12 Clever Ideas for Laying Out a Studio Apartment
Find tips for decorating a one-room apartment and making the most of a tiny space.
Make a Seating Area
Do you really want your guests sitting on your bed? Well, maybe some of them. Having a separate seating area will help keep your bedding clean, meaning less trips to the laundry mat. Even if you only have a few square feet to spare, a designated seating area will make the space feel bigger with more purpose. Try a love seat or an apartment-sized sofa. There are plenty of models that also fold out to a bed if you have guests.
After: Bailed Out
Purposeful furniture choices and arrangement transform this formally cramped room. Simple, gorgeous style elements welcome guests into all of the new space. Watch the video of this makeover >>
Now We're Cooking
Sometimes adding the right furniture to a small space can make it feel bigger. No longer deserted, this apartment’s kitchen becomes the dessert! See more renter-friendly kitchen updates >>
It might be instinctual to hide a bed in a studio, but highlighting it can work well, too. This shiny, classy queen-sized piece of art complements the apartment proudly. Get furniture-buying tips for renters >>
Work Life Balance
Designating a specific space for your work – no matter how small – gives it a place of importance. When the time comes, closing the curtains will give you a little peace and rest. See more projects from this home office makeover >>
Reinvent a Closet
If you work from home, set up a separate office zone. Think about converting a closet. Take shelves up to the ceiling, and add rolling carts under the desk if you can’t give up all your storage.
A simple decoupage project will bring some modern charm to this chair. Just because you use something every day, doesn’t mean it has to look everyday and ordinary. The green-marbled pattern also creates an interesting contrast with the red wall. Get step-by-step instructions on how to decoupage a wood chair >>
Open metallic shelving not only works hard, but it looks good. Personal trinkets and keepsakes will remind you of the adventures and memories you’re working so hard to create. See more of this apartment makeover >>
Use See-Through Furniture
Contemporary Seating Area With Barcelona Chairs
Two Barcelona chairs and a lucite coffee table carve out a contemporary seating area perfect for relaxation or conversation. Abstract art adds a bold splash of citron yellow to the design.
Decorate with furniture that's transparent. Wicker, slatted wood or Lucite chairs and tables will make the space seem bigger if they blend into the surroundings.
Hide Storage Behind Artwork
That word art on the wall not only displays a sweet sentiment, but it's also a cabinet that conceals jewelry, makeup and other personal items.
Combo of Open Shelves and Closed Cabinets
Storage was implemented on an empty wall in an area that serves as a walkway between rooms. Plain white cabinets were used on the white walls to keep the storage "hidden in plain sight" and keep the space bright. The open shelving displays favorite books for these avid readers.
Fold-Down Vanity Table
To free up more space in the bathroom, a flip-down vanity table was added to the bedroom. A mirror in a prime location provides a place for morning makeup to happen outside the over-crowded bathroom. Also, to keep clothes nice and neat, a lower kitchen cabinet was repurposed to create a laundry sorting station.
Cosmetic and Jewelry Storage
A wall cabinet above the vanity hides makeup and jewelry, including a custom wooden makeup brush holder made with just a variety of drill bits. A grab-and-go makeup bag holds items the homeowner takes with her daily. Picture hooks hold earrings and a small dowel rod helps corral bracelets in an easy to see spot.
Don't Be Afraid of Large Furniture
Custom Sectional in Small Apartment
This custom-built sectional provides loads of seating as well as a bed for houseguests — the sofa was designed to sleep two. Guests can also sit on the wide sofa back. Photography by Anastassios Mentis
It seems counterintuitive, but sometimes a sectional sofa works best in a small space because the corners are used for seating and not an accent table. Go for furniture without arms or with slim-line arms to avoid bulkiness.
Build Versatile Furniture
If a kitchen table or a desk takes up too much real estate, build a flip-down table that you can fold up when not in use.
Make It: How to Build a Flip-Down Table
Stage the Entry
Fake a formal entry by placing a credenza by the door. Use it like foyer table to drop your keys and bags. Plus, you can use it to store shoes and sweaters.
Cozy Studio Bed with Luxurious Fabrics
A readymade bed was painted and built-in to look like custom cabinetry. Airy, floral curtains separate the bed from the rest of the apartment
If your bed or desk is in an alcove, simply hang curtains to lend some privacy and hide clutter when guests come over.
Divide With Storage
Orange Wall in Modern Studio Space
High, exposed ceilings automatically make this 700-square-foot apartment seem much larger. HGTV fan rbaby separated the bedroom from the living room and dining area with a cubicle bookshelf. The look not only provides additional storage but gives the bedroom some privacy from the rest of the space. Tip: Spice up a small studio with a vibrant focal wall in red or orange.
Shelving units make great wall dividers with a purpose. They can still allow you to have a full sightline across the apartment, yet they can create zones to separate living and sleeping areas. Plus, they provide extra spots to stash your stuff.
Use All Vertical Space
Install wall shelves wherever possible. Not only will it increase your storage, but it will draw the eye up and make the room feel bigger.
Go Big on Mirrors
Mirrors are the oldest trick in the book when it comes to making a room feel bigger. Don’t be afraid to go bold with a large reflecting glass. Get more tips for decorating with mirrors >>
Make It Mobile
Put castors on furniture like coffee tables, storage cubes and side chairs. Now, they can easily be moved out of the way or serve a dual purpose.