A studio apartment occupies your living room as well as your bedroom. Which means you’re short on storage and you do not get the separate bedroom experience. But there are ways you can spruce up both space and solitude in a studio apartment.
With the help of a few tips you can refurbish your space to turn it into your ideal home. Regardless of the size of your studio apartment, it’s easy to come up with new ways to introduce furniture, built-storage units, and room dividers. Don’t think it’s possible? Read on for 25 tips excellent tips to maximize space, style, and comfort for your studio apartment.
1. Avoid cramped windows
Keeping your windows hidden away from furniture, the bed, or thick curtains makes the apartment feel crowded. Take advantage of the ample window space you get by letting the natural light in. An open window makes the studio apartment look light and spacious. You can opt for light-colored curtains or ceiling drapes to let in the warmth of the sun during the day and the cool breeze of the night.
According to The Atlantic, if you’re living in a tiny studio apartment keeping your windows cramped up can cause poor living conditions. Which is why you need to take a step forward to finding the perfect blend between your window and your furniture. (1)
2. Don’t Treat It As A Single Room
The best thing you can for your studio apartment is allot certain areas to different purposes. And use each space according to its function. For example, if you work from home, use a simple layout to separate where you sleep from where you work. This encourages maximum productivity and it saves storage space.
You can have different zones for entertaining guests, reading, sleeping, and working. So include pieces of furniture, like a simple room divider or even carpets, to mark each area’s territory. A better room layout ensures better utility which is the best way to live in a small space such as a studio apartment.
3. Consider Buying Open-Back Shelving Units
An open-back shelving unit is the perfect epitome of flexible furnishing. Many people use it to divide both small and large spaces. The trick is to place the shelving unit perpendicular to the wall, so your room looks good on both sides.
If you plan on using the open-back shelving unit as a bookshelf, stack books horizontally rather than vertically. For storing other items, using light-colored storage baskets and pair each with an assortment of candles, vases, plants, or bowls. If you have young children or pets at home, make sure the open-back shelving unit is securely pinned to the wall or to the floor. So that it doesn’t topple over.
4. Take Advantage Of Under-Bed Storage
While most people avoid storing suitcases or baskets filled with important items under the bed, when you’re living in a studio apartment it’s necessary. It’s the easiest way to utilize the tiniest of spaces and organize your storage.
If you’re blessed with a comfortable bed with sufficient place underneath it, you can store extra blankets, pillows, winter clothes, and maybe even books under there. Consider storing items that you don’t use on a daily or weekly basis. If there’s something in your apartment that you use once every few months, storing it under your bed is ideal.
5. Embracing A Loft-Bed
Most studio apartments come with high ceilings which opens up the possibility of a loft-bed. Going a level higher for your sleeping space, saves plenty of room for other stuff. You can have your own home office, reading space, and living room space in your very own studio apartment. Not to mention, you get the solitude of a private bedroom- that too on a height!
A loft-bed is also referred to as a platform bedroom. If you have the time and money to invest in a small staircase leading up to it, there’s no better way to refurbish your sleeping quarters in a studio apartment.
6. Consider Buying A Bunk Bed
Close to the benefits of using a loft-bed, a bunk bed is ideal for apartments with plenty of vertical space. It might seem like child’s play, but a bunk bed is one of the best ways to save space in a small apartment. They function as furniture as well as storage. Raise your bed closer to the ceiling and focus on setting up a dining table or your desk underneath it.
The space underneath the bunk bed can also be the perfect walk-in closet that you’ve always wanted for yourself. With the proper shelving, ladder, and bunk bed design, you can make your studio apartment look much bigger than it actually is. It’s the perfect 2-in-1 kind of an arrangement, if you ask me! (2)
7. Adding Space With Multi-Purpose Furniture
Ever heard of multi-purpose furniture? It’s the perfect multi-functional hack for studio apartments. It’s also a good way to transform a dingy apartment into a modernly furnished home. A few examples of multi-purpose furniture include a pull-down bed, an enclosed cabinet with a pull-out desk, and more.
Buying the right kind of furniture for your apartment offers extra storage space. Buying a sofabed which converts into a bed for sleeping and a sofa for lounging is also a good way to incorporate more space in your apartment. After all, you need the maximum amount space from whichever kind of furniture you choose to buy.
8. Hanging Different Kinds Of Artwork
Hang artistic pieces of artwork ranging from frames, wall hangings, etc. can add personality to your studio apartment. There are many ways to hang art without digging a massive hole in your wall. This factor is important if you’re staying on rent. Decide what works with your furniture and choose a simple and eye-catching color pattern to go with it.
