Home > Home Organization > Home Organization Tips > How to Design a Studio Apartment
inside a studio apartment with a bed and small office desk

How to Design a Studio Apartment

Looking for tips on how to design a studio apartment? With a few creative apartment layout ideas and space-saving design concepts, you can make your studio arrangement more attractive and functional. Check out this list of studio apartment decorating tips, setup ideas, and organization hacks to embrace small apartment living!

Pare Down Your Belongings

A post shared by @instagram

When moving into a studio apartment or any smaller space, it’s important to audit your belongings to avoid clutter. Keeping only the items you need and love will give you room to breathe in a small apartment. Simplify your life and get rid of extra clothes, furniture, or decor items that don’t fit your new apartment’s design. You can also rent a nearby storage unit to keep items you just can’t part with but don’t need right now.

Prioritize Cohesion

A post shared by @instagram

Whichever style you choose, be sure to create continuity throughout your home—having a bunch of different decorating styles and colors can make a small space feel more cramped and cluttered. Certain home decorating styles lend themselves especially well to small spaces—so consider ways to make your home your own while also maximizing its potential. Minimalism is a great interior design style, as it’s intended to emphasize function and create clean lines. Another option is the Japandi home style—which uses similar principles, but with a slightly cozier look and feel. Or bring harmony and purpose to your space by decorating with feng shui.

Style Your Walls

@elliesunakawa almost done w my lil studio:) #apartmentcheck #apartmenttour #plantmom #plantsoftiktok #homedecor #decor #arch #accentwall #bedroomcheck #fyp #foryou ♬ Indian Summer – Jai Wolf

If you’re allowed to paint your apartment, choose colors that boost your mood and make the space feel like home. Softer colors such as white, light gray, and beige reflect more light and make your small space feel larger—while darker colors can emphasize your apartment’s cozy qualities. You can also try adding a pop of color with an accent wall, which will serve as a focal point and add personality when styling your studio apartment! If you can’t paint the walls, go for peel-and-stick contact paper or temporary wallpaper that simply peels off when you need a change.

Search Form Find an Extra Space Storage facility near you

Divide Into Distinct “Zones”

A post shared by @instagram

Create different zones in your small apartment by using screen dividers, glass partitions, bookshelves, curtains, or pallet walls! This provides an opportunity to make different areas of your living space feel like separate rooms—even without real walls. If possible, divide rooms in a way that still allows light to flow through the space—like with open shelves or sheer curtains—to help keep your studio apartment’s layout from feeling cramped. You can also use furniture to create different zones. For example, try strategically placing your desk next to your bed to double as a nightstand and an office space to work from home in your small apartment!

Change Up Your Bed

@danniellajoy found the perf bed to fit over my heater 💘🥰 it’s meant to be 💫🥹#loftbedroomidea #studioapartmentcheck ♬ Weak for Your Love – Thee Sacred Souls

One way to maximize space in a studio apartment is to get creative with your bed. Transform your apartment living space between daytime and nighttime by building a Murphy bed, which can be folded up into a wall or storage closet. Consider investing in a trundle bed, daybed, or sleeper sofa—which can function as stylish sofas during the day. Take advantage of your studio’s high ceilings and suspend your bed to create more space, or build a small loft for your bed using risers. While this can help you maximize bedroom storage space, the area below could also be used as a reading nook, home office, home yoga room, or bar area. Just be sure you have the proper bracing to support the weight of your bed!

Make Use of Every Space

A post shared by @instagram

When decorating a studio apartment, every inch counts—so get creative and use every space you have to your advantage. If your apartment has an old radiator, invest in an appealing radiator cover and use it as a table, or add a cushion to make extra seating! Use the space above doors or windows to hang shelves to display your favorite books. You can even hang “floating art” from the ceiling to utilize empty air space, which can also help create the illusion of separate rooms.

