Your studio apartment is your everything — your living room, your dining room, your bedroom, and your study. It’s your multi-purpose space, in which you have to store nearly all of your earthly belongings and furnishings. With so much going on, studios can feel cramped at their worst and cozy and clean at their best. If you feel like your studio is slowly smothering you and the walls are closing in, try these tips to make it feel more spacious.
Sheer window coverings
Blinds and drapes that block out light will make your studio feel much smaller and darker than it needs to. Instead, choose light, airy curtains that let in ample sunlight and breezes while letting you see outside, which adds visual depth.
When you’re living in 500 square feet, a coffee table needs to be more than just where you set your coffee and magazines. Pack in additional seating and storage wherever you can, such as by using freestanding open shelves or cubes to divide your studio into discrete areas while giving you a place to display your knick knacks and books. Make use of the space under your bed, either with drawers, slide-under totes, or a bed frame — like this one from Ikea — that is almost entirely open for storage, with a hinged mattress base that lifts for easy access.
Swap your bookcases for a set of wall shelves to free up floor space, and position them higher on your walls to help draw the eye up. Pare down your books and baubles to just a few of your favorites and display only those.
Separate sleeping space
Use shelving, a folding divider, or even curtains — which can create the effect of having a large window — to make a separate sleeping space for yourself. It will help visitors to not feel like they’re stepping into an intimate space like a bedroom, and it will help you to feel like you aren’t spending your whole day in the same room. The Sleep Council cautions against using your bedroom as an extension of your living room. Even if that is exactly the arrangement your studio dictates, you can still create a separate visual, mental, and behavioral space to foster good sleep.
If you can’t visually separate your sleeping space from your living space, still try to prevent the bed from being the focus of the room. Choose a comforter in a light or muted color. If you have a predominantly white apartment, try going for completely white bedding to camouflage the bed entirely. Alternatively, if you prefer bold patterns, go big, but make sure you pick up on the pattern elsewhere, with pops of color throughout the apartment to offset the visual weight of the bed.
Sam Radbil is a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO, an online apartment marketplace. ABODO was founded in 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. And in just three years, the company has grown to more than 30 employees, raised over $8M in outside funding and helps more than half a million renters find a new home each month.