When you chose a color scheme for your studio apartment, it can either make or break your décor. So having versatile artwork on your wall can work together to make your home feel like home. Neutral colors do good to make a small apartment feel big. And so do minimal artwork pieces such as frames and wall hangings.
9. Opt For A Large-Size Mirror
A mirror gives away an optical illusion which is a good space savior for a studio apartment. What I mean is they add more personality and shape by making any room feel bigger. You can either opt for a large mirror or use multiple mirrors to elongate a small room. Make sure you place the mirrors near corners or opposite a window.
When you place a mirror facing a window, you can double the view to bounce light around. This is the oldest, yet most effective trick to make rooms feel larger and brighter. Instead of opting for a wall-mounted mirror, buy an oversized mirror that you can position against the wall.
10. Don’t Avoid Patterns
Some of you might think that a studio apartment needs only solid colors for décor. But that isn’t so. You can creatively use patterns to go with your furniture and personality. Experimenting with unique patterns and colors with dramatic wallpapering, for instance, can make any room seem larger.
Believe it or not, interior designers use this trick in the book to alleviate the problems with tiny apartments. It’s the only way to add personality to your home and make it come to life.
11. Declutter As Much As You Can
We know decluttering can be a drag sometimes. But it’s the only way to make a small apartment look less chaotic. If you have too many throw pillows or stacks of books lying around, push them to corners. You can choose a corner in your room that will display everything you have lying around.
So grouping such items together can control, if not completely eliminate clutter. As a result, the open floor plan allows the apartment to look bigger than it is. And isn’t that the whole point of living in a studio apartment, to begin with?
12. Have An Open Kitchen
The best part about studio apartments is that everything is out in the open. While this may pose an issue if you want some privacy, the solution to that is the use of open-back shelves or room dividers. But kitchen is a clear exception to this solution.
Cooking in a cramped kitchen is messier and inconvenient. Instead let your kitchen be a part of your living space. You can organize better, cook without feeling the heat, and invite guests over for dinner parties. An open kitchen saves space and feels like crowded if you have people staying over. Don’t you think so?
13. Buy Furniture With Caster Wheels
If you love experimenting, you’ll want to move around your furniture from one corner to another. Caster wheels come in handy in such a situation. Because then you don’t risk the possibility of dropping valuable items or damaging the surface of your floor.
When you just move in a new studio apartment, packers and movers do most of the job of setting up. And to do that, they put all the heavy furniture on caster wheels. Either you purchase a foldable platform with caster wheels for flexibility. Or buy brand-new furniture with built-in caster wheels. This might cost a few extra bucks, but it’s worth the investment.
14. Try An Open Closet
The first thing you want to do when setting up your closet is removing closet doors. All closet doors swing outward into the room, which takes up considerable amount of floor and air space. You don’t want that for your studio apartment. You can detach the doors of a closet and replace it with a curtain that you can hang from a suspension rod. This hides the contents of your closet, while saving enough space.
If you’re not shy about what’s in your closet, keeping it open is also a great idea. But in such a situation, make sure you keep your closet nice and tidy. Use good-looking wooden hangers to spruce up the way you store your clothes.
15. Embrace A Brick Wall
When I think of a cozy studio apartment, the first image that comes to mind is a brick wall. Thanks to the Internet, embracing a brick wall in new and creative ways is easier than it used to be. You can seek professional assistance for installing a brick wall or even do-it-yourself!
If it’s a small studio apartment, you can add tons of personality with a single brick wall as opposed to the other white-washed walls. Exposed bricks in a living space has a bit of a rustic and authentic charm to it. Not to forget, it’s industrial too! You can buy a brick wall wallpaper, opt for brick paneling, or use a brick stencil to get creative. There are plenty of exciting options.
16. Buy A Wooden Ladder
Ever thought of repurposing a wooden ladder? You can repurpose a ladder for kitchen, bathroom, living room, and bedroom storage. Use it to hang clothes, blankets, towels, hand towels, or planters. You can even use a two-sided climbing ladder, the kind that painters use, and- with the help of wooden slabs- stack books or other items.
If you don’t have the space for cabinets in your bathroom, you can use a ladder to hang all your dried clothes and other belongings. Paint the ladder with a pop of color to add more personality and uniqueness to the studio apartment.
17. Opt For Vertical Storage
Vertical storage is great for doubling your storage. If you place shelving units or items horizontally, they take up most of your space. If you live in a studio apartment, vertical storage is the only way to make your room seem more spacious.
Bookcases, media storage, shelving, and other storage units work best for a studio apartment when they’re taller in height. And if you have high ceilings, vertical storage looks even better! Look for corners behind your furniture, between your fridge and stove, or between the kitchen and bathroom space. There’s more vertical space you’ve got in your studio apartment than you’ve noticed.
