How to Maximize Your Space in a Studio Apartment

studio apartment with hammock and loft bed

Szymon Hanczar / Getty Images

If you currently dwell is a studio apartment then you’re likely all too familiar with the challenges it entails. Privacy is difficult to come by, adequate organization can feel impossible, and choosing decor without overwhelming your aesthetic is a major struggle.

But the good news is, all of these problems can be stylishly solved using a few tips, tricks, and a little creative ingenuity. So, if you’re ready to wash away your studio woes, bring these ideas into your life. (We're feeling inspired by the small but mighty apartment of Ali Labelle, featured in The Glitter Guide and pictured here.)

  • 01 of 09

    Decorative Clutter

    white shelves with personal items as decoration
    Alex Noiret home tour from Glitter Guide

    If you’ve purged everything you’re willing to purge but still feel like you have too much stuff on your hands, don’t fret! Nearly every item in your home can be made more attractive with a little thought behind it.

    Organizing your books by size and color, investing in beautiful storage baskets, and thoughtfully placing area rugs in corners you want to appear more polished are easy ways to transform would-be visual clutter into stylish decor. In this home tour from Glitter Guide, Alex Noiret has arranged vintage cameras, old records, frames, and other ephemera in an eye-catching and organized way that still feels homey.

  • 02 of 09

    Maximize Light

    white office with natural light
    Hannah Pobar Home Tour, The Everygirl

    Natural light has a knack for making any space feel more open and airy, so maximize yours as much as possible. We love how Hannah Pobar used tons of bright white decor choices to make the tiny dining area of her San Fransisco studio (featured on The Everygirl) feel spacious and light.

    If you want to use partitions to create the illusion of different rooms in your studio, opt for one that lets in plenty of light. Shelving can effectively separate the bedroom and living room while still allowing plenty of light to wash over the entire space.

  • 03 of 09

    Think up, not out.

    minimalist wooden desk with slim shelves
    Urban Outfitters

    There are infinite storage options you can take advantage of if you’re willing to think outside the box a little bit. Look out for taller ceilings and storage systems that can perform double duty as an organizational tool and workspace!

    For instance, the Cameron adjustable desk storage system from Urban Outfitters ($398) lets you customize your shelving and desk setup to maximize both storage and display potential, while still allowing for a functional work area, too.

  • 04 of 09

    Organize, Organize, Organize

    white storage cabinets with glass front
    Amanda Holstein apartment tour, The Everygirl

    Organization is your very best friend in a studio apartment. If optimized, it will save you a ton of headaches when it comes to keeping things neat, clean, and chic, so familiarize yourself with its limitless powers.

    This kitchen cabinet in Amanda Holstein's apartment recently featured on The Everygirl, is practical and beautiful, as she used the space to display and stash everything from books to glassware and linens.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Utilize Mirrors

    two large mirrors leaning on wall
    West Elm Floating Mirror

    Mirrors are almost magical when it comes to their ability to enhance a small studio. And that’s because the more reflective surfaces you have in your space, the larger it will look.

    Investing in a big, gorgeous mirror like this one from West Elm ($399) minimizes claustrophobic vibes by opening things up visually and creating the illusion of more space.

  • 06 of 09

    Open Closets

    open closet design with shelves full of shoes
    Anum Tariq apartment tour, The Everygirl

    One of the most difficult challenges that come with nesting in a studio is the lack of closet space. Especially for those of us who may or may not have a shopping problem or a serious passion for fashion.

    Fortunately, it’s relatively easy and economical to assemble your own. Rather than look for ways to stuff and hide your clothes away, create an open, functional closet that complements your aesthetic. Just be sure to hang things uniformly so it doesn’t appear too chaotic.

    We love how freelance illustrator Anum Tariq put her shoes on display (and added a chic rug) to her San Francisco closet, featured on The Everygirl in 2016.

  • 07 of 09

    Open Shelving

    open wood shelves filled with books and decorations

    The same principle that works for open closets works for open shelving as well. If your living room leaves much to be desired in the storage department, create your own via this method.

    That said, you definitely don’t want to throw things on there carelessly. Organizing items by type, size, and color will ensure your aesthetic stays right and tight. For example, Ikea created this inspirational room with a uniform color palette and sparse placement for books, art and personal items.

  • 08 of 09

    Make Use of Partitions

    white partition in open well lit room

    Partitions are the holy grail of studio living thanks to their ability to create new rooms out of thin air. And they can take on all sorts of forms in an endless variety of materials depending on your style sensibilities. This classic white room divider we found from Hayneedle ($129) can be brought out or stored away easily, giving you endless versatility for houseguests and dinner parties.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Make Use of Your Bed

    white minimalistic bunk bed with teal chair underneath
    Pier 1

    Chances are, your bed is the piece of furniture that takes up the most space in your studio, so make the most of it by transforming it into a bountiful storage solution.

    You can loft it, throw storage containers underneath it, or take it to the next level by turning it into clever, custom storage unit. Either way, your space will be bigger and happier for it. Here, Pier 1 shows how their Premium Metal Loft Bed ($350) can create a cozy nook for work, reading or watching Netflix.