

“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!

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