5 Studio Apartments That Feel Larger Than They Are

studio apartment

Sam Diephuis / Getty Images

They say that bigger is better. But in the age of ballooning mortgage payments and environmental footprints, many people are finding out that that isn't always the case. As a result, many people are embracing life on a smaller scale, finding that life with less space can also have fewer complications. But fewer complications doesn't mean you eliminate them all. And while a studio apartment might mean a smaller eco-footprint, it's a tall order when it comes to making a diminutive space feel open and inviting. But making a studio feel bigger than it is just isn't possible. With the right approach and a bit of inspiration, it's easier than you'd think. And to make sure that you have both as you set out to tackle your own small space, here are five inspirational studio apartments that make the most out every inch and tips on how to get it done.​

  • 01 of 05

    Dividing the Space With Furniture

    Studio Apartments That Feel More Spacious Than They Actually Are

    House Beautiful

    The best way to instantly make a studio feel like a home is to divide it like one. Though only 400 square feet, this home feels welcoming and livable due to the placement of key furniture pieces and the way that those placements create distinct spaces within the room. In this apartment, it’s almost as if the back of the sofa extends to the ceiling, thereby separating the living room from the bedroom. The inclusion of a rug that merely brushes the edge of the sofa solidifies this illusion even further.

    Depending on the layout of your studio, another option for room division would be to position a larger console table along the back of the sofa. Add some stools that can slide underneath and you have a dining room table that utilizes minimal square footage.

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  • 02 of 05

    Creating Walls

    Studio apartment

    Chelsea Park Rentals

    Some renters are lucky enough to find a studio that has an alcove. That's great because it instantly equals a new "room." All this owner needed to do to create a completely separate room was to position a larger bookshelf at the end of the bed. If you have the space for it, larger pieces like this can really be essential because they not only provide definite and intimate areas but additional storage as well.

    If your home has an alcove but lacks the extra square footage that such a large piece of furniture would require, try hanging curtains or using a screen. Keep them pulled back most of the time to maintain an open concept living space, and when you want the added coziness, draw the curtains shut or pull out the screen. With the right color and pattern, your bedroom privacy screen can become the showstopper of your living room.

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  • 03 of 05

    Tying the Space Together With Color

    Chicago studio apartment

    Yo Chicago

    Deciding on a color palette for the entire studio is another way to help stretch your space. This 550-square-foot apartment feels so much grander due to the fact that each piece of furniture and accessory live in the same color family. By wrapping the ocean blue accent wall around the bed in the alcove, and by keeping all accessories within the grey spectrum, the space feels unified and intimate.

    The symmetrical picture groupings are quite clever, too. The mirrored dresser and hanging mirror keep the rooms defined and open, while the uniformity of the pictures keeps the eye moving down the entirety of the wall. Everything flows, and it all works in unison.

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  • 04 of 05

    Building Upward

    Studio apartment loft
    Paris By Heart

    When it comes to maximizing space, think vertically—especially if you have vaulted ceilings. By creating a loft for the bedroom, this 385-square-foot studio feels open and airy. While this space offers more than enough space for curling up after a long day, there are other arrangements that would offer even more. And best of all, this loft frees up the entire floor for "living" space, which designates each area for its own function.

    Finding a studio with a loft already built-in is, of course, ideal. But if that turns out not to be an option, building one to fit your space is more than manageable, even if you aren’t an expert craftsman. The Handmade Home has an excellent option for this DIY project. And while you should definitely get your landlord's consent beforehand, in the end, the project will likely raise the value of your apartment.

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  • 05 of 05

    Creative Organization

    Studio apartment storage


    When there's not a lot of space in your home, it goes without saying that you need to stick to the essentials. But in a studio, even the essentials need to be kept in line. Creative storage solutions are crucial to saving space, and while some can be bought, others need to be built. In this home, by designing the entire length of the home to function as storage shelving—and with built-in stairs to the loft saving even more space—the owners have their entire floor space free. The shelves act as displays for collections of books and accessories that work as personalized art pieces, adding color and interest to the otherwise neutral space, while providing a stairway up to the loft bedroom.

    When you’re looking for a storage solution for all your smaller items, decorative baskets are the best way to combine function with aesthetic design. From traditional woven or canvas to leather and metal, you can find the perfect choice to match your home while keeping in line with your motif.