15 Design Tips for Studio Apartments

Design tipBy: Maurine Anderson

Designing a studio apartment can be a special challenge because you essentially have just one room to work with, yet it needs to be versatile enough to cater to all of your everyday needs. The main room in a studio apartment, for example, might serve as bedroom, living room, and home office all in one. Are you considering moving into a studio apartment, or do you currently live in one? Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when designing your studio apartment.

Maximize light.

Maximizing light is probably the most effective way you can make your space appear larger. Let in as much natural light as possible, and when necessary, supplement overhead lighting with task lamps and standing lamps.

Use a simple color scheme.

As this article about decorating small spaces explains, a simple color scheme is best for your studio apartment because it will create a feeling of unity and cohesion—even as your space is segmented for different purposes. Light and airy colors are typically best for studios because they tend to make a space look larger.

Use pops of color sparingly.

A pop of color, such as an accent pillow or piece of wall art, will go a long way in a studio apartment. Add a few pops of color (but only a few) to your space to add some interest.

closetGo minimalist.

If you’ve never quite embraced the minimalist lifestyle, now is the time to start. Get rid of anything that you do not find useful or particularly beautiful, and try to embrace an attitude of wanting less. Doing so will make decorating and organizing your studio space a whole lot easier. Plus, your space is more likely to promote peace and healing, as this article explains.

Opt for multifunctional furniture.

Maybe your desk, for example, can double as a nightstand and vanity. Or, maybe your couch features built-in storage for blankets, movies, etc. You might even opt for a daybed which can easily transform into a seating area during the day.

Opt for larger furniture.

Similarly, lots of smaller furniture pieces scattered throughout your studio will make it appear cluttered. Instead, carefully select a few larger pieces that will perform multiple functions within the space.

Bedroom with a light beige tonesThink in terms of spaces, not rooms.

As you go about designing your studio space, you’ll want to think in terms of spaces, not rooms. You may not have a designated room to serve as your bedroom, but you can create a bedroom space within your studio that will feel almost as cozy as a bedroom.

Use your furniture to divide spaces.

How you position your furniture can really determine how the spaces within your studio are defined. You might, for example, set a wider bookshelf along the edge of your living room space to act as a living room “wall.” Or, you might position your desk up against the back of the couch to define the area behind the living room space as an office space. You might even pull your bed away from the wall and rotate it so that the head of the bed is positioned up against another piece of furniture (such as a sofa or dresser).

Use other creative room dividers.

Furniture isn’t the only thing you can use to divide your space into rooms. You can also use a freestanding room divider, curtains, or a glass room divider.

Use an area rug to set a space apart.

Want another easy way to set your bedroom or living room apart as a distinct space in your studio? Place a large area rug underneath your bed or living room area to define the space.

Decorate with mirrors.

Mirrors—especially two installed on opposing walls—will make your studio look larger.

Go upward with storage.

Because you can’t afford to waste space in your studio, it’s a good idea to go upward. You might, for example, install floating shelves above your TV for extra storage, or you might use two tall bookshelves to frame your deskspace and provide extra storage.

Use those commonly unused spaces.

On a similar note, you should always be seeking to use those spaces that commonly go unused in a home. The wall area above the bed, the space under a desk, the surface of a door—all of these areas offer valuable space for extra storage.

Install curtains near the ceiling.

To make your walls appear taller, install your curtains near the ceiling and make sure they are long enough to extend to the floor.

Decorate with the things you use.

To make your studio both practical and design conscious, try decorating with things you use instead of investing in extra wall art for your space. You might, for example, hang larger hats on the wall or display more decorative looking pantry items on kitchen shelving.

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