Consider Built-Ins

A post shared by @instagram

While too much free-standing furniture can make a space feel crowded, clever built-ins can offer more living space. You may be able to build smaller things into your studio apartment design such as built-in storage, cabinets, bookshelves, or a desk. You don’t even have to fully build these things into the apartment’s structure—some items can simply be nailed into place, such as a folding wall desk, table, or even extra seating. Creating your own built-ins is a great way to add personality and a touch of uniqueness to your small apartment’s design while also maximizing available space.

Opt for Low Furniture

A post shared by @instagram

Does your apartment have low ceilings? Make them appear higher and help the space feel larger overall by selecting low chairs, tables, and other furniture pieces. Furnishing a studio apartment with these items will help create the illusion of space. Just make sure your furniture heights are cohesive—especially with matching sets like couches and coffee tables. Mid-Century Modern furniture is a good choice because it’s often lower to the floor and has clean lines, which looks tidy in a small apartment layout.

Utilize Multipurpose Furniture

A post shared by @instagram

You can save space in a small studio apartment and keep it organized by utilizing multipurpose furniture—like hidden storage headboards, lift-top coffee tables, storage ottomans, and sofas with built-in side tables. Certain decor pieces can also function as storage, like vintage trunks, decorative blanket ladders, and hollow decor. You can adapt regular furniture for multiple functions, too—use an easily hidden folding table as your desk, or set out two matching stools as coffee tables that can double as extra seating. Furnishing a small apartment with multipurpose items is a simple and effective way to reduce clutter!

Be Clever with Storage

@its_mjaayy I do not like open shelving so i ordered some cube storage bins to put in the shelf. #homedecor #apartmentdecorideas #kallax #storagecubes #cubeshelves #apartmentdecorinspo ♬ Wasnt Good Enough – Nashawn Raines

With limited space in a studio apartment, finding ways to incorporate clever hidden storage will save you a lot of headaches! Baskets are an easy, decorative way to add storage—they can be placed on shelves or bookcases, under furniture, and even in the pantry. Stash items in a cube organizer with cube storage baskets for a stylish way to break up a room. And don’t forget to consider storage when buying furniture, as many tables, beds, armchairs, and benches come with drawers, shelves, or hidden cabinets for extra storage space!

Take Advantage of Wall Space

@apartmenttherapy We’re all about @karisdanish’s vertical storage in this #KitchenTour#kitchenhacks #kitchenorganization #storagehacks #nycapartment #studioapartment ♬ Countless – Official Sound Studio

Wall space often goes unused, but it’s prime real estate for storage and decor. Save floor space by using floating shelves as your nightstand—or hang them to display smaller items and save room on tables for larger possessions. Daily items can be used as decor, too. Try hanging attractive folding chairs on the wall for unique, easy art, and then pull them down when you need extra seating for guests. Or keep your kitchen organized by displaying nicer cookware as wall art, which can add a touch of style and make items easily accessible when it’s time to cook!

Add Height with Visual Techniques

A post shared by @instagram

With a lot of furniture and decor items, small living spaces can quickly feel smaller than they already are. Make the room feel taller and more sophisticated by hanging curtains above the window frame to draw the eye up. Save table space and give the appearance of height by attaching lights to the wall or ceiling. If you’re looking for easy ways to add height and personality to your studio apartment design, hang vertical posters or create a gallery wall with mostly vertical art pieces to convey spaciousness and make the walls seem taller.

Open Up the Room with Mirrors

@hannahrubyring a very exciting delivery! #studioapartment #unboxing #urbanoutfitters #mirror #santafe ♬ stolen dance – Spedupluvr

Since mirrors reflect light and add a sense of depth, they can make your space look and feel bigger—and they’re an easy studio apartment decor idea! Place large mirrors across from windows to bounce light back into the room and get natural light into darker corners. Be strategic about the mirror you choose for each spot. While a round mirror on a mantel can soften the space, an unexpected shape will draw attention to the area. Your choice of mirror can make a huge impact on the room’s overall feel, so consider the size, shape, and frame of your mirror and how it works best in your space!


Downsizing or moving into a studio apartment? With budget-friendly rates, hundreds of self storage locations across the U.S., and a wide range of unit features and amenities, we can help with your transition. Find self storage near you!