How to Decorate A Studio Apartment

Posted on 30 August 2019

Years ago, there was a common misconception that living in a studio apartment meant you lived like this:

how to decorate a studio apartment

But it just isn’t true.


how to decorate a studio apartment

Tiny houses and tiny apartments are all the rage recently. It’s all about trying to keep things as neat and compact as possible and only keeping the things that spark joy. But it’s also about illusion, perception, making things seem bigger or more spacious than they actually are. Studio apartments are usually 500-600 square feet with very few dividers. It usually appears to be all one room (exception, the bathroom) unless constructed otherwise. A studio apartment is perfect for one person living alone and on a budget. Trying to figure out how to decorate a studio apartment in a way that doesn’t make it look cluttered or empty, can be challenging. However, decorating any personal space is always a fun challenge!  Here we’ll be going over how to decorate your studio apartment so that it showcases your personal style, is organized, and makes your place seem perceptively bigger and more inviting!


how to decorate a studio apartment


If you’ve ever been to Disneyland, then you’ve walked down Main St. USA upon entering the park. Something not a lot of people know is that when Walt Disney was designing the park’s layout, he used a lot of tricks of the eye and perception techniques. When you walk down the lane to get to the center of the park, the walk feels longer than it actually is. The reason for this is that the pathway is at a slight angle and the second story of each building gets shorter the further you walk, making the buildings seem larger and taller than they actually are. We call this forced perspective.

The device of forced perspective can be used in your studio apartment as well, just in a less spectacular way. Bringing in room dividers, and hanging mirrors along your walls can change the layout of your studio apartment pretty quickly. Not just the layout, but the overall aesthetic as well!

Room Dividers

Even though you may be living alone, at some point you’ll probably have company. Not only this but bringing in room dividers into your studio apartment helps section off the space giving the illusion of several rooms. Even though you may know you’re living in a place that’s only 500-600 square feet, the feeling of this may dispel over time. Depending on the interior aesthetic you’re going for, dividers can be curtains or actual folding screens ranging in appearance. Some dividers you can find online also have shelved attached, to make them an additional wall but also an organizational space for your trinkets, plants or collectibles. 

A common trick with studio apartments is taking your bed and making it just for sleep but installing a curtain to hide it from the rest of the room. Not only does it give you privacy and blocks out any unwanted light, but it creates the illusion that your living area is separated from your bedroom. Some people don’t prefer the look of their bed and their couch all in the same space so bringing in a curtain or foldable dividing wall can make a world of difference. 


how to decorate a studio apartment


Have you ever been in a fitting room that was lined with mirrors and noticed how your reflection seemed to repeat into forever? A mirror can be like a window, giving you more perspective on the area around you. Blank walls can make you feel trapped. Adding a mirror on two facing walls can help make the space feel bigger and through forced perspective, make it feel like you’ve got a long hallway on either side of your walls. Plus, you can get some aesthetically pleasing frames and have something to look into before you walk out the door.


how to decorate a studio apartment


Think of choosing what to put in your studio apartment as a game of “the floor is lava.” If you ever played this as a kid, you’ll remember that basically someone would announce that the floor was lava and you had to get up to higher ground. In the same way, you’ll have to pick and choose what items you want to occupy your floor space as it is more limited than you’re probably used to. Similarly you could also think of decorating a studio apartment space as decorating a hotel room. Hotel rooms have everything you need in one small space and are designed with convenience and simplicity in mind. A hotel room holds all the essentials without being too cluttered and busy. 


how to decorate a studio apartment

In order to make your studio apartment look like an inviting living space and not like a storage space, you’ll want to invest in furniture pieces that reduce clutter. Search for bookshelves, wall shelves, cubbies, anything that can keep your belongings off the floor and tucked away. Additionally, you can use cubbies and bookshelves as pseudo-wall dividers! 


how to decorate a studio apartment

Having items like this in your apartment are going to be crucial to your living as closet space is going to be super limited more than likely. There’s a good chance you have more shoes and clothes than you know what to do with. Purge the things you don’t wear anymore and invest in a rolling clothes rack and a hanging shoe organizer. Both of which are easily accessible online. On occasion, stores that are going out of business will not only mark down their prices but also try to make some extra cash by selling their clothing displays and rolling clothes racks. This is a golden opportunity for you to get the clothing rack you need for dirt cheap! Shoe organizers online range anywhere from $8-$30 depending on the material and how many slots for shoes it comes with. 

**Alternatively, you can buy vertical space saving hangers so you can line your shirts and pants up 5 or 6 at a time to make more closet space!**


how to decorate a studio apartment

When selecting furniture, you want to choose things that aren’t super imposing. Don’t splurge on a large dining room table for a family of 5 if you’re hardly going to use it and not have that many people in your home at a time. Look for smaller, high top tables that you can eat at if you so choose or use to drop your mail off at (we all do it). You can find dining room tables online that also have storage space along the sides for extra convenience. Tuck away placemats, glasses, plates or whatever else you’d like and maybe have run out of room for. 


how to decorate a studio apartment

If you’ve already got a mattress this could help or hinder your studio apartment’s functionality depending on the square footage of the space and how big your mattress is. If you plan on sleeping alone and don’t take up too much space, a twin sized mattress is a good way to go. Comfortable and it won’t take up much space. A full size mattress or more if going to eat away a big percentage of your floor space. If this is a problem for you, consider a bedding alternative. Try a foldable futon mattress that you can store away to create more room! You can either keep it on the floor or buy a bed frame for it. Bonus, if you buy a couch frame for your foldable futon, you can have a couch and bed all in one!


how to decorate a studio apartment

If you’re running out of space for plates and such because of your mass amount of drink-ware, buy wall hooks to hang your mugs from to make more room!


how to decorate a studio apartment


Now once you get that organization out of the way, here comes the fun part! Decorating your walls and such with decor that matches your tastes and aesthetic. The cherry on top that makes your living space true to you! Accessorize your space with plastic or real greenery like succulents, cacti and agave. Add some artwork of your choice. Choose colors you can match up your other furniture with and create a theme! Choose a photo canvas print! Add other elements like a macrame wall hanging, photo prints, crystals, candles, a small wooden decorative ladder, string lights, floral arrangements, real or decorative books etc…

how to decorate a studio apartmenthow to decorate a studio apartmenthow to decorate a studio apartment

Instant Wallpaper

how to decorate a studio apartmenthow to decorate a studio apartment

To change the look of your studio almost instantly, a colorful wall tapestry will do the trick! Choose a traditional mandala, a tie dye wash, a nature scene etc...Get more than one for some extra oomf! Odds are choosing wallpaper for your apartment is out of the question, tapestries can have the same affect and are way cheaper and easier to work with!


how to decorate your studio apartmenthow to decorate a studio apartment

Things like throw pillows and blankets, rugs, ottomans, add texture to an otherwise solid look. Fuzzies and tassels are all the rage right now! Add some wicker furniture to the mix and it really ties it all together.


how to decorate a studio apartment

In Conclusion

Decorating your studio apartment doesn’t have to be a chore! In fact it can be super fun! Get creative, think outside the box, and don’t be afraid to try new things!

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