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How To Design a Studio Apartment Layout To Maximise The Space

Studio apartment layout idea _ How to design a studio apartment layout to maximise the space

When it comes to studio apartment layouts, every inch counts. The key to making the most of a small space is to use your limited square footage to your advantage.

In this blog post, we will discuss some studio apartment layouts that will help you make the most of your home.

We will also provide tips on how to decorate and furnish your studio apartment layout in a way that is both functional and stylish. So, whether you are moving into a new small apartment or just looking for ways to optimise the space you already have, keep reading for some helpful tips!

24 Tips & Tricks for Optimising Space in a Studio Apartment

1. Choose Multifunctional Furniture

One of the best ways to make the most of a small space is to choose furniture that serves multiple purposes. For example, instead of a traditional coffee table, opt for an ottoman that can be used as a place to rest your feet and extra seating when guests come over, or a dining table with storage.

Similarly, a table that doubles as a workspace is a great way to save space in a studio apartment. Look for furniture that can be used in multiple ways, and you will be surprised at how much extra space you have in your small home.

Multifunctional furniture plays a vital role in designing a studio apartment layout.

2. Position Furniture Carefully

example of how to arrange furniture in studio apartment
Carefully consider every inch of the space when arranging furniture.

Photo by laura adai on Unsplash

When designing a studio apartment, choosing a layout that maximises your space is essential. For example, try not to place too many pieces of furniture in the middle of the room, instead, place your furniture and accessories closer to the walls to open up your space as much as possible.

That rule particularly applies to living room space as it needs to feel open and spacious.

For example, in studio apartments, things like a modular sofa, chairs, bookshelves, tables, mirrors, and more can all be placed against the wall in a stylish and unique way while still allowing a positive flow of energy throughout your apartment and in that way significantly increase the square footage.

3. Let In The Natural Light

Photo by Beazy on Unsplash

One of the best studio apartment layout ideas is to let in as much natural light as possible. This makes your space feel bigger and brighter, but it can also help you save on energy costs.

Usually, the living room is where we get all the sunshine. Installing a sheer bright colour scheme of curtains can help increase the brightness.

If your small apartment doesn't have a lot of windows, consider adding some mirrors to help reflect the light and make your space feel more open. Natural light is the key to small spaces.

4. Elevate Your Furniture Choices

Making the most of your small space layout really comes down to your furniture choices. To make the most of your space, opt for furniture with legs. Sofas or chairs with legs will free up the floor space and make your small apartment feel more spacious and airy as they allow more natural light to enter the room.

A coffee table with a glass top and slim legs will certainly create visually more space and make any studio apartment feel more open. Or perhaps a sleek, subtle shape console table that also acts as an art piece.

Mount a floating bedside shelf if a standard bedside table takes up too much space.

Dark, bulky furniture that sits directly on the floor can make the small space feel more cramped and uncomfortable. The best way to open up your small apartment layout is with light furniture with legs and positioned against the wall.

5. Apply Boutique Hotel Design Elements

Modern studio apartment layout idea

Photo by 刘 强 on Unsplash

Modern hotel bedroom design is a perfect example of how to design a small apartment layout without excluding essentials. The key is to focus on functionality, versatile pieces, and the things you really need on a daily basis for a happy life.

If you pay attention, almost every hotel has the same elements: super comfy mattress, high-quality bedding, nightstand, well-optimised kitchenette, a small fridge and a built-in wardrobe.

6. Opt for Bespoke Furniture

Handcrafted custom furniture designed to fit your space perfectly is always a great choice for a studio apartment. It might take a bit longer to get it, but it's so worth it. It will allow you to use up every inch of the square footage and make your apartment feel more high-end.

Not only that, it can function as versatile piece.

7. Go Vertical Instead of Horizontal

Did you notice that wearing trousers with vertical stripes makes your legs look longer? This visual effect applies to every object or space. For example, to use it in studio apartment design will mean skinny, less bulky shelving, abstract minimal wallpaper with vertical lines, or placing a long mirror upwards, storage space closet to the ceiling.

8. Create an Accent Wall

An accent wall is a great way to visually separate rooms in a small studio apartment and maximise the space. You could achieve it by painting a living room wall in a different colour, installing wallpaper, creating a gallery wall, installing wood wall slats or perhaps painting an arch shape behind the sofa.

Create a designated dining nook in a studio apartment by paining the wall in different colour.
Create a designated dining nook by paining the wall in different colour.

Photo by Spacejoy on Unsplash

If you are going more for urban jungle vibes, why not create an accent wall by installing a live green wall. Our previous blog post will give plenty of ideas on creating and maintaining a beautiful vertical garden.

9. Use A Room Divider

A room divider is an inexpensive way to up your game in designing a studio apartment. It separates the space, but it also adds a focal point to any room. Add plants to the equation, and you got yourself a beautiful live wall.

small home office in a studio separated with a screen
Screen off a corner and create a cosy home office.

