How to Furnish and Decorate a Studio Apartment

Tips for Studio Apartment Layouts and Designs

Furnishing a studio apartment presents several design challenges. When you start adding seating, tables and decor, it’s difficult to avoid overcrowding in limited spaces. However, tiny apartments have massive potential if you divide the room into specific areas and opt for space-saving furniture in each zone. By arranging small-scale pieces in clever ways, you can create a chic and roomy studio setup.

Overview

This post will provide some helpful tips on:

Studio Apartment Decorating Ideas: How Do I Set Up a Studio Apartment?

It takes a lot of planning and ingenuity to fit all the necessary household furnishings into a typical 500 sq ft studio apartment layout. To create a comfortable open-plan space, establish different zones in the apartment for daily activities. By designating specific areas for work, play, meals and sleep, you can make small spaces feel more open and livable.

How Do You Split a Studio Apartment?

To create a sense of space and flow in your studio apartment’s interior design, section off the areas that will serve as different rooms. Create a quick sketch of the layout and divvy up your floor plan to include the following spaces.

  • Living Room: Often a home’s central hub, the living room is where you’ll spend most of your leisure time. Family room areas tend to be the largest section of the apartment, so it’s a perfect spot for entertaining guests as well. Setting up this area near a window provides easier access to fresh air and natural light, too.
  • Dining Room: Some people may decide to enjoy meals in the living room to save on floor space. However, if you want to have a dedicated dining area as part of your studio apartment design, position it close to your kitchenette. This setup allows for smoother transitions when cooking and serving food since you’ll only have to take a few steps between the oven and the dinner table.
  • Bedroom: To keep the city lights and outside noises from waking you during the night, establish your studio apartment bedroom in a windowless area. If possible, arrange your bed, nightstands and dresser between the closet and bathroom to give the layout a more functional flow.
  • Bonus Area: Once you have these three major zones in place, you may discover that you have a few extra nooks and crannies to work with. An empty corner makes an excellent home office, vanity space or open-concept closet. You can also turn it into a tiny music room, reading nook, crafting corner, exercise area or a general free space for enjoying your favorite hobbies.
Designating each corner of your studio apartment for a specific purpose is an easy way to divvy up the layout.
Designating each corner of your studio apartment for a specific purpose is an easy way to divvy up the layout.

Room Dividers for Studio Apartments

Once you’ve determined where to arrange various zones of your studio apartment, you’ll need to carve them out and keep them separated. Wall off each section with a curtain, an openwork bookcase or a folding screen along the borders. To maintain the open floor plan, strategically position a sofa or a long console table to define each space. You can also use area rugs to spotlight individual areas.

Open-back room dividers let you access books and decor from either side.
Open-back room dividers let you access books and decor from either side.

Studio Apartment Furniture: Styles and Sizes for Small Spaces

Your apartment furniture should provide maximum comfort while taking up minimal floor space. Starting with the essential pieces and arranging them so that each zone is cozy yet uncluttered is the key to designing the perfect layout. Check out these tips on how to choose and set up your studio apartment furniture.

Studio Apartment Couches

Select tiny couches and small living room sofa sets that offer ample seating despite their compact design. Tuck a small sectional into a corner to keep the center of the space clear. For a traditional living room look, choose a tiny 2pc living room set or create your own combo using a small couch and matching loveseat. Armless accent chairs and sleek chaises are great space-savers as well.

Despite their modest size, a tiny sectional can seat 3 or 4 people.
Despite their modest size, a tiny sectional can seat 3 or 4 people.

Small Apartment Tables

When adding small accent tables to your seating arrangement, choose pieces that make the most of your limited space. Arrange a narrow console table behind the sofa to hold houseplants, table lamps and remotes. Select a sofa table with shelves and drawers for even more storage and display space. As for your small coffee tables and end tables, choose round or nesting models to add depth to the area.

Save floor space by stacking nesting tables against the wall when they're not in use.
Save floor space by stacking nesting tables against the wall when they're not in use.

A drop-leaf folding table, small dining room set or 3pc pub set table is the perfect option for a narrow dinette space. Tall bar height tables are a smart choice for tiny areas since they have a sleek and slim silhouette. Whichever type of small dining table you choose, pairing it with versatile armless side chairs that fit neatly beneath the tabletop help keep footpaths clear.

Place your dining set along a wall to keep the floor plan open.
Place your dining set along a wall to keep the floor plan open.

