Tips for Decorating a Studio Apartment

"I am living in a studio apartment and decorating options are limited. Right now everything seems to be up against the walls except the love seat that I arranged to divide the living area from the kitchen area. I would love some ideas on how to make it look cozy but not cluttered." --iVillager Kathy


Decorating a studio apartment is a challenge. It seems like it should be easy because the space is so small, but anyone who's lived in a small space knows that's not the case. So how do you bring order and style into an apartment where you eat, bathe and sleep within feet of each other? Here's a few ideas:

  • You need to have properly sized furniture to work in your small space. If you have anything that seems too large, you may want to consider getting rid of it, or loaning it to a friend until you move to a bigger apartment. Just like you wouldn't put a delicate cafe table in a palatial dining room, you would never use a heavy bookcase or dining table in your small studio. The furniture needs to be proportionate to your space.
  • It is important that each piece of furniture serves some sort of function. So, clear out anything you really don't need.
  • You might need to go shopping and buy a piece or two that are more conducive to your living space. When picking out new pieces, try to get items that can have multiple functions. For instance, a stool can double as an end table; a trunk can hold clothing and blankets and can also serve as a coffee table; and a narrow breakfast bar might fit perfectly in your small kitchen for eating, but can also be a display for plants, candles and cookbooks when not in use.

Watch Video: Decorating Small Spaces




  • Another thought: A small dining table with leaves can act as a kitchen table and then be expanded (with some furniture moved around) to have a dinner for eight. You can store folding chairs in a closet or storage unit.
  • Try to create partitions using paper and wood screens and drapes. They work great for separating your bedroom area from everything else, and give you some privacy when guests are over. You can also create partitions using furniture, as you mention in your question. It helps to define separate spaces.
  • Try to use a continuous color palette throughout the space. If too many colors, textures and styles are occurring, it will look very busy, and will create a crowded effect.
  • As far as collections go (art, jewelry, books), remember that a home is not a home unless it contains items which you love! If those things are important to you, you need to find a pace to keep them.
    But because it's such a small space, one thing I suggest is to minimize the number of items on display by only using your absolute favorites, or simply displaying the items which complement your color palette and overall style.
  • You can always change things around later, and when you are ready to create a new look you will have a collection of accessories on hand! Also, try grouping collections together -- it makes more of a statement than separating them all over the room.


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