If your apartment is just one room—with no walls to separate the bedroom from the living room—it probably resembles a dorm room more than a grown-up's home. What can you do? Plenty. Even if you are not working with excess square footage, there are many tricks for creating distinct areas in a small place for sleeping, working, or just hanging out.
What you're lacking in space, you can make up for in style. No room is too small for decor and layout adjustments. The best part is, none of these require things like major renovations or knocking down walls. Renters and buyers alike will appreciate how simple it is to make a studio apartment feel like a one (or even two) bedroom.
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Create a Larger Living Room
This New York City apartment is a tiny, urban oasis brimming with style. The designers at LABLstudio chiseled out separate spots for sleeping, working, and entertaining by dividing the single room apartment in half.
They borrowed some of the bedroom square footage—which starts at the back of the apartment—to establish a larger living room with a small home office near the front windows. A wallpaper feature wall enhances the sense of separation between the bedroom and living room.Continue to 2 of 22 below.
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Create Separation With Room Divider Curtains
Room divider curtains conceal a queen-sized bed in this 450-square-foot studio by Benjamin Hall Design and Build based in Phoenix, Arizona.Continue to 3 of 22 below.
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Install Sliding Doors
The smart designers at Facet 14 Studio turned a nook in this New York City studio apartment into a private bedroom by installing sliding doors that glide on a built-in track near the ceiling.Continue to 4 of 22 below.
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Build a Temporary Half Wall
A temporary half wall divides the square footage in this Scandinavian studio apartment spotted on Alvhem Makleri. This is a particularly good idea for a rental where building something permanent is prohibited.Continue to 5 of 22 below.
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Add Character With a Bespoke Room Divider
The interior designers at The Brooklyn Home Company combined weathered wood with custom storage to create some privacy for a bedroom in this New York City studio apartment. The bespoke room divider adds rustic character to the shabby chic living room.Continue to 6 of 22 below.
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Try a Bookcase Divider
Blogger Jackie Clair from York Avenue used an IKEA KALLAX shelving unit to divide her tiny studio apartment into two distinct living areas. The best part: the smart piece of storage furniture cost less than $110.
This particular furniture collection can be customized with add-on parts—drawers, baskets, and colorful storage boxes—that add personality while providing concealed storage.Continue to 7 of 22 below.
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Maximize Space With Transforming Furniture
This smart, room-maximizing system created by ICOSA Design brought supersized function to a tiny condo in San Francisco. The unit combines a loft-style bedroom on top of a multifunctional room packed with transforming furniture. A favorite feature is the dining room table that folds into the built-in cabinetry. The wall facing the seated woman conceals a full-size Murphy bed for houseguests.1:06
Watch Now: 5 Design Tricks for a Studio ApartmentContinue to 8 of 22 below.
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Save Space With a Wall Bed and Secret Storage
Most of the furniture chosen by interior design firm Black & Milk for this 270-square foot studio apartment has a space-saving superpower. A secret cabinet conceals a wall bed that pulls down over the sofa. The mirrored wall on the right is—surprise—free-standing storage made up of five wardrobe cabinets lined up side by side. Not shown is a shallow console that opens up to a six-seat dining room table.Continue to 9 of 22 below.
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Platform Bed With Storage
Plywood and a heaping dose of creativity turned this minuscule rental seen on Svenska Maklarhuset into a cozy studio apartment. The lumber was used to construct the piece of platform furniture with built-in storage drawers on the left. The unit separates the bedroom from the living room by lifting the mattress nearly three feet above the floor. To boost the sense of separateness, try hanging a floor-to-ceiling curtain.Continue to 10 of 22 below.
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Room Divider Projection Screen
Interior design consultant Chris Nguyen from Analog Dialog used a scrim to divide this 450-square foot studio apartment. The thick gauzy fabric doubles as a giant projection screen for watching movies and TV.Continue to 11 of 22 below.
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Built-In Trundle Bed Room Divider
Making room to plop down a mattress—not to mention a sofa—in a studio apartment that measures barely 129 square feet seems impossible. But this renovation by Julie Nabucet Architectures pulls it off.
The custom raised platform doubles as a room divider and cleverly conceals a full-size trundle bed. When partially extended, the mattress doubles as a sofa. When it is time to crash, just pull the bed entirely out.Continue to 12 of 22 below.
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Painting walls different colors is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to create separation in a single room. Dove gray on one section of the wall creates the illusion of a bedroom in this Swedish studio on Alvhem Makleri.Continue to 13 of 22 below.
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IKEA PAX Hack
The couple who moved into this studio apartment featured on IKEA Hackers could not bear the idea of having a bed in their tiny living room. So they came up with an ingenious hack to conceal their mattress. Their project shares how to turn two PAX closet doors into a built-in room divider that glides across a ceiling track.
Because they wanted their living room to be as big as possible, the bedroom nook has just enough space to fit the bed and a little storage for clothing.Continue to 14 of 22 below.
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Loft Bed Over the Kitchen
Do you have high ceilings? Consider squeezing a loft bed over your kitchen. Doing so in this Swedish studio apartment featured on Fantastic Frank created space for a sizable living room. The stairs double as storage units.Continue to 15 of 22 below.
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Using a Desk as a Room Divider
London-based architectural firm CIAO transformed this studio apartment with custom built-ins that smartly divide the open space. A raised platform and custom desk combo separates the bedroom from the central living area.Continue to 16 of 22 below.
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Furniture Splits up an Open Floor Plan
The interior designers at Laurel and Wolf used furniture to split up the open floor plan of this 600-square foot studio into three distinct sections.
A beautiful slatted wood screen separates the bedroom from the kitchen, while a rug under the sofa creates a little visual separation between the living room and bedroom.Continue to 17 of 22 below.
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Divide Space Without Blocking Sunlight
The interior designers at Homepolish used a large bookshelf to sculpt out a bedroom in this studio apartment. The open design of the shelving unit divides the space without blocking sunlight.Continue to 18 of 22 below.
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Get Your Bed off the Floor
A bed perched above the sofa increases floor space for a living room in this Swedish apartment featured on My Scandinavian Home.Continue to 19 of 22 below.
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A sofa that works overtime as a bed adds more function to this itty-bitty studio apartment seen on Ludin Fastighetsbyra. Adding decorative elements such as pillows as throws makes the mattress feel more like a sofa.Continue to 20 of 22 below.
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Put an Empty Nook to Work
A deep recess provides just enough space to position a twin bed in this studio apartment on Bjurfors. Placing the mattress on a platform with built-in storage drawers capitalizes the little nook.Continue to 21 of 22 below.
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The interior design team at Homepolish installed sheer floor-to-ceiling curtains to partition a bedroom in this gorgeous studio apartment.Continue to 22 of 22 below.
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Build a Cubby for Your Bed
A custom fabricated wood platform with built-in cabinetry by Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture incorporates the bed in this New York City studio apartment. The efficient piece accommodates a queen-size mattress, as well as plenty of storage and an integrated ladder.