Beds for Studio Apartments

If your studio apartment is large enough, you could use a queen bed for your sleep space. However, a full or twin-size bed is a better idea for tinier layouts. Many types of small beds will work, but sleek metal and low-profile platform beds take up less room than other designs. Daybeds also preserve square footage since they fit against a wall rather than extending into the center of the room.

Some beds also tuck neatly into corners, providing another space-saving option for small sleeping areas.
Some beds also tuck neatly into corners, providing another space-saving option for small sleeping areas.

Want a comfy space-saving sleep surface that serves a dual purpose? Forgo the bedroom area altogether and opt for a sofa bed or sleeper sectional instead. These pieces provide plush living room seating during the day and convert into a cozy bed when it’s time to get some rest. Smaller sleeper chairs and loveseats take up even less room yet still offer a roomy sleep space at bedtime.

Sleeper seats conceal twin, full or queen pull-out beds beneath the cushions.
Sleeper seats conceal twin, full or queen pull-out beds beneath the cushions.

Studio Apartment Storage Ideas: Organization Tips for Tiny Spaces

Functional yet compact storage is essential to avoid a cluttered studio apartment. With a few practical furnishings and a little creativity, you’ll discover plenty of clever and unique ways to organize a tiny layout. Consider the following small-space storage ideas to help you keep items neatly tucked away in a 500 square foot home.

Make the Most of Vertical Storage

Using the walls to stow and display decor helps free up space in your studio apartment. Line up your books and houseplants along a wide windowsill, or hang up a wall-mounted shelf to show off figurines and family photos. Pick sconces over table lamps to keep tabletops clear and choose a corner desk, tower bookcase or hall tree to hold extra clothing, shoes, office supplies or accessories.

Some hall trees double as a storage station and bench seat.
Some hall trees double as a storage station and bench seat.

Pick Multi-Purpose Furniture

A single piece of furniture can serve multiple purposes. For example, a spacious 9-drawer dresser or a wide TV stand with drawers and cabinets can hold folded clothes and your media devices at the same time. Cushy storage ottomans make excellent seats and footrests, and their hidden compartments also keep throw blankets, board games and magazines out of sight and close by.

A small round or square ottoman is easy to tuck under a desk or table.
A small round or square ottoman is easy to tuck under a desk or table.

Invest in Functional Furniture

Larger furnishings with built-in storage can also keep your home organized. Choose a counter height table with adjustable shelving to store dishes and glasses in the kitchen. Select a storage or trundle bed and use the wide drawers to stow extra shoes and outfits. Extra-large bookshelf consoles and three-in-one loft bed, desk and chest combos offer ample space for clothing and decor, too.

Choose furniture with hidden storage to maximize your available space.
Choose furniture with hidden storage to maximize your available space.

Studio Apartment Decor: Stylish and Smart Accessories for Tiny Areas

As you put the finishing touches on your chic and cozy studio apartment layout, keeping your space from feeling cramped is crucial. The colors, accents and designs you use to customize your home should open up the space while complementing your unique personality. Keep the following tips in mind when decorating your studio apartment.

  • Stick to a Light Color Scheme: Bright hues help rooms feel bigger and more inviting. Consider a soft beige sofa or light gray sectional to lighten up your living room, and add some vibrant orange, red and teal accent pillows to your seating arrangement or bedspread. You can also lay down a striking white or vivid yellow rug for an extra touch of cheerful radiance.
  • Enhance Natural Light: Lend an open, airy feel to your studio apartment by using natural light to your advantage. Place decorative mirrors near the windows to reflect sunlight throughout the space. Sunbeams shine through glass top dining and accent tables and bounce off your bedroom dresser mirror to illuminate the entire layout.
  • Create the Illusion of Space: When you have square footage limitations, certain furnishings can make your small room look bigger. Instead of tucking square or rectangular pieces into corners, let round dining tables, accent tables, cocktail ottomans and rugs take center stage. In general, circular tables are always better in narrow spaces as sharp corners can hurt when you’re in a hurry.
  • Pick a Sleek and Simple Style: To give your setup a cohesive look and an open feel, choose furniture with neat, clean lines. Select modern living room sets, daybeds and bookcases to create a sleek and tidy ensemble. Once these larger pieces are in place, you can accent the space with other eye-catching decor that showcases your one-of-a-kind style.
Use both standing and wall mirrors to maximize the lighting in your apartment.
Use both standing and wall mirrors to maximize the lighting in your apartment.