5 Smart Studio Apartment Layouts

The hardest thing about setting up a studio apartment is figuring out the right layout. With so little available space, every decision makes a huge impact. We're always amazed at the space planning ideas we see in Apartment Therapy's annual "Small Cool" contest, so we're looking at the apartments of five previous contestants for inspiration…

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#1) Tony and Hilary's 3 in 1 Studio: In this apartment, a custom-made "pod" and loft bed defines the space. Inside and out, the pod contains shelving. Inside, there's an office and closet. Outside, it holds the media center, with the bed above. The rest of the space is arranged with storage flanking each side of the room, a sofa in the middle, and a couple of chairs for guests.

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#2) Laura's Fresh Start Studio: Laura's studio is a railroad-style apartment that she divides into a bedroom and living area using a curtain. The angled chair in the sitting room can move around, and a blue accent wall adds a touch of dramatic color. She keeps the space uncluttered by choosing just a few furnishings: a bed