Interior Designer Shares How to Maximize Your Studio Apartment with 6 Clever Tips and Solutions
Studio apartments are a popular choice for people who live in big cities that want to save on rent. However, these spaces are often one big room that does the function of many, whilst also being small with not much room for functionality.
To help you make the most of the space and create a home you’re happy to spend time in, Amy Wilson, interior designer and Creative Director at 247 Curtains and 247 Blinds and contestant on BBC’s Interior Design Master, shares her top tips on how to decorate your studio apartment.
Cosy or open?
Decide whether you want to lean into the small size to create a cosy haven that feels like walking into a warm hug, or whether you want your home to feel more airy and spacious.
Amy states: “Determining this early on will help you to decide on design choices throughout the decorating process to achieve a space which suits your wants, needs and living habits.”
“For example, if you’re often working in an office away from home and want somewhere you can retreat to in order to decompress and relax, a cosier ambience may work better for you. Alternatively, if you do work from home, keeping your place minimalist and open can help to aid productivity and prevent you from feeling claustrophobic.”
Find the right window dressing
Studio apartments can often be found in old renovated buildings such as warehouses and this often means you’re left with unconventional window shapes and sizes.
Amy shares: “Where space is limited your windows are even more important, so embrace them and the opportunity they present in terms of bringing additional light and offering a view to open up your space.”
She advises: “It is important to get window dressings that fit for privacy and to block out light when you sleep, which is why you should consider made-to-measure curtains or blackout blinds to ensure they are the right dimensions to suit your home.”
“Curtains can add warmth and cosiness to a space that is cold by adding dimension, layers and texture. If you want to have curtains but still want to make your face feel big, vertical stripes and floor-length curtains help to elongate the space.
Careful consideration of colour
The colours that you choose for your interior design can really affect how big or small your studio feels.
Amy shares: “Monochrome schemes are a simple way to declutter a small space and keep it looking clean and pared back whilst also allowing you to introduce some bolder and brighter colours as accents in accessories. Yellow, bright pink or ever-popular teal should elevate your space, bring it on-trend and give a small living space some real character.”
She continues: “Stick to light coloured walls – whilst colour is fun, these bold statements can often overwhelm and cramp smaller spaces. White, sage, and pale yellow are all good choices as they’re all happy and bright colours that create a sense of openness. This is even more effective if your home gets a lot of daylight as it will reflect light back out, bouncing it around the home.”
Clever storage solutions
When space is limited, coming up with clever storage solutions that don’t take up too much room is very important.
Jonathan Warren, director and bed specialist at Time4Sleep explains: “The bed tends to be the largest item in a bedroom and in a particularly small space it’s important to consider how it can do more than just be your snoozing spot.”
“If you’re not keen on exposed storage boxes underneath a bed, which can create a cluttered look, a divan bed or ottoman bed is a great option, providing you with a hidden storage space that’s effectively the same size as your bed.”
“Divan beds are perfect for particularly small spaces as they are designed intentionally to only be as wide as the mattress they support- making the most of the space you have whilst maintaining a compact and tidy bedroom.”
Utilise wall space and draw the eye upward
You may not have a lot of floor space to work with so it is really beneficial to use the wall space you do have.
Amy shares: “Using mirrors is a well known hack for making a space feel brighter and bigger – the trick is to have one big mirror that is big, tall and slim enough to trick the brain into seeing more visual space.”
“Another trick is instead of having your tv on a stand, which can take up room, mount it on the wall. This doesn’t only save space but also creates a less cluttered, mess-free minimalistic look.”
Amy adds: “Adding personality and character to your walls can be done by showcasing your favourite art, however, I would opt for choosing a few big prints rather than going down the route of something such as a gallery wall as this could make the walls seem smaller.”
Make clear boundaries
If you don’t want your studio to feel like one room that blends into each other but instead want to create distinguished areas, then try these hacks.
Amy recommends: “Using linen curtains as room dividers is a really effective and stylish solution to breaking up your space. The softness provided by curtains rather than walls helps a space feel less restricted and makes it flexible and multifunctional. You can also divide up the room with furniture such as bookshelves to corner off certain areas by making physical boundaries.”
“Another thing I would suggest, if you have the space, is having a table near your kitchen area so that you consciously make the decision to eat and work somewhere that is not your bed or sofa. This creates a mental boundary that also helps to form good habits.”