Maximizing space in a studio apartment

Maximizing space in a studio apartment

Saskia Rose Perron-Jansen

November 02, 2023

Maximizing space in a studio apartment

Many of us have started in a studio apartment with our first move, either as a student or a young adult, leaving the nest and establishing ourselves as independent individuals away from the comfort of our family homes. Studio apartments are usually the first type of apartment we'd live in; for some, it's just a preference or a case of affordability.

Whichever reason, studio apartments aren't usually known for having immense space. However, with the rise of micro-living, many people are embracing small apartments - YouTube channels such as Never Too Small showcase storage solutions for small spaces.

Even if you can't completely change your apartment's floor space, there are still some great tips and hacks that you can use to create more storage space for your studio apartment. Keep reading to find out more!

Float the sofa

Floating the sofa sounds odd but don't worry; we won't advise that you attach ropes to your sofa and hang it from the ceiling!

To float furniture means to place them in the center of the room instead of pushing them against the walls.

It divides your bedroom space and the living room or kitchen.

You can also use other furniture pieces to create a divide, such as a cabinet or a desk. However, try to use only a few pieces of furniture as dividers to avoid awkwardly moving around furniture. We're trying to maximize space in your apartment.

A family sitting at a dining table

Make use of room dividers

Room dividers are fantastic for creating a sense of privacy for studio apartment owners and dividing the different living spaces. They are pretty skinny, so you don't have to worry about them taking up too much space.

They're available in different materials and add some style to the apartment.

A glass partition is brilliant for separating your living space from your bedroom space and allowing natural light to travel within the apartment.

You can also use a flowy white curtain to reflect natural light, creating a more airy feel to the apartment.

A family sitting at a dining table


Embrace Your Studio Apartment's Height

If your studio apartment is small but has a lot of height, there's no reason not to take advantage of this.

High curtains make the room feel spacious and tall, even if it isn't.

Install floating shelves on the wall for extra storage space. You can use this to display your books and decor pieces, or you can use it for clothing and shoes. This will free up closet space which can be used for bulkier items, such as extra bedding or your bicycle.

A great idea to make the most of your wall space is to showcase your bike and surfboard. This way, they will be easily accessible, especially if you use them frequently.


Mirror, mirror on the wall

Mirrors come with beautiful frames, making them functional and a statement piece. There are many tips and tricks that you can use with mirrors.

They help reflect natural light and give the illusion of more space, making it seem larger than it is.

With some strategic placement, you can add more space to your apartment.

You can place a mirror opposite your window for a beautiful visual effect and brighten up the room. However, note that using a larger mirror with a more petite frame would be more effective.

Instead of placing a mirror on the wall, you can opt for mirrored furniture like a coffee table or nightstand. If styled right, a mirror can be an exquisite statement to the decor of your apartment.

A family sitting at a dining table


Alternative bed options

What is a home without a bed? It's where we spend a third of our lives, resting our weary bodies in preparation for the new day. Of course, you'd want the most comfortable bed, but with limited space, you don't have the luxury of choosing a larger bed. But fret not; there are some alternatives available to maximize space.


Smaller beds

A king or queen-sized bed is luxurious to sleep on, but opting for something smaller would be much better if you want to save space. You can go back to sleeping on a single bed if you want to, but who does? Opt for something smaller, such as a twin or full bed.


Elevated beds

Again, we're not suggesting you add ropes to your bed and hang it from the ceiling.

If your apartment has enough height, you can create a platform or loft bed.

By using a platform bed, you're not only dividing the spaces, but you can also create extra storage space for items such as extra bedding.

A loft bed will create extra floor space underneath, which you can use to either expand one of the rooms or create a completely new space, such as a dining area or walk-in closet. There are many loft bed ideas to choose from that are stylish and functional.

A family siting at a dining table


Murphy bed

These beds are brilliant for saving up a lot of space in your studio apartment.

Unlike conventional beds, they're multifunctional. Some design options for Murphy beds can include lighting and storage space, or they can be converted into a couch.

The downside to these beds is that they often require some rearranging each time the bed is folded up, so think long and hard before investing in one of these.


Daybed

Should your studio apartment not have enough space for a sofa and a bed, consider a daybed. Like Hannah Montana, you get the best of both worlds.

They're functional, comfortable and are available in a wide variety of styles and designs. They're also much more affordable, highly customizable, and generally lighter than futons.


Utilizing your kitchen space

Studio apartments rarely have big kitchens, so it can be hard to maximize storage in this room. Here are a few tips and tricks that you can use to make the most of your space.


