Transform your home from crammed to chic with these ideas for studio apartment design! From colors to the furniture, here are the key things to look out for.

Best Studio Apartment Design Ideas
Best Studio Apartment Design Ideas
Photo by Aaron Huber on Unsplash

When mentioning studio apartments, many people think of stuffy, dark college accommodation. But the days when compact living was only for students are long gone, and studio apartments are making their comeback worldwide. In major global cities, these mini-apartments are incredibly popular among those who want to live in the city’s bustle on a budget. But it’s not only functionality that draws people of all ages into studio apartments: they are becoming a global trend, and their popularity seems to be only increasing.

Still, many are wary of studio apartments. The main concern is the limited space and the challenges that come with it. In a studio apartment, one room is all you have – to sleep, eat, work, and live. While this may seem daunting at first, it becomes easier as you get clear on what you want and need from your apartment. If you work from home, an office area may be essential. On the other hand, if you spend most of your time away from home, you should put extra thought into your living and sleeping area’s design. With that in mind, here are four of the best ideas for studio apartment design that will help you make the most of the space you have and make your studio apartment feel like a home.

Divide your studio apartment into separate zones

Room dividers can serve as both studio apartment decor and furniture.
Room dividers can serve as both studio apartment decor and furniture.
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

With only one room serving as a multipurpose area, it can be hard to separate your apartment’s different zones. Still, you don’t want your bedroom, living room, and kitchen to appear as one big space with no real division. This is where your furniture comes into play. Since you can’t have a defined floor plan, you want to do everything you can to divide the room into separate zones visually.

A great way to do this is by using furniture as room dividers or even buying screens made to serve as room dividers for your studio apartment. When it comes to furniture, any shelving can make a great room divider. Think bookshelves, box shelves, even floating storage spaces hung from the ceiling. Depending on how much light your apartment gets, consider getting furniture that light can freely pass through, rather than closed storage that will block the light.

Wooden partitions compliment a light studio apartment design.
Wooden partitions complement a light studio apartment design.
Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy from Pexels

You can also enhance your studio apartment design with a stylish divider like a glass partition, wood pallet, or a divider screen. These come in multiple finishes from light wood or dark metal to various prints on divider screens, making them a great statement piece for your home. Black metal-framed glass partitions stand out in apartments with industrial or Scandinavian design, while wood pallets fit right in with light, neutral colors. And for a softer, more relaxed design, you can hang curtains in place of room dividers. Not only are they easier to install than sliding doors, but they also provide more privacy than glass walls or open shelving when needed.

However, using too many partitions or dividers can make the space feel crowded and small. To keep your studio apartment design spacious, limit the number of standing room dividers to a maximum of two. Use rugs, carpets, accent walls, or similar visual dividers to separate zones within the divided areas. For example, placing a patterned rug in your living area will make it appear more secluded and defined. For modern and stylish rugs and carpets, try visiting your local ZARA Home or H&M Home, both of which offer contemporary designs at great prices. Similarly, placing your bed against an accent wall will visually separate it from the living room or the kitchen.

Keep a color scheme in mind when picking your studio apartment decor

Picking a color scheme will make deciding on studio apartment decor quicker and easier.
Picking a color scheme will make deciding on studio apartment decor quicker and easier.
Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Picking a color scheme when you’re brainstorming ideas for your studio apartment design is a serious time-saver. It will give you a clear guide to everything from floor to furniture and décor colors, and you won’t have to worry about that one piece of art not fitting in. You can find tons of inspiration for interior design color schemes online, or you can create one based on your favorite tones. Fab Mood offers tons of inspiration on color schemes, while Visualize Color is an online color-scheme generator that will let you upload your own pictures for reference.

When picking your studio apartment color scheme, you may be tempted to stay as far from dark colors as possible to preserve as much light as possible and visually open up your space. And while that makes perfect sense, dark colors are great for small spaces like studio apartments. While light, bright colors can make an apartment look dynamic and upbeat, dark tones make for a sophisticated, dramatic look. They can make a studio apartment look luxurious and divert attention away from its limited space and towards its bold design.

If you decide to go for a darker color scheme, you may also want to include décor that visually enlarges the space. To achieve a spacious studio apartment design with a dark color scheme, consider incorporating mirrored surfaces into your furniture. For example, choose a kitchen countertop finish that reflects light, or use mirrors instead of glass panes in your room partition. Another trick for a spacious studio apartment design is to place long, flowing curtains close to the ceiling rather than right above the window. This tactic gives the illusion of taller ceilings and more space.

Save space with floating and hanging furniture

Floating shelves save space and provide extra storage in studio apartments.
Floating shelves save space and provide extra storage in studio apartments.
Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

In restrained spaces, the best way to integrate storage without crowding the floor is by using floating or hanging furniture. Wall shelves, suspended beds, hanging storage baskets, and similar furniture options can help you save floor space without cutting down on storage space. Wall shelves can be fitted almost anywhere, including low-traffic areas like above the doors or the bed, and provide ample storage space. Many furniture and home décor stores also offer various hanging furnishings, ranging from shelves to baskets that serve as both storage and a bold design statement. IKEA is particularly popular for its space-saving solutions at various price points, including wall shelves, various hanging storage solutions, and much more.

However, one of the biggest thieves of floor space is the bed. Thankfully, there are many unconventional yet stylish ways you can lift your bed off the ground and maximize your living space.  One of these is the relatively new trend of suspended beds. These beds are attached to the ceiling instead of the ground and float above the floor. Depending on the ceiling’s height, the space between the bed and the floor can be ideal for sit-down areas like a desk or a dining table. 

Another option for saving space is building a loft bedroom. While this takes more time and work than installing a suspended bed, it is a practical and incredibly stylish solution. If your ceilings are not tall enough to fit two whole floors, consider situating the loft closer to the ceiling. After all, if the loft area only includes your bed, you won’t need as much space as in your living space.

The key to studio apartment design—multi-functionality

Furniture for studio apartments should be multifunctional.
Furniture for studio apartments should be multifunctional.
Photo by Medhat Ayad from Pexels

With limited space comes the need to make the most of what you have. And what better way to do that than by getting as many double-duty furniture pieces as you can? Thanks to compact living’s growing popularity, you can now find multifunctional pieces in almost all furniture stores. They range from beds to tables and hidden kitchens of all sizes and colors, satisfying almost any studio apartment’s needs.

As mentioned before, the bed usually takes up the most space out of all furniture. If your apartment doesn’t allow for a suspended or loft bed, hiding it away during the day might be the next best thing. Murphy beds are fold-down beds that you can tuck away into a neat closet-like cupboard during the day to free up some space. They come in all the standard sizes and various cupboard finishes. But if you’re all out of storage space, adding another cupboard is not an option. Instead, you could consider getting a hidden bed. Hidden beds are usually stowed under a table or sitting area and can be pulled out at night. Or you can buy a bed that can be converted into a sofa during the day, killing two birds with one stone. 

Double duty furniture also includes tables, some of which can fold out to transform from a coffee table to a dining table or even a desk. If you have space that can be taken up by a bed permanently, invest in one with storage space underneath. Although often hard to access, this space is great for storing seasonal clothing and products that are not needed often.

These are only some of the best ideas for studio apartment design. The limited space calls for innovation and creativity, making renovating and furnishing a fun project. The key tips for studio apartment design are to divide the space into zones, pick a color scheme before buying any furniture, and buy furniture that allows you to capitalize on the room you have. With these in mind, you can begin transforming your studio apartment into a stylish and cozy home.