Everyone has to start somewhere, and for many, that means living in a studio apartment. They come in many different sizes and designs, but studio renters know the small space can quickly feel like it’s closing in on you. The average studio apartment built in 2018 measured only 514 square feet, down 100 feet since 2010.
You don’t need to upgrade to a one-bedroom apartment you can’t afford to feel comfortable. By thinking outside the box, you can live your life to the fullest in the smallest of spaces.
If you feel like you don’t know where to start, try out some living in a studio apartment tips and tricks. You’ll quickly transform your living experience.
- Make Your Bed
- Reduce Your Daily Clutter
- Utilize Dividers for Your Studio Apartment Layout
- Choose Multi-Functional Furniture
- Hang a Few Mirrors to Enhance the Space
- Create Storage Space Wherever Possible
1. Make Your Bed
Okay, this one’s probably a bit of a given. The bed is often the sole focus of a studio apartment. They’re so small, it’s natural your bed is the biggest piece of furniture in the room.
It makes a huge difference when you make your bed every day. A rumpled bed looks like a mess and makes the whole place feel cluttered. Align your pillows and pull your comforter out flat to create a crisp and clean edge that will make any small space more enjoyable.
2. Reduce Your Daily Clutter
Once you get in the habit of making your bed, reduce the rest of your clutter. That means extra water glasses by your bed, wrappers around the trash and dishes in the sink need to be taken care of regularly.
Studies have shown clutter affects your mind by increasing your cortisol, a stress hormone. It also reduces your energy and focus. As we get older, stress from clutter increases.
If you do any work or school from home, you’ll be more focused if you spend fifteen minutes cleaning before you start. It may make your schedule a bit tighter, but you’ll get more done once you sit down and get cracking.
3. Utilize Dividers for Your Studio Apartment Layout
Some people struggle to live in a studio apartment because you can’t move from the living room to the kitchen or hallway. It can all feel like one bedroom. Change your space with a divider.
Depending on how much room you have to work with, a divider could look like several different things. For example, you could use a bookshelf that’s wider than it is tall. It’ll create a wall that you can use to divide your space a bit more, without taking up much room. As a bonus, it also provides extra storage for all that aforementioned clutter.
You can also hang a curtain between your bed and the area you want to separate. Make sure to check your lease before hanging anything, since some apartment complexes don’t allow residents to make holes in the walls or ceiling bigger than a specific size.
Just be wary of over-dividing your small space. While barriers can help you create zones in your studio, a little bit of openness can open up the room and help it feel less compact. It’s a balancing act between function and design.
4. Choose Multi-Functional Furniture
Many people try two-in-one furniture after reading about studio apartment tips and tricks. Look at examples online to get an idea of the furniture you want to invest in.
You may enjoy having a bed that folds into a cabinet. Dressers can double as bedside tables if they’re short. You could also get a desk built inside a bookshelf.
Consider your apartment and how you’d decorate or rearrange it. Figure out what furniture would be the most useful before you fall in love with any one design. Shop for what’s most practical in a small space like a studio apartment.
5. Hang a Few Mirrors to Enhance the Space
When real estate agents walk people through a home that has small rooms, they often bring in props to make it look welcoming. Sometimes they hang mirrors to create the perfect visual illusion.
When designing your studio apartment, take a cue from the professionals. If you hang mirrors in a room, they instantly make it feel bigger. The lighting you use will bounce off of them and brighten up dark corners the sun wouldn’t normally reach. That will make your studio feel and look much bigger than it is.
Hanging one or two mirrors on your walls will do the trick, especially if you have lots of natural lighting in your apartment. Move curtains up a few inches than the windows for more impact. You’ll wonder if you’ve moved into a bigger place after all.
6. Create Storage Space Wherever Possible
Small living spaces require creativity. Luckily, we have a few genius tips to help you maximize your space:
- Utilize storage space underneath your bed with bins.
- Ask your landlord if you can install shelves. You can also experiment with floating shelves that don’t require drills.
- Look for collapsible tables or foldaway chairs, so you can host friends in a pinch.
- Place Command hooks on your walls for coats, hats and other items.
- Hang over-the-door shoe racks on closets and in bathroom cupboards.
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Living in a Studio Apartment Tips
When you’re ready to make your apartment feel larger, you’ll want to start small. Try cleaning the place up and starting tidy habits to take care of small messes. Then move onto bigger things, like adding a divider or buying two-in-one furniture.
Living in a studio apartment requires experimenting with a few tips & tricks. See what works by trying new things in your space. Sooner than later, you’ll find what makes your apartment feel like a whole new home.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published on September 19, 2019. Updated December 26, 2019 for extra tips and a new video.