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Studio Apartment Design

10 Foolproof Designs for Studio Apartments


Studio apartments can certainly be charming and cozy, but blending the right amount of decor and furniture can be a little bit of a challenge, even for those with an eye for design. The tendency with a studio or small apartment is to swing one way or to the other. Either you have a good amount of furniture and decor you’re trying to fit into a space that simply can’t accommodate it, or you’ve taken the minimalist route to the extreme.


There’s a place in between when it comes to studio apartment decorum, but it often involves using concepts you may not have thought of before, such as using wall storage as part of your aesthetics, or using your studio apartment furniture for multi-purpose functions. Furniture rental can also go a long way to helping the design in your studio apartment work for you. Read on to learn about 10 different designs that make studio apartments cozy — but not cramped.

living room with bedroom in background

Work Those Walls


One of the most important elements in a small space when it comes to design and decor is the wall. If you don’t have a lot of floor space, then vertical space is your best friend. This goes beyond hanging a few prints or paintings. You can actually utilize your walls for much more, including wall storage. Think about ladder shelving and cube storage, where you can put books and decorative items and tuck things away. You can also use walls to put shelving or encasements above your headboard, wall hooks to hang objects and, of course, wall decor. Lighting is also another option for your walls. If you’re short on floor space, you don’t need to put lamps and lights on side tables or your floor — use wall-mounted lighting and sconces not only to save space, but also to achieve your desired design element.

Use Clear and White Decor

A design rule of thumb in any space is: White and lighter colors make it look bigger, black and darker colors make it look smaller. So if you’re trying to make your studio apartment look and feel a little roomier, opt for the use of clear and white decor prominently throughout the apartment. Clear furniture also offers a uniquely polished and modern look. Imagine a small, round dining table with see-through chairs and table or side tables and chairs that have height with see-through legs. In addition to lighter colors making the space look more open, the visibility of clear furniture doubles the effect. If you pair this effect with wall mirrors, it’s optimized even more for a sleek design.

Multi-Purpose Items

As you buy furniture and accessories for your studio, try to imagine everything with a dual purpose. For example, choose a bed frame that has a fair amount of height, so you can fit storage compartments underneath it as storage solutions — or choose a storage bed with drawers already built-in. Similarly, opt for a comfortable, cozy ottoman that has a removable top as a great storage spot for your remote controls and other living room accessories. You may also have separate uses for your furniture as well, and you want to be able to easily switch these uses out if you’re entertaining. Perhaps your dresser is also your TV stand, or your nightstand is also your desk. Poufs also make great side tables. Try to imagine furniture that has height, so other furniture and accessories can easily be stowed away underneath when they’re not in use.

Declutter: Do I Need This?

One of the biggest pitfalls that can easily wreck any design plan in a studio is clutter. It happens to everyone — just a week’s worth of mail on a dining room table in a studio apartment and now it looks undeniably cluttered. Tossing out the mail is an easy decluttering tip, but fixing a real clutter problem takes a little more creativity.

When it comes to decluttering clothes, here’s an easy tip: When you roll out your winter items, set all hangers one way. As you wear an item and rehang it, turn it in the opposite direction. When spring comes and it’s time to bust out the spring and summer clothes, donate anything that hasn’t moved in a season. The same goes for summer, so it’s easy to decide what to toss.

When it comes to your weekly clutter, invest in an eye-catching basket or bin that’s decorative, and literally throw all of your clutter in there for a week. But, make a commitment to go through that bin every week and throw away what you don’t need. This way, things don’t build up over time and become too tough to deal with.

Furniture With Legs and Height

Not only is furniture with legs and height a good choice because you can store things beneath them (such as sliding storage containers underneath a bed), they’re also a good idea for a different reason. Furniture with height adds more depth to the room, which gives the space the illusion of being larger. You can also add an illusion of depth to the room by anchoring curtains above your windows slightly higher than they should be. Lighter colored curtains are preferred, so they don't look too out of place. The way that the curtains hang will bring more depth to the space. Add curtains to match tall furniture and clear or white furniture. Furniture rental is a great way to match your design concepts with furniture that fits your aesthetics and the needs of your apartment.

Open Space Concepts

Many studio apartments are built with an open space concept in mind. So, in other words, there are no walls to break up the space. Instead, with perhaps the exception of a bedroom and bathroom, it’s one continuous space that flows from one "room" to another. There are two ways to look at this from a design perspective. Either embrace the open space, and expound upon it, or break up the space with furniture and movable partitions.

If you’re working with the open space, perhaps instead of a kitchen table you have a countertop extending from the wall with bar seating and hanging globe lanterns as light fixtures. Your living area may look like an open sectional, which is placed against the wall, so as not to partition off other sections of the room. Here, you really work the walls, with shelves that store books, decor and accessories. Using dividers does work if you need private space — for example, if your bedroom is part of the studio. In this instance, you need to create separate space, and an artful divider or partition works well and blends in with the concept.

Use Bold Accents

Placing pops of color throughout the studio can add depth without being overpowering. Generally speaking, since it is a small space, you want to stick to monochromatic design, such as whites and clears as well as neutral colors. But, a bold throw over your couch or throw pillows with colorful appliques add depth to the room without making the area seem cramped. Other places where bolder colors work well are your area rugs, although be careful with larger area rugs — rich, darker colors can make the area look smaller.

Maximize Your Space

One of the concepts you must embrace when you live in a small apartment or a studio is that every inch of space is useful, no matter how small it is. Remember, maximizing space doesn’t mean fitting everything in as if you’re packing the car for a camping trip. It means utilizing the space. Think about storage ideas, such as a shoe tree, or over-the-door shoe storage, such as in your closet. Another good use of space is thinking about how your items fit underneath things when not in use. Ottomans and baskets can be tucked under coffee tables to give your space more walking room. Multi-purpose furniture, such as coffee tables with drawers and shelving, and storage beds, should be used as such.

Bring in Nature

Adding touches from the outdoors gives any space warmth, particularly a smaller one. The use of natural elements is cheerful, just be careful where you place them. Window boxes are a great solution for indoor topiaries and plants in small spaces. These are beautiful ways to add plants and flowers while not taking up floor space. Of course, if you have the room, potted plants are also great ways to add texture and color to your apartment.

Break Up the Space

As opposed to an open space concept, the other design you can opt for in a studio apartment setting is to break up the space. Studio apartment design naturally has an open feel. But if you want to have your living room, kitchen and dining area feel separate from one another, the best way to accomplish this is to use furniture to break up the area. Instead of putting your sectional against the wall, place it in the middle of the room as a divider. Instead of having a counter extend from the wall, use your kitchen table (or an island) to divide the space. Partitions and dividers work well also, particularly if you need to divide a space for privacy, such as your bedroom.

When you’re looking to outfit your studio apartment with fresh designs and comfortable furniture that fits your style, consider CORT Furniture Outlet. Visit us online or in-person at your local store.

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