If you're still unsure and not ready for commitment - room dividers on wheels, folding room dividers, curtains, floor to ceiling bookshelf or perhaps a changing screen are all great options. This beautiful Japanese inspired foldable decorative screen is an excellent alternative for adding personality whilst visually separating the space:

10. Create a Storage Wall

When designing a small studio apartment, maximising a wall space is crucial—focusing on anything that will get the clutter out of the way and increase the usable floor space.

A great way to make the space look more cohesive and spacious is to use the same colour scheme for storage and the wall. Opt for large and slim/shallow storage unit that won't stick out too much to maximise the space even further:

If you don't have the whole wall available, why not utilise the corner with a floating shelving unit to add extra storage space.

11. Opt For a Loft Bed

The loft bed is a perfect piece of furniture for a studio apartment, especially if you have high ceilings. To comfortably fit in a loft bed, anything over 3.2m ceiling height is great.

It will create an additional sleeping area, extra storage space and the illusion of high ceilings.

Use the space underneath the bed to add extra storage or create a small office nook.

Small office nook underneath the loft studio staircase

Did you know you could also get a loft bed with a built-in office desk? How awesome is that?

Another great way to use the space underneath is to create a home cinema nook.

12. Install a Murphy Bed

A studio apartment is perfect for one or a maximum of two people. But what if you are someone who likes to invite friends over. A Murphy bed is a great option.

It gives you the flexibility to hide the bedroom and transform your living room into a social hub when needed. Or perhaps use the available space for a yoga session. The sky is the limit.

13. Create a Multifunctional Reading Nook

multifunctional reading nook idea for a studio apartment

Photo by Amina Filkins from Pexels

Pop a long bench underneath the largest window or empty wall space to create a cosy reading nook that can also be used as extra seating, a small dining room or a breakfast nook. Add a few soft seating cushions and a handing plant to add cosiness.

Use the space underneath for your favourite books or as additional storage. Or, instead of a bench, you could use a chair bed to create a beautiful reading nook that becomes an extra guest bed at night.

14. Use Indoor Plants As a Room Divider

A great way to divide bedroom and living room space is to use plants as a divider. For example, you could add hanging plants like pothos or pop a potted tree. The only thing to remember is not to go overboard with large pots and use up limited space.

Plants are also a great way to increase your overall well-being and happiness. Read our previous blog post to find out how to pick the best plants for your space.

15. Install Sliding Doors

A studio apartment is challenging enough to choose the furniture that perfectly fits the space. But what if you don't have an alternative and there is no other place to put the sofa than next to the bathroom doors.

One thing you certainly don't want is to have the bathroom doors rubbing off the sofa every time you open them. Sliding doors will get this problem out of the way.

If you're looking for a timeless solution, barn sliding doors are a perfect pick.

16. Get a Mirrored Wardrobe

Perhaps you live in a rental, or you don't have time to deal with custom made built-in wardrobe. Getting a wardrobe with mirrored doors is a great way to add more storage and create the illusion of a bigger space. It's not a walk-in closet, but it will serve the purpose.

A great way to maximise the storage in a studio apartment is to go as high as possible. To take advantage of the remaining space, you could go a step further and add a few storage baskets on top.

17. Mount TV on the Wall or Use Projector

Mounted TV in a studio apartment for optimizing the space

By mounting your TV to the wall, you regain a decent amount of floor space. It could also double as an art display. Another great option to gain the area is to get a mini projector you can tuck away when not in use. You can still add a floating media cabinet for storage underneath. This gives your entertainment area a much cleaner look.

18. Keep Cables Tidy

Studio apartment optimising layout by tiding cables away

Cables are the bane of our existence. We spend hours of our lives untangling them, only to have them tangle back up again in a matter of minutes.

One way to organise cables around the house is by using cable ties. Cable ties work best for smaller cables and wires, as they can be wound around the cable and then closed off with a tie.

This method is great for organising phone chargers or laptop chargers, but it’s not very practical for larger items like speaker wires or power cords. Another way to organise cables is by using a cable wrap.

Cable wraps are great for larger items that need to be hung from a wall or ceiling, as they can be threaded through hooks and used to keep cords out of the way while also providing a finished, professional look.

Etsy is a website that sells unique items from independent makers. This includes all types of cable wraps, such as those pictured below.

19. Choose the Right Rug

Optimise the studio layout by choosing the right size rug
A soft neutral rug with warm tones compliments the light wood flooring.

Photo by Spacejoy on Unsplash

Picking the right size rug is not an easy task. There are many factors to consider before deciding on a specific size for the rug.

This guide will help you through the process of picking the right size rug for your studio apartment:

1) The first thing you should consider is the dimensions of your room and how much space you have. Make sure you measure before buying one.