18. Add Indoor Plants
There are many science-backed benefits of buying indoor plants for your home. No matter how small or big your studio apartment is, having a few indoor plants is a good way to liven up the space.
Indoor plants improve air quality, which make breathing easier and healthy. So when you breathe in oxygen and release carbon dioxide, plants do the opposite to purify the air around you. According to one study, the presence of indoor plants can also improve attentiveness and focus for studies, work, and other important activities. (3,4,5)
That said, there are many kinds of indoor plants you can consider buying. Some demand higher maintenance than others, but they’re definitely worth the investment for your studio apartment.
Look for plants that can live well with less water consumption. For example, a snake plant can survive any environment. In fact, they’re nearly impossible to kill. Even if you deprive them of proper sunlight and water. (6)
19. Invest In A Kitchen Island
When you’re torn between a tiny kitchen and a dining table, you only need to make place for a kitchen island. A kitchen island is what sits right at the center of the kitchen space. Place a few high chairs and you get your very own dining table. Plus, a kitchen island makes a good helping hand for when you’re cooking a large meal.
A kitchen island also helps for storage when you have way too many utensils, dishes, and pots lying around. You can expand the footprint of your kitchen by introducing a multi-purpose kitchen island with a few shelving units. This can also make an excellent room divider between your living room and kitchen.
20. Use Curtains To Your Benefit
The best way to create a bedroom in your studio apartment is with good curtains. By installing suspension rods in different parts of your studio apartment, you can create your private bedroom like you’ve always wanted.
Curtains hardly take up any space. Plus, they look and feel light to touch. You can draw back curtains to divide two empty spaces when you want to. But choose neutral color curtains because dark colors will make your apartment look cramped.
21. Use Wooden Crates For A Headboard
Have recycled wooden crates to spare? Use them to create a fake headboard for your bed. This is another great way to mark your bedroom’s territory in your studio apartment. Plus, they add more storage space behind your bed for you to keep your books, music CDs, or movies.
Wooden crates turn up the coziness factor in your bedroom. And this is especially true when you’re living in a small apartment. You don’t need much to make a crate headboard. It doesn’t even take up much of your time; 2 hours will do the trick.
22. Opt For Minimal Artificial Lighting
Lamps and tubelights are good for making your place look bright and inviting after late evening. But up until then, you should reap the benefits of natural lighting. A well-lit apartment, at any time of day, is hard when you’re living in a studio apartment with small windows.
The best way to maximize natural lighting is to clear out the windows, place a mirror close to a window so the light gets reflected to different corners of the room, and use warmer and lighter colors when choosing the décor and wall paint. You can even invest in tiny lamps and candles to light up as the apartment’s light source after dark. (7)
23. Lay Down Rugs
When it comes to laying down rugs in your studio apartment, the more the merrier. While rugs are great for dividing the layout of a studio apartment, they’re good for company as well. What I mean by this is that if you’re limited on living room space, a rug on the floor can be used for sitting and lounging too.
Make sure you buy a thick, cushiony, and breathable rug to go with your living room furniture. A beautifully-sized rug that doubles as a lounging area carves out the perfect studio apartment spot. Add in a few throw pillows and you’ve got yourself a good space-expanding deal!
24. Furniture Layout Is Important
A studio flat layout dictates the space you will work with. It combines a living room, a bedroom, a kitchen, and a bathroom. While some studio apartments offer limited floor space, determining your home’s furniture layout can take away the crunch.
You need to maximize every square inch of your studio apartment to create the home you deserve. Start off by marking your sleeping space, followed by your working space, and then the living room. If you work from home, you should separate your sleeping from your working space. So using a room divider like an open-back shelving unit or curtains or a long table to separate the two spaces is essential.
In this way, you can lay out the proper furniture requirements for your apartment without confusion. While there are downsides to living in a studio apartment, it can still be made into a cozy and inviting living space with the right kind of furniture.
25. Invest In A Functional Entertainment Center
Your entertainment center is the main attraction of your home. It has all the good stuff that most people like in a house which includes a good TV and a home speaker system. A functional entertainment center is flexible and portable. You can move your TV around based on where you’re bingeing from; living room or bedroom or even your kitchen?
A great way to make your space work with an entertainment center is to place it in between your bed and living room area. So you can rotate your TV screen to either side when you want.
What Works For You?
Only a few people living in studio apartments involve themselves in decorating and refurbishing. What you need to know about living well in a studio apartment before settling for an uninviting home is right here in this guide.
A studio apartment can have its challenges- especially when you’re not so much of a decorator. But with the right ideas, you can make the most out of anything! Use these handy tips to turn your average-sized studio apartment into a comfortable haven. And find out which of these tips works best for you and your beautiful home.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.