Living in a studio apartment means you’re faced with a singular task: Transform one single room into a bedroom, living room, kitchen, office, and possibly more. And to do so without adding too much clutter—otherwise you’ll likely feel overwhelmed and claustrophobic. But don’t let a small space or tricky composition stop you from creating a comfortable, stylish home you’ll actually want to spend a lot of time in. The eighteen studio apartment ideas and tips below will not only make it easier to live in one room, but also stylish. Find inspiration in these examples and get ready to turn your teeny tiny abode into a palace.
If only one part of the room is windowed (and privacy isn’t an issue), try a glass-paneled screen—it adds just enough visual separation to a space while still allowing plenty of light to flow through.
Interior designer Max Sinsteden’s made his sleep zone feel separate from the rest of the studio apartment by hanging a floor-to-ceiling curtain and then suspending a “floating” painting to distinguish it even more. “I hate seeing a bed from the front door, so I added a curtain to partition that space. When you close it, you honestly feel like you’re in a Parisian hotel,” he tells A small space doesn’t hamper him from hanging out with friends in the makeshift living room.
Use a partial room divider to have some privacy when changing, and opt for a slim sofa for extra seating when guests come over.
When you want to break up an open loft or studio apartment but don’t want to—or can’t—install permanent dividers, just use a folding screen to create the illusion of privacy and separateness. Designer Maureen Footer also accentuates the vertical space in this apartment, drawing our attention up with a super tall bed cornice. “There’s no room to be timid” in a small space, she reminds us.
So you need to transform a big white box into something suitable to live in? Here’s your blueprint. Different flooring in the sitting reinforces the idea that the space has “rooms” too. If you don’t want to redo your floors, just add an area rug.
If your studio apartment is too tiny to fit both a little sitting area and a bed, consider a DIY trundle bed or a solid platform with a retractable bed under it. In this space, the wooden platform makes room for a sofa so there’s somewhere to sit instead of the bed (this way, it doesn’t have to feel like a bedroom if you want to have guests over). It’s kind of like a Murphy bed but easier to create yourself.
Installing a sliding door would take up precious space, so in its place, hang a curtain to create privacy around the bed. A more diaphanous fabric means light can still stream through and doesn’t weight down the room.
A bench at the end of the bed signals a conversation area, keeping your sleeping area separate from the hangout zone.
Open shelving is also a great way to use your vertical space.
Though light walls tend to be the go-to for opening and brightening up smaller living quarters, a dark paint job can actually do wonders. Here, photographer Bjorn Wallander used a deep chocolate brown hue to make the studio feel cozy, intimate, and warm.
Establish the nook inside the front door as its own entryway with a sitting area. Then shove your bed as far away from the door as possible. Also, sconces by the bed free up space on the surfaces of the bedside tables.
Create room for storage under the bed by putting your mattress on top of a custom storage unit, or have it sit on a set of simple risers to create space for storage underneath. A bed skirt keeps the storage out of sight, or you could roll with an industrial look like this one.
A well-edited area gives you room to breathe. With a neutral color scheme, this space is anything but cluttered.
This small apartment went with a strategic layout that keeps the kitchen and eating area under the lofted bed. The staircase also provides a perk, functioning as a hidden closet. Of course, extra storage space is of utmost importance in a small loft.
Using the same black paint throughout the space makes it feel cohesive and put-together. The pops of blue makes the sleeping area feel distinct.
If your studio has super low ceilings, you can still include a seating area for yourself and guests to use. Just opt for lower furniture and have fun with color.
Curtains hung well above the window impart airiness and height. A big mirror can also help brighten up the space and make it feel bigger.
Furnishings that serve double duty are big lifesavers in studio apartments. This corner nook is a great place to hang out when you have a guest, but you can also use it when working from home or as a dining table.