7 Studio Apartment Ideas That Will Make You Love Your Small Space

studio apartment

Fantastic Frank

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. 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. Beyond the basics, there are a variety of studio apartment ideas that can help make your space an enjoyable place to be.

Start by editing your possessions to a bare minimum—keep only those you love. You should also concentrate on a single aesthetic that speaks to your tastes and base your furniture selection on pieces that can perform multiple functions. Living in a studio apartment can offer plenty of possibilities that will prepare you to brave the world of micro-living. We promise it's not so scary!

Create Continuity in Your Studio Apartment

Studio apartment that utilizes complementary paint colors
Design: Fantastic Frank, Photo Anna Malmberg

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 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. See, living in a studio apartment isn't so bad!

Separate Each Space

Studio apartment with a glass room divider
Design: Fantastic Frank, Photo Ulrika Nihlén

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

Limit Your Color Scheme

Studio Apartment Ideas — Bed Placement
Design: Fantastic Frank

In seriously cramped living quarters, you have to get creative when it comes to design ideas. In this Swedish studio, but the bed is a little too close to the kitchen (out of view) for our comfort. However, because the color scheme is unified and simple, the small area has a clean and spacious feel. We often advise not to push furniture against walls or windows, but this is the perfect case for breaking the rules.

Opt for Multiple Levels if Possible

Elevated bed in a studio apartment
Design: Fantastic Frank

Beds in studio apartments can be tricky, but there are a few clever hacks that can quite literally elevate your space. A platform bedroom in this split-level studio apartment not only separates the living room from the sleeping quarters, but also provides much-need storage. Granted this isn't possible in all studios, but it is quite possibly the best studio layout to have.

Go Modular

One clever studio apartment idea is to hide the shower
Design: Mischa Lampert, Photo Genevieve Garruppo

In this narrow NYC space, close quarters call for the apartment's original tub to be placed directly next to the 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, are the modular ottomans in the bedroom that can be repurposed into a queen bed, a sectional sofa or even two single beds for guests—as necessary. 

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

Choose Multi-Purpose Furniture

A living room coffee table doubles as a TV console
Design: 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. 

Embrace Your Studio Apartment's Height

A lofted bedroom looks over the living area, which appears spacious courtesy of the pale colors and bright walls.
Design: 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. Not to mention, curtains are extra high to give the room a sense of grandeur.

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