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

Photo by: Bethany Nauert

Bethany Nauert

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.

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Reinvent a Closet

Photo by: Bethany Nauert

Bethany Nauert

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.

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Use See-Through Furniture

Two Off-White Barcelona Chairs and Lucite Coffee Table

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.

Photo by: D2 Interieurs

D2 Interieurs

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

Photo by: Sam Zachrich

Sam Zachrich

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.

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Don't Be Afraid of Large Furniture

Custom sectional

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.

Stage the Entry

Photo by: Bethany Nauert

Bethany Nauert

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.

Employ Curtains

Bed nook in studio apartment

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

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

Bedroom With Hanging Wooden Bookshelf

Remodeled Master Bedroom With Hanging Wooden Bookshelf

This renovated master bedroom includes interesting details, like a hanging wooden bookshelf with small metallic vases.

From: Fixer Upper

Photo by: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

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

Photo by: Bethany Nauert

Bethany Nauert

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.

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