How to Live in a Studio Apartment

How to Live in a Studio Apartment

Whether you are moving out for the first time or moving because your lease is up, a new apartment is a chance to make your space your own.

As exciting as a new space is, though, when you are moving to a studio apartment, the limitations of its layout are also frustrating.

Fortunately, interior design pros have come up with some expert tips to get control of your new space!

The Problem: The Separation Of Space

Except for the bathroom, a studio apartment is one oversized room which makes the separation of space a challenge.  

How do you keep the kitchen in the kitchen?

How do you stop guests in your “living room” from wandering into your “bedroom”?

How do you give each room a unique look without your apartment looking like a mismatched house of horrors?

Add Room Dividers

Room dividers or privacy screens are a simple solution to space management in studio apartments.

A simple room divider costs between $60 and $175, although more ornate (and expensive) room dividers are available.

There are two significant benefits to room dividers: 

  • Dividers are simple to install, so you don’t have to worry about screwing anything into the wall and losing your security deposit.
  • There are many divider styles to choose from, so you can customize your room dividers to theme each “room” individually.

Drawbacks of room dividers include:

  • They can make space darker depending on the size and style of the room divider.
  • There are many divider styles to choose from, so you can customize your room dividers to theme each “room” individually.

Create Makeshift Dividers

If room dividers are out of your budget, you can always create makeshift room dividers with items that you already have in your apartment “inventory.” For example, a tall bookcase can create a “wall” between two “rooms.”

Other options for makeshift dividers include:

  • A curtain rod and curtain
  • A sofa
  • A sofa table
  • A cube organizer
  • Tall plants

Benefits of makeshift dividers include:

  • You can use just about anything to divide rooms without spending a dollar.
  • Your apartment is lighter since you aren’t completely cordoning off “rooms.”
  • You have more control over customizing your space since you aren’t limited to existing designs.

Drawbacks of makeshift dividers include -

  • There are many divider styles to choose from, so you can customize your room dividers to theme each “room” individually.
  • You may not have anything suitable to use as a divider already in your apartment.

Add A Temporary Half Wall

Many people are unfamiliar with the concept of temporary half walls. Temporary half walls stand at half the height of traditional walls, and slot into place without any significant construction.

Temporary half walls can be made of a variety of materials, including vinyl and fiberglass.

Benefits of a temporary half wall include:

  • No heavy construction is required to install temporary half walls, so they are ideal for renters.
  • Temporary half walls create more traditional partitions between rooms.

Drawbacks of makeshift dividers include:

  • There are many divider styles to choose from, so you can customize your room dividers to theme each “room” individually.
  • There are many divider styles to choose from, so you can customize your room dividers to theme each “room” individually.

The Problem: Limited Space

Space limitation is another significant factor when talking about the frustrations of studio space.

With such a small space, how can you possibly store everything you need without living like a hoarder? This is even more of a challenge when you plan on dividing your space into “rooms.”

Multifunctional Furniture

Multifunctional furniture is an easy solution to limited space IF you have the budget and can find pieces of furniture that will fit in your apartment space.

One of the best places to shop for this type of furniture is IKEA.

IKEA furniture is designed with compact spaces in mind, and their furniture pieces incorporate unique storage solutions that are ideal for studio space.

Your multifunctional furniture choices aren’t limited to IKEA, many companies and small business owners create multifunctional pieces. Odd as it may seem, you can find some great compact furniture solutions on websites like ETSY!

Some examples of multifunctional furniture include:

  • Platform beds with under-bed storage.
  • Loft beds with desk space or sofa space underneath.
  • Loft beds with dressers and bookshelves built into the base.
  • Lift top coffee tables with storage underneath.
  • An end table with a bookshelf or storage built-in.
  • A murphy bed with shelving built around the pullout bed.
  • A sofa bed.
  • A bookshelf with a pulldown desk.

Benefits of multifunctional furniture include:

  • Multifunctional furniture is usually quite affordable, and expensive pieces can be justified since you are replacing multiple pieces of furniture with one piece.
  • Multifunctional furniture is built for dual functionality, so you are not having to improvise with a macgyvered furniture combination you put together yourself.

Drawbacks of multifunctional furniture include:

  • There is a limited selection of multifunctional furniture available.
  • The dimensions of multifunctional furniture aren’t always traditional which can make it difficult to find pieces that will fit in your space.

Make Use Of Traditionally Unused Space

Complement your multifunctional furniture by making use of space in your apartment that often gets neglected.

Vertical space is a good example of this, and it allows you to store items that you don’t use as frequently without cluttering your limited floor space.

Of course, you don’t just want to stack your belongings in a pile up to the ceiling, but making use of floor-to-ceiling shelving and storage drawers and cubbies can really expand your apartment’s usable space.

Some examples of ways to use traditionally unused space include –

  • A full-length mirror with storage for accessories and jewelry behind the mirror.
  • Slender pull-out rolling shelving for small gaps between appliances and countertops or smaller unused spaces like beside the toilet or sink in the bathroom.
  • Pullout storage drawers for under-bed storage.
  • Ottomans with storage space underneath.
  • Magnetic pegboards for stationary storage over a desk.
  • Baskets for over-cabinet storage
  • Furniture protectors with storage pockets for remote controls and small gadgets.
  • Shelving (or a shoe organizer) to the back of a closet or cupboard door for added storage space.
  • Shower curtains with storage pockets.

Lose The Frustration And Get Creative!

It can be easy to let frustration take over when facing the unique limitations of a studio apartment but thinking outside the box can quickly turn things around. Not only can your creativity get more functionality out of your small apartment space, but it also takes personalizing your home to a whole new level!

More Tips To Make Studio Apartment Living More Comfortable

What else can you do to make studio apartment living more comfortable?

  • Add mirrors! Mirrors will make your limited space seem much roomier!
  • Try to add “layers” to your lighting by creating multiple lighting sources in each “room” rather than relying on a single overhead light.
  • Don’t overcrowd your wall space. Yes, you want to make use of as much storage space as possible, but make sure that some of your wall is showing or your living space will feel much smaller.
  • Avoid oversized furniture pieces, go minimal and choose smaller pieces to make your space look larger.
  • Go with lighter color schemes, darker walls and textiles will make your space seem much smaller.