Ditch the dining table

Instead of a dining table, which will take up much more space, choose a kitchen island instead.

It provides ample counter space and storage, as well as a dining area. Some islands have wheels installed, which means that you can use them to divide the space or move it around as you see fit.

Or, if you want a dining table, consider a foldable table to create more space instantly, or an extendable table to create more dining space as needed.


Your fridge

The side of the fridge is often overlooked, but you can utilize this space by installing a spice rack or paper towel holder. This will help free up more counter space.

You can also use the top of your fridge for storage bins or other kitchen items. Just be sure to create only a little visual clutter. A neat and organized appearance is what you're looking for.


Cabinets and pantry space

To utilize their limited space, look into getting shelf raisers. These will double the space and make your cabinets and pantry look more organized. Stacking your dinnerware and drinkware will also free up much more space.

Place storage bins above your cabinets for extra storage.


Seating arrangements

A sofa is perfect for day-to-day living, but you might need more when you have unexpected guests or a little get-together.

Floor pillows are great for extra seating. Because they're so lightweight and small, you can easily move them around, and they're easy to store.

But, if you feel this will be uncomfortable for your guests, consider alternatives such as ottomans and poufs.

They can be used as footstools or side tables when you're not using them for extra seating. Plus, there as some ottomans that can be used as storage space as well!

You can also look into getting a modular couch, which gives you the freedom and flexibility to change your seating arrangements as needed.


Clothes Rack

What should you do if your studio apartment does not have a closet? Get a clothing rack, of course!

This is an excellent alternative to purchasing a clothing cabinet that will take up too much floor space, and it is a great way to quickly access clothing that you'd wear more often, such as your work uniform (if you have one) or your winter coat.

Many design options look good and are multifunctional. Some designs include shoe racks and shelving for extra storage.

A couple in a small apartment living room


Choose multifunctional furniture

Studio apartments have very limited space, so you want to save as much of it as possible. This is where furniture that serves multiple purposes comes into play.

There is a wide variety to choose from with different designs and functions. From bookcases with fold-down tables to extendable tables, the list is endless.

Unsure of which furniture to use in a small space? Here are some great design ideas and furniture pieces to consider.


Lighting for your studio apartment


Natural lighting

Although we use artificial more for our day-to-day living, especially at night, natural lighting makes the space feel more airy and gives a more open vibe.

To increase your apartment's natural light, use white paint for your walls to reflect the light, making the space feel brighter.

Avoid blocking your windows to allow more light to filter into the room.

When choosing your decor, go for light colors to brighten up the apartment.

Adding strategically placed plants to your apartment not only helps reflect more natural light but, they bring more life into the space and help purify the air.


Wall sconces

Try using wall sconces instead to save space on your surfaces and floor.

They add a beautiful sense of style to your walls if you don't have any wall art.

Professionals can easily install them; however, if you're a renter, you can opt for a plug-in wall sconce instead.


Skinny floor lamps

If you prefer to avoid wall sconces and prefer having a floor lamp, there are some smaller options available that will take up less floor space. Try to find one that has a much smaller base that you can easily slide under the side table or sofa to free up some floor space.


Multifunctional lamps

A perfect alternative to regular lamps would be a side table with a lamp attached, providing style, lighting, and functionality while saving space. Some side tables include cable management; of course, they're available in various styles and designs


LED strips

LED strips are versatile, and you can use them in multiple places as a cheaper alternative to other lights. Even better, they stick to your walls, so you don't need to worry about them taking up any space.

They create a great ambiance in any room as you change the colors, and it's fun to play around with the different colors.

You can place them on your roof, along your walls, or in specific areas such as around your mirror or behind your cabinets.


Decor options

Your home is a reflection of you. Whether you own a studio apartment owner or you're a renter, every nook and cranny shows a little more about you. But, with limited space, you want to add only a few knickknacks and ornaments without making it all look like clutter.

There are some alternatives to avoid this from happening.


Wall art

Many stores offer bold, colorful, funky prints that speak to you. If you can't find any prints that interested you, try framing posters from some of your favorite movies and TV shows.

If prints are not your thing, look for exquisite paintings that speak to you. Alternatively, you can let your creative side show and hang some of your creations.


Cookware

It might seem odd, but you can make a statement with beautiful cookware.

If you have a colorful set of pots and pans or some high-quality cookware, such as fine China, that you'd like to show off, do it! It is very practical, easily accessible, and budget-friendly. Should your apartment have high ceilings, that's even better!

Ceiling-mounted pot hangers make for eye-catching centre pieces and are a great way to maximize space.