7 Tips on How to Decorate a Studio Apartment

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A studio apartment is basically a residence with a single room meant to serve multiple functions, but primarily as a bedroom. They are either a single unit in an apartment complex, a separate addition to a single family residence, or a separate building or floor in a multi-family residence like a duplex. A studio apartment can be both fun and challenging to decorate. First and foremost, you need to keep in mind that you're working with one very large space. You get to choose where one room ends and where another begins, so make the most of it. You also need to remember to not crowd your studio with too much furniture. Here are 6 tips to help you decorate a studio apartment:

1. Separate the Space

Before you do anything, you need to determine where the boundaries of your space are. As easy as it is to let your guests feel at home in your room, you don't want to feel like your territory is being encroached upon. Make sure you arrange your couch to separate your bedroom area from your living room area. If you have a couch and a loveseat, it's a good idea to set them up in an L-shape, so they can act as substitutes for missing walls. Use paint to define your space as well. Paint the walls of your bedroom a different color than the walls of your living room, and utilize clever wall dividers like wallpaper strips, Japanese-style folding walls and chair rails.

2. Make Storage Your Best Friend

A studio apartment is the last place you want your clutter to show. If you have clutter piling up in your living area or bedroom area, it will be seen from anywhere in the apartment since it's...one room! Since you don't have a lot of space to work with, use storage that doubles as furniture like ottomans and tables with removable tops. Beds designed with built in shelves, cabinets and drawers are also a good addition to a studio apartment. Stackable storage bins allow you to get the most out of closet space.

3. Be Kind to Your Kitchen

Don't let the mess in your kitchen overrun the living portion of your studio. You want to make sure that you clean your kitchen as often as you can, and that you maintain the garbage flow. It's much easier to let a dirty kitchen get the best of you in a studio apartment, than it is when you live in a much more spacious environment.

4. Buy a Sofa Bed

If you plan on having guests over, a sofa bed is practically a must-have piece of furniture for a studio apartment. This way your bedroom can double as a living room, and you won't have to divide the room into two separate sections. Sometimes, cramming a couch and a bed into the same room is impossible with smaller sized studio apartments. Another alternative would be a futon that could be folded into a couch for when you have guests over.

5. Use Floor Rugs to Your Advantage

If you have hardwood floors, you can use floor rugs to separate your space. Two large floor rugs in different colors will act as makeshift borders between sections of the room. They will also prevent your hardwoods from getting too dirty with all the foot traffic they will see.

6. Use Mirrors to Enlarge Your Space

Mirrors are your secret weapon in small spaces. Hang your mirrors in places where they maximize the look and feel of your place. Large mirrors are they way to go. They open up walls completely and make it appear as though your space is double the size.

7. Build Up

Often times, the open air space of a studio apartment is overlooked. Stop thinking two-dimensionally and start living three-dimensionally. The square-footage of a studio apartment accounts for the size of the floor space, but doesn't take into account the amount of space above the floor. Utilize as much of that space as you can by stacking as many things as you can. Get those plastic storage bins and stack them to the ceiling. Remove the bottom bunk from a bunk bed and use the bottom section for more storage or living space like a small desk. If you have vaulted ceilings in your studio apartment, that's even more space you can work with!

Bottom Line

More than anything, living in a studio apartment requires you to be a bit of a magician. You need to be able to transform one type of space into another, and make almost every item in the apartment multi-functional. Make sure you're aware of how much space you have and utilize every spec of it. If executed correctly, a studio apartment can feel like a normal apartment with doors and partitions for every section of living space.

Last Updated: March 14, 2013
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About Chanti Burnette Chanti was a freelance writer for IdealHomeGarden.com.

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