Ideas For Decorating A Studio Apartment

We offer a few designer tricks you can use when decorating a studio apartment.




house beautiful


Living in a studio apartment can make decorating a challenging task especially if you want your place to be comfortable and stylish. For one, you have to squeeze everything into one room, and that alone can be tricky if the entire floor plan is small. The first thing you need to do is to set up zones for living, sleeping, cooking and entertaining or dining. You want a way that doesn't involve having a lot of clutter and you also have to be clever with saving space. Find inspiration for your decorating with these designer tricks to transform a small studio apartment into a well-designed living space.



Because a studio apartment is generally a single open-plan room, you will need to divide the floor space into useable areas if this hasn't already been done. Most floor plans for studio apartments have a large area that includes kitchen, dining, living and bedroom and it's important to have some way of closing off areas for more privacy, particularly where you want to sleep.

If you are renting a studio apartment there isn't much you can do unless it is a temporary arrangement. But even those who own a studio apartment might not have the funds to bring in professionals for easy DIY projects you can do yourself. Room dividers, high shelving units and even curtains are great ways to section off certain areas.


Depending on the total square metre area size of a studio apartment, you will limit your choices to what will fit into the space and the size. In most cases, you will probably have to make your own room divider or shelving unit to fit perfectly. The most important area that you will want to close off as much as possible is the sleeping area. One method of closing off your bed is with a room divider that also provides shelves for display or storage.

Dual-purpose furniture such as a room divider / shelving unit is the best way to not only section off individual areas but also to provide essential storage space that isn't normally provided for.


If you are planning on living in your studio apartment for some time, perhaps until you can afford to purchase a place, having someone come out and measure up to fit custom shelves might not be a bad idea, particularly if you aren't handy with power tools or DIY. If you own the studio apartment, you could arrange to have something permanent fitted and this could even add overall value.







Having a curtain track fitted to close off a bedroom space is easy and affordable and you can select curtains to complement your room decor.


Folding screens are excellent for partitioning off zones in an open-plan apartment. Make using PAR pine and fabric to bring personality into your home.



One thing that is usually missing in many studio apartments is storage. For this reason, you should look at the furniture you own and think about replacing some items with dual-purpose furniture. For example, not only can an upholstered ottoman be used for decorative seating - but it can also be used for storage. A table with drop-leaf sides can double up as a display shelf or a dining table for when guest come around - see more on this below.


An easy way to overcome the lack of storage is to add your own. Since floor space is at a premium, look to the walls to provide all the storage you need. Mount narrow cupboards or floating shelves on the walls for more storage without losing floor space.







Tall and skinny cupboards are what you want for a studio apartment, and the taller and skinnier the better.



It is far better to have higher storage than take up more floor space with wider cabinets and you can always have a stepstool handy if you need to reach the top shelves! If you can't find the cupboards you want - find a handyman/carpenter who can make them for you. You may even find it works out cheaper than buying ready-made storage cupboards.


In a studio apartment that is small on space, rather than fit in a wardrobe or built-in cupboards - especially if opening doors is a squeeze - a fitted storage wall with a curtain floor-to-ceiling will add elegance to a bedroom and give you all the room you need to move around without bumping into open doors.



A dining table and chairs - even a small one - can take up a lot of valuable floor space. The clever solution for this is to invest or make a dining table that has drop-leaf sides. That way, you have a dining table ready for use when you entertain family and friends but it doesn't take up floor space when not in use. If you are not sure how to go about making a drop-leaf table, we have a step-by-step on making a small drop-leaf table that you can use to get you started with making your own.



A drop-leaf dining table that also serves as a console table or display unit doesn't take up a lot of space when not in use but is always handy when you have friends around for dinner.



Another clever idea for a dining table that doesn't take up too much space is one that is wall-mounted and drops down. This one is also great if you need more countertop space in a small kitchen.



In a room that is of small proportion and where you need to use every single bit of space, think about those areas that are normally overlooked, such as corners. When decorating any home we tend to leave corners empty or place a lamp in this area, and yet these valuable areas can be used for so much more.







If you need to work quite a bit from home, making a desk fit into a corner will save on space.


If you can afford to have custom furniture made, you will be able to accommodate a lot more in a studio apartment. Things such as a dressing table that fits into a corner,


Being clever with decorating will leave enough space for unexpected pieces that you can add to your studio apartment.



Do some online research before you move in, you might be able to have custom built-ins installed that will take up far less floor space than conventional pieces.



We all know that too much of anything can be bad for you and the same applies to decorating. With its open-plan design, you need to be selective when decorating a studio apartment. Keeping the colour palette simple and using only a few muted colours will make the space feel larger than it is. The same applies to decor accessories and belonging; it's best to only have a few items scattered around than have a room overflowing and feeling claustrophobic.


Keep to the design philosophy that less is best when decorating a studio apartment and you won't go wrong. Leave plenty of room between furniture and use floor rugs to set zones within the single room living area.



You can transform a studio apartment into a comfortable home with just a few tricks up your sleeve and you will be able to live, sleep and entertain with style. Think about what you want from the space and then work around this to incorporate your needs into the design, Consider such things as do you need to work from home or do you enjoy entertaining? Put all your needs on a list and plan for these when you move in.

Living in a small studio apartment doesn't have to cramp your style - you just need to rein it in a bit and not go overboard. Add personal touches here and there to make the place feel like home.


west elm




back to top