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3 decorating insights from Barbie’s first dream home (which happened to be a tiny studio)

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Before she moved to Malibu and into the Dream House (which she put on the market last year for a cool $25 mil), Barbie lived like a lot of single New Yorkers: In a small, though fabulously decorated, one-room flat, points out Inhabitat. Yup, Barbie’s first home, as designed by her creator Ruth Handler in 1962, was a studio apartment filled with stylish mid-century modern furniture—all made entirely of cardboard. Here, what we learned about decorating from Barbie's original digs:

Rearranging the furniture can make a small place seem brand new

Less is more: A few substantial pieces of furniture are all you need to fill up a one-room home. For Barbie, that included a bed, a couch, a chair and matching ottoman, a coffee table and a TV. Swap the TV for a chest of drawers or a console and you’re pretty much good to go.

Consider built-ins: You can reduce the clutter of unnecessary furniture in a small space by having built-ins installed. Barbie fills one wall with wood-paneled storage cabinets-slash-bookshelves, a desk-slash-vanity and what appears to be an open closet (we’d suggest you add doors) for her extensive wardrobe.

Don’t be afraid to rearrange the furniture: Like her wardrobe, Barbie’s environment was ever-changing. Fortunately, since she had only a few, well-chosen pieces, her furniture could be easily reorganized to suit her needs (say, if best friend Midge dropped by or little sister Skipper came to stay). As Barbie well knew, a one-room apartment can feel old fast, but mixing up the furniture every so often can quickly and easily make a place seem brand new again.

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