2) The next thing to think about is what kind of rug you want?

If you are looking for a rug for a small studio apartment, it is best to go with something soft and minimal. Wool and cotton rugs are ideal because they feel nice on your feet and bring natural vibes into your home without creating a visual distraction.

3) Is there enough room leftover in your room to accommodate a larger rug?

The size of the rug will depend on the size of the room. It is vital to measure the floor space and ensure that you have enough space to walk around.

4) What kind of flooring do you have? To make the space appear bigger, opt for a rug in a similar colour scheme as your flooring.

However, avoid having too much contrast, making the space look much smaller. When picking the size of your rug take into account the height of your furniture and anything else that may get in the way.

20. Opt for Murphy Dining Table

A studio apartment often doesn't have a designated dining room, and the standard table takes up a lot of the space. The murphy dining table is a great alternative, as it's collapsible and takes up very little space. It can also be used as a home office.

Take advantage of a narrow corner to create a breakfast nook.

21. Use Bathroom Storage Carefully

You can maximise the amount of storage space available, such as using floating shelves, hidden storage, or installing cabinetry under your sink. Another thing to consider is where to keep other items such as towels and toiletries might be stored while still accessible.

22. Install Sliding Wall Panels

This option might be more suitable for homeowners, as it requires a few tools and it's not the cheapest alternative (especially if you opt for wood panels). But the end result is so worth it! It can be attached to the ceiling and create separation where needed.

23. Choose a Bed With Decent Storage Space

A murphy bed is a great solution for some, but if you are one of those who love to read and work from a bed, this might not be the best option. Instead, a bed with storage underneath is a great way to add cosiness whilst adding a practical storage solution. It can also function as a hidden closet.

24. Maximise Living Room Space

Studio apartment living room arrangement

There are many different ways to make the space feel bigger in a small living room. However, it can be hard to know where to put furniture and how to make the most of the available space.

Here are some tips on how you could maximise your living room space:

  • Use any empty corners for storage

  • Get a corner bench to maximise the seating and create a dining nook.

  • Use mirrors - to reflect light and make the room seem more spacious.

  • Add a TV or shelving unit in a corner

  • Hang shelves from the ceiling over the sofa

  • Take advantage of every inch of the wall by mounting shelves on them

When you're looking for furniture, it's important to consider what your needs are. For example, if you want lots of seating options in your living room, there are several great alternatives that will fit seamlessly into a smaller space. For example, you could choose an ottoman or daybed instead of a traditional sofa.

Perfect Studio Apartment Designs To Inspire

Step into The Loft, studio with serious style. Designed by DAAA Haus Studio.

Images by DAAA Haus

About the studio and DAAA Haus design approach:

"The studio apartment is located in the heart of St Julians which offers a single, multi-function living space that incorporates the living room, dining room, kitchen and sleeping quarters of a residence all in the same space.

The interior style creates a minimalistic and dynamic space. The minimalist approach uses only the essential elements: light, form, and beautiful materials to create a sense of freedom and relaxation. There is no excessive ornamentation and decoration.

Instead, the few details that are used are uncomplicated and blend harmoniously into the setting. The furniture and accessories focus on functionality and practicality.

The studio has a lot of hidden storage to avoid clutter in a small 55 sqm environment. Flat, smooth surfaces and strong, clean lines create bold statements that emphasize the essential nature of each item."

Check them out at

Tour Felicia's charming 480 square feet Boho studio apartment.

Images by Felicia

Felicia's design approach:

"My design approach was just maximizing our very small space (480 square feet) I have a boho /clean aesthetic while my boyfriend is very eclectic and a huge reader. Having a comfortable home with great storage was really important to us.

We also didn't want to spend a ton of money so we thrifted mostly everything. We love the Danish concept of hygge so everything needed to be really cosy. Lots of blankets, pillows, warm textures, candles, a great teapot, book storage and glowy lighting were important to us.

PS having our art supplies readily available so we can paint and doodle whenever we want was also important."

Meet Felicia, creative card designer.


In Conclusion

At the end of the day, you should feel great about your tiny apartment. Living in a studio apartment is more sustainable, as it reduces carbon footprint, produces less waste using fewer materials and uses less energy.

Not only that, but living in a smaller home allows you also get to spend more quality time with your loved ones and on things that truly matter.

Studio apartment design has its challenges, but there is no reason why you can't turn it into a beautiful and unique home.

And if you end up with an awkward space you're not sure what to do with, check out our three favourite ways to fill wasted space.

By following these studio apartment layout ideas, you will be well on your way to making the most of your limited space. Just because you are working with a small space doesn't mean it has to feel that way. Take advantage of these tips and design a home that will love you back!

Follow our journey on Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok. Or perhaps JOIN our Green Community and get the Sustainable Home Guide for FREE!

Know someone that will like it? Share it! :)


Barbulianno x

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