Yes, It's Possible to Live Well in a Studio Apartment—Here's How

Updated 05/06/19

Chic is not exactly the first word that comes to mind when we think of studio apartments. Instead, we think of dorm life and cramped quarters. But if you're moving into your first apartment or simply living in a city with astronomical rent prices (hello, San Francisco and New York!), sometimes an open-plan space is your best option (goodbye, nosy roommates). Prior to moving, you might have night terrors of feeling cramped, cluttered, and generally claustrophobic, but we promise it doesn't have to be the case.

Well-designed studios offer plenty of possibilities.

In a nutshell, you should start by editing your possessions to a bare minimum—keeping only those you love. You should also base your furniture selection on pieces that can perform multiple functions and concentrate on a single aesthetic that speaks to your tastes. Beyond the basics, there are a variety of studio apartment ideas that can help make your space an enjoyable place to be. Ready to brave the scary world of micro living? Find out how to achieve it in high style.

Create Continuity

Studio Apartment Ideas — Paint Colors
Fantastic Frank

At first sight, this Swedish studio apartment appears to be quite spacious, when, in fact, it's barely 250 square feet. The trick? The entrance, kitchen, and bedroom are all painted in different but complementary colors, creating a visual progression of space. The sole pop of color is in the back living space—everything else is kept completely neutral.

Studio Apartment Ideas — Clothing Rack
Fantastic Frank
IKEA Turbo Clothing Rack $45
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Divide and Conquer

Studio Apartment Ideas — Room Divider
Fantastic Frank

A smart glass wall in this petite pad separates the bedroom area from the main dining and living spaces but still allows natural light to permeate through. The twin bed is surrounded with built-in storage, so everything else can be kept light and bright. If there is a right way to do a studio apartment, this is it.

Having a sofa on the opposite wall of the bed is not only more dynamic as a layout, but it also allows for furniture to play double duty. 

Studio Apartment Ideas — Separator
Fantastic Frank
West Elm Hamilton Leather Sofa $2899
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Limit Your Color Scheme

Studio Apartment Ideas — Kitchen Storage
Fantastic Frank

In seriously cramped living quarters, you have to get creative. Though this bed is seriously close to the kitchen sink, the unified color scheme feels clean and spacious. We often advise not to push furniture against walls or windows, but this is the perfect case for breaking the rules.

Studio Apartment Ideas — Bed Placement
Fantastic Frank
Urban Daybed + Trundle
West Elm Urban Daybed $1199 $960
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Create Multiple Levels

Studio Apartment Ideas — Platform Bed
Fantastic Frank

A platform bedroom in this split-level studio apartment not only separates the living room from the sleeping quarters, but it also provides much-need storage! Granted this isn't possible in all studios (you need to be graced by the ceiling gods), but it might just be the best studio layout to have.

Studio Apartment Ideas — Beds
Fantastic Frank
Schoolhouse Electric Isaac Plug-In Sconce $249
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Make It Modular

Studio Apartment Ideas — Shower
Genevieve Garruppo for Lonny ; DESIGN: Mischa Lampert

In this narrow NYC space, close quarters call for the apartment's original tub to be placed directly next to the home's kitchenette. A plexiglass divider keeps the spaces separate without feeling cramped, and a floor-to-ceiling tufted-print wallpaper in the sleeping and living areas creates a feeling of luxury. Perhaps the best feature of this 300-square-foot SoHo space, is the modular ottomans that can be repurposed into a queen bed, a sectional sofa, or two single beds for guests—as necessary.

 

If you can't fit a bed in your studio apartment, raise it.

Studio Apartment Ideas — Modular Living
Genevieve Garruppo for Lonny ; DESIGN: Mischa Lampert
Women's Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash
Aésop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash $39
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Play Double Duty

Studio Apartment Ideas — Double Duty Furniture
Fantastic Frank

In this petite apartment, the TV bench cleverly doubles as a bedside table in this small studio. Having a sofa on the opposite wall of the bed is not only more dynamic as a layout, but it also allows for furniture to play double duty. 

Studio Apartment Decorating
Fantastic Frank
Muuto Leaf Floor Lamp $469
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Reach New Heights

Studio Apartment Ideas — Loft Bed
Fantastic Frank

If you can't fit a bed in your studio apartment, raise it. The loft bed in this space provides a much-needed dining space, and the bunk provides quite a view of the living spaces. Curtains are hung extra high to give the room a sense of grandeur.

Studio Apartment Ideas — Dining Area
Fantastic Frank
&Tradition Hoof Table $990
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This story was originally published on October 7 and has since been updated.

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