Decorating Ideas For A Studio Living Space

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Studio apartments offer the convenience of city living on a budget, but are often incredibly cramped, and offer little space to decorate individual rooms. Using tricks to designate the living area and decorating with strategic pieces of furniture can create a functional, space saving living room. Learn how to create a living room in even the smallest of studio apartments.

Room Dividers: There are various styles of room dividers available to physically segment one area of a studio apartment from another.

  • Curtains: Try hanging curtains from a rod suspended from the ceiling, or a wire hung from wall to wall, to create a fabric barrier, separating the living room from sleeping and eating areas. Using lighter colored curtains will create less of a cramped feeling than darker shades, and help alleviate the loss of open space.
  • Screens: Room dividing screens offer a smaller physical barrier between rooms, but create a more distinct wall feeling as they rest directly on the ground, and are typically made of metal or wood. Made in a range of styles, sizes and materials, choose a three to six paneled room screen that fits the theme of your studio, and is size appropriate. Screens can also offer more privacy, as curtains may be sheer or be moved along the curtain rod.
  • Plants: Placing a row of tall potted plants around your living room area also creates a barrier for the designated living space, but offers more open air than other alternatives. Decorative reeds are a good option for their height and style. Reeds also won't require watering, soil or cleanup of fallen leaves. Choose tall, narrow pots that won't take up much space themselves, and that match the theme of your studio. Be careful to secure pots so they can't be knocked over.


Furniture: Your living room furniture itself can also act as a barrier to designate the room, when placed and sized appropriately.

  • Couches: Your couches are one of the easiest pieces of furniture to use as a room divider. Place the back of the couch to the edge of your living area, acting as a low wall. Be sure to purchase size appropriate couches for studio apartments. Pick a small, lighter colored couch to increase the appearance of space, and place chairs where extra seating is needed.
  • Benches: Low bench seating provides one of the least sight blocking options for studio apartment living rooms. Place a long, low bench along the edge of your living room area to designate where eating and sleeping stop, and the living space begins. Place cushions along the bench in a color scheme that matches the rest of the living room, separating it from other areas of the studio.
  • Chairs: If you have multiple chairs in your living area, line them up, with their backs facing the eating and sleeping area. Like a couch, they form a line designating the specific living area.


Décor: Using decorations and paint to create rooms is a space saving trick to creating a studio apartment living room.

  • Paint: Paint the walls of your living area, or the opposing sleeping and eating areas, one color, while leaving the other sections of walls white. Colored walls in one area of the studio will not only show a distinct barrier between rooms, but create the illusion of more space and depth.
  • Decorations: Place specifically themed decorations only in your living room to signal the breakup of areas within the studio apartment. Also, Keep anything bedroom or kitchen related out of the living room. Whether by color or theme, select a specific look for the living room and stick to it. Decorate with that color or style solely in the living area.
  • Rugs: Large area rugs are another great way to use color as a room divider. Place a large colorful rug under the living room coffee table and couch, defining the size and style of the space. Leave the floors of other areas uncovered, or choose rugs in different colors.

Creating a living room space in a studio apartment is challenging, but possible. Use flowing curtains, stylish room screens, or well-placed furniture to designate specific living areas in your space. By grouping colors, styles and decorations, you can instantly create a separate living room in even the tiniest studio apartment.

Last Updated: March 14, 2013
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About Alexandra Kerr Through Ideal Home Garden, Alexandra covers topics ranging from interior design to home improvement, gardening and cuisine. Having a passion for cooking and entertaining in her own life, she hopes to communicate her love of home design and decorating with her readers. 

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