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inside a studio apartment with a bed and small office desk

How to Design a Studio Apartment

Living in a studio apartment makes avoiding clutter and maintaining privacy challenging. But with a few creative layout and design hacks, small space living is easy—even in the smallest apartment! Check out our list of decorating tips, setup ideas, and organizational hacks to embrace your studio apartment design!

Decorate with Light Colors

bedroom with light color paints and light bedding photo by Instagram user @brookandpeony

Photo via @brookandpeony

A clever studio apartment design hack is to keep paint colors light. Bright, crisp colors like white, light gray, or beige can make a small studio apartment look bigger. Add soft-colored curtains and lighting like floor lamps for extra brightness.

Use Mirrors to Open Up the Room

One of the easiest studio apartment design ideas is to include big mirrors! Mirrors reflect light and make the open floor plan of a studio apartment feel twice as big. You can create a gallery wall of mirrors or add one large floor mirror for the same effect.

Absorb Sound with a Colorful Tapestry

small handmade tapestries hanging on apartment wall photo by Instagram user @graphicolier

Photo via @graphicolier

Apartment living can sometimes be loud. Absorb sound while adding decoration to your studio apartment by hanging colorful tapestries on your walls. Thick carpet, rugs, and curtains can also muffle dogs barking, loud music, or noisy talkers.

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Design an Accent Wall

small apartment with floor to ceiling mural on an accent wall photo by Instagram user @reklektik

Photo via @reklektik

Decorating a studio apartment can be limiting when you have such a small space. Consider putting an accent wall behind your bed, in the kitchen, or in the living room area to get that extra pop of color in your studio. If your landlord doesn’t allow painting, you can use stick-on decals or wallpaper.

Utilize Multi-Purpose Furniture

bed with closet built in and storage placed around it photo by Instagram user @reklektik

Photo via @reklektik

You can save space in a studio apartment by utilizing all-in-one furniture pieces. Container beds are a great example! These beds minimize the amount of furniture in your studio apartment layout, which reduces clutter, and they come with closet space, storage drawers, or under bed storage.

Raise Your Bed…

Space can be limited in a studio apartment, so get creative with your storage options. Putting your bed on a frame with legs, wooden pallets, or a platform with under bed storage is an excellent way to eliminate bulky items and give your clothes a home.

…Or Suspend It

loft bed suspended from the ceiling with steps up to it photo by Instagram user @designwanted

Photo via @designwanted

Expand your studio apartment floor plan by elevating the bed! By suspending your sleeping area, you can create a flex space below that can be turned into a home office, a small workout area, or a dining room. Just be sure you have the proper bracing to support the weight of your bed!

Invest in a Murphy Bed

Murphy bed built into small apartment with storage around it photo by Instagram user @atxdreamdigs

Photo via @atxdreamdigs

Murphy beds are the ultimate space-saving furniture for studio apartment dwellers! With the ability to fold your bed up into a storage closet or entertainment center, you can easily transform your apartment living space between daytime and nighttime. If you don’t want to buy a wall bed, you can always make your own!

Go with a Dual-Purpose Daybed

Because of limited space, studio apartment furniture that can be used for multiple purposes is a good idea. Switch out a king or queen bed for a comfortable daybed that can act as a sofa when you’re not sleeping! Some daybeds come with drawers, giving you extra storage for clothes and accessories. You can also find daybeds with a trundle that can expand into a guest bed.

Get Creative with Your Furniture

Bulky furniture can take up a lot of room in a small studio apartment. Trade in a large couch for space-saving furniture like a hammock to free up your living room without sacrificing comfort! Use multi-purpose furniture like ottomans to get hidden storage. Or swap your coffee table for a storage trunk!

Stack Crates at the End of Your Bed

Wooden crates are an affordable way to easily change up your studio apartment design. Stack a few at the end of your bed for privacy and additional storage space. You can also use crates in place of nightstands, end tables, coffee tables, and bookshelves!

