Just because your studio is less than 600 square feet, doesn’t mean it has to feel like a tiny dorm room. In fact, there are a multitude of creative ways for utilizing the space you have any making it feel more open and ample. Of course, you can’t magically expand your apartment’s footprint (unless you knock down your neighbor’s walls). But with a little space planning and the right décor, you can maximize every square inch of your place to create the grown-up home you deserve—no remodeling required!
The apartment layouts below show how easy it is to work with what you have and successfully decorate a small space. The possibilities are limitless—even with a shortage of square footage.
1- Make Binge Watching Better
Make your apartment feel colossal by creating separate living areas. But how much square footage should you assign to each section?
Consider what would make you happier at home.
Want to invite friends over for Netflix? The person who lives in this NYC studio created a large living room worthy of a binge-watching party by sacrificing some bedroom and dining space.
If you’re not allowed to paint your walls, here’s another idea to steal from this apartment — Removable, peel and stick wallpaper. It’s easy to install, and it will dress up dull walls without jeopardizing the security deposit.
2- Turn Your Studio into a Boutique Hotel
If you’re always on the go and home is just a place where you shower and sleep, why not style your apartment like a boutique hotel room?
For instance, this 300 square foot home is packed with features found at trendy lodgings, all placed steps from the bed, including a chic kitchenette, a few pieces of retro furniture and of course a curated minibar (it’s on the windowsill.)
But the star of this apartment, as you’ll find in any stylish hotel room, is the comfortable bed decked out in high thread count sheets.
3-Decorate Like a Mad Man
When it comes to small space decorating, nothing beats the magical room expanding powers of low profile, midcentury furniture.
Compared to many contemporary styles, midcentury designs sit much closer to the floor, which makes ceilings and windows appear taller. Such is the case in this sunny 270 square foot studio in Montmartre, Paris.
4- Lofty Aspirations
If you have high ceilings, you can magically whip up more livable square footage with a loft bed.
It’s a winning idea that transformed this 193 square foot studio in Stockholm into a one bedroom duplex —see the cozy living room.
But the second level isn’t the only reason this Scandinavian charmer appears much larger than its actual size. The walls and décor are both gallery white. Together they blur where the ceiling starts creating an open and airy effect. Room warming accents in metal and leather keep the bright, white interior from feeling antiseptic.
If you’re obsessed with storage, another exciting feature is the staircase with built-in drawers. However, if you steal this idea, please add handrails for safety.
5- Double Duty Sofa
This railroad apartment in Gothenburg, Sweden, is less than 190 square feet. Here’s how smartly placed décor transformed the minuscule dwelling into a tiny comfortable abode.
The first order of business was creating a multifunctional area for both sleeping and socializing. A beautifully styled bed that doubles as a sofa carved out the perfect spot. A leggy desk and also two small tables that don’t detract from the room’s openness add function.
The perfect finishing touch in this little nest is the cozy Moroccan rug.
6- Design Goals Worth the Investment
If you own your studio apartment, consider investing in clever built-ins and flexible furniture. Features like these will not only make your space feel huge but may also add value to your home when it’s time to sell.
Here are some design goals to inspire. This studio in NYC’s first micro-apartment building designed by nArchitects features transforming furniture and integrated storage that maximizes square footage.
The built-in cabinet wall behind the sofa conceals a Murphy bed. The unit below the TV provides extra room to keep stuff out of sight. Innovative solutions like the double duty coffee table and expanding kitchen console create more space for dining or working.
7- Low Ceilings? No Problem!
Dividing up space for different uses in a box-shaped studio with low ceilings only seems challenging.
The trick is using the right furniture. This San Francisco micro-loft is decorated with a mix of low-profile and leggy finds. The furnishings don’t take up a lot of vertical space, so the ceiling appears higher.
This easy to copy layout places a full-sized bed near a low profile sofa to create additional seating. A room divider at the head of the bed is the tallest object in the apartment. It carves out a dining nook decorated with industrial-inspired furniture.