14 Functional + Chic Studio Apartment Makeovers

Don't let the size of your studio apartment put you in a design crunch. Maximize your small space with these simple design tips.
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November 25, 2014

Photo By: Matthew Williams

Photo By: ClosetMaid

Photo By: Todd Davis

Photo By: Alyssa Kirsten

Photo By: Jarret Yoshida

Small Studio With Big Style

Hand-painted pinstripes and removable wallpaper on one accent wall add instant style to this small studio on Manhattan's Upper West Side. A petite sofa comes alive with pillows that feature bold brushstrokes of magenta, and a feather Juju hangs above as a whimsical touch. A modern console table does triple duty as a vanity, workspace and dining table.

Small Shotgun Style

Since this shotgun-style apartment is only eight feet wide and 375-square-feet total, it was important to keep a clear pathway throughout the center, creating somewhat of a galley-style home. To keep the apartment both functional and stylish, furniture was arranged along two opposite walls with nothing in the middle, balanced visually with proper scale and proportion.

Smart Studio Storage

Closets are a great way to store clothing and other home essentials, but they can be a challenge in a small space. Removing closet doors is a great way to make a closet in a small space feel larger and give you easy access to the items inside. Drapes are a nice alternative for those who like an open closet but want the option to close things up when guests come over.

Sleek + Efficient Loft

The kitchen and living space in this 330-square-foot New York City studio apartment is kept spare to minimize visual clutter and maximize space. The floor-to-ceiling kitchen cabinetry provides storage, while a compact table does double time for dining and working. A sleek, compact kitchen doubles as the base for a lofted bed to add extra space.

Mastering a Tiny Apartment

Upon entry, the dining room opens onto the sleeping area, making the proper placement of living room furniture challenging. But a pair of French doors separates the bedroom from the dining room. Glass panels provide privacy without sacrificing natural light.

Privacy Wall

Partial walls create the feeling of a separate and private sleeping space in this crisp, white studio apartment.

Tiny, Built-In Bedroom

Since this small studio apartment lacked a defined bedroom, airy curtains were hung to separate the sleeping quarters from the rest of the space. A readymade bed was painted and built to look like custom cabinetry.

Neutral Sophistication

This studio apartment may be small in size but makes up for this deficiency with sophisticated city style. Neutral walls and curtains make the space appear much larger, while black and silver accents add to the crispness of the style. The living room's furniture arrangement keeps the space separate from the bedroom and study area, giving the small apartment more functional areas. Tip: Lucite furniture is a perfect addition to ultra-small spaces. This coffee table is hardly visible but still serves its purpose. The piece relieves the space of bulky furniture, preventing a crowded look.

Maximum Use

This 12-by-17-foot apartment doesn't leave much space for creating a separate bedroom, kitchen and living room, but the neutral color scheme and warm accessories provide an open feel with the intimacy of a small space. "My biggest challenge was creating a space that didn't feel like a bedroom. I placed the bed next to the kitchen to allow maximum light and views out the windows," HGTV fan moderngeek73 says. Tip: Keep furniture and decor to a minimum if your space is extra small. Use small light fixtures and furnishings.

Room for Entertaining

This stylish Philadelphia studio utilizes every inch of space without making the room seem busy. The neutral walls and bedding keep the space controlled and balanced. "I tried to separate the space with organic textures, eclectic accessories, shiny metallic objects, soft draperies and unique lighting schemes," HGTV fan greendesigner says. To quickly hide the bedroom from the kitchen and dining area, he added tall draperies as an easy room divider. Tip: Downsize the furniture to expand the space — buy a loveseat instead of a large sectional. If you like to entertain, invest in small barstools; they take up little space and provide plenty of seating for guests.

Funky + Vibrant

HGTV fan Wicket47 updated the narrow living room of this 300-square-foot apartment with a splash of color and funky wallpaper. Minimal decor and a crisp, white sofa allow the black-and-white graphic wallpaper to stand out without being overwhelming. Deep forest-green draperies are a perfect balance to the sofa and add a dramatic touch. Tip: If you're going to use a black and white color scheme, mix in a vibrant hue, like yellow or lime green, to break up the monotony.

Eclectic Personality

The narrow space in this studio apartment is made functional with stylish storage solutions, floating shelves and multipurpose furniture.

Industrial Accents

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.

Multifunctional Space

The effective layout of this space gives it the full functionality of a regular apartment. Offset from the bedroom, the sofa faces the back wall creating an intimate seating area of its own. A cubicle shelf unit serves as a simple room divider between the living room and bedroom. Small, sleek accessories and decor make the space visually appealing while keeping it from appearing cluttered. Tip: Use warm colors, like orange and taupe, to make the room look cozy without feeling dark.

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