Put Your Clothes on Display

If your studio apartment floor plan doesn’t include a walk-in closet, find a more creative solution! Add a floating shelf with hooks for coats, bags, and purses. Utilize a rolling garment rack for an easy-to-move closet. Or suspend a clothing rack from the ceiling to create a makeshift curtain for your bedroom.

Create Separation with a Curtain

full length white curtain separating bed from living room in small apartment photo by Instagram user @stephomenai

Photo via @stephomenai

Dividing your sleeping area from your living area will help your apartment feel less like a dorm room. Hang a curtain in front of or completely around your bed to provide some privacy in your studio apartment.

Opt for a Room Divider

full length room divider set up next to bed in between bedroom and living room photo by Instagram user @homeasy.loft

Photo via @homeasy.loft

Glass room dividers are a great way to keep your studio apartment bright and open while also providing more privacy. To save money, you can create a DIY room divider using pallet walls, repurposed wardrobe doors, hanging chainmail curtains, and more!

Use Bookshelves to Divide Space

bookshelf used as room separator between bed and living room photo by Instagram user @designreader

Photo via @designreader

With a few bookshelves, you can create separation in your studio apartment. Divide your living room from your dining room or your living room from your bedroom with tall bookshelves. Tip: Use open bookshelves to allow light to flow through the space, which will keep your apartment from feeling cramped.

Think Vertical with Kitchen Organization

kitchen storage area using pegboard for vertical storage photo by Instagram user @casa296dachris

Photo via @casa296dachris

Don’t have a pantry or cabinet drawers in your kitchen? Utilize the wall or ceiling for kitchen storage! Wall hooks, pegboards, and shelves can be used to store kitchenware, such as dishes, pots, or pans. You can also use canisters, mason jars, or colorful containers to hold different utensils and arrange them in a way that’s both decorative and functional!

Use a Bar Cart for Kitchen Storage

Save counter and cabinet space in your studio apartment with a bar cart! These miniature bar stations are great for storing and displaying glassware, decanters, and liquors, and they’re useful for entertaining guests at your apartment. You can even turn a bar cart into a mini coffee station!

Hang Floor-to-Ceiling Curtains

small apartment utilizing long curtains to make the room feel larger photo by Instagram user @josephinemrg

Photo via @josephinemrg

To make your studio apartment seem bigger, put up floor-to-ceiling curtains. These curtains draw the eye upward, making the room feel much larger than it is. Also, try using a curtain rod that’s longer than the window to expand the look of the windows themselves.

Go Big with Artwork

big pieces of art on small apartment wall photo by Instagram user @melodyinblue

Photo via @melodyinblue

Including large pieces of artwork among your studio apartment decor is a simple way to add color to your walls and make your space stand out. Big art pieces can also be laid against the wall on the floor or hung from the front of bookcases for a stylish way to hide clutter.

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Add Bold Accent Pieces

Decorating a studio apartment with strong accent pieces like multi-colored ottomans, vibrant area rugs, or bright throw pillows is an easy way to liven up a small space. Using colorful throws or curtains is another way to experiment with colors that don’t require using large areas of the apartment.

Turn Your Studio into a Plant Paradise

Want to include some greenery in your space but don’t have any room? If your studio apartment doesn’t have extended windowsills or space for container plants, hang them from the ceiling to create a lush indoor urban garden. You can even use large indoor plants like fiddle-leaf fig trees to divide your area!

Create a Reading Nook

small reading nook set up in small apartment alcove photo by Instagram user @small.spaces

Photo via @small.spaces

Is there a small space below a window in your studio apartment? Add a storage bench with a cushion or pillow and turn it into a cozy reading nook. You can also include a small table in the area to transform it into a small office or a breakfast nook.

Designing a studio apartment can be tricky. But with these easy decorating and layout tips, you can create a comfortable home you’ll love. Looking for more studio apartment ideas and tips? From ideas on how to maximize space to studio apartment storage tips, we’re your small space experts!

How to Design a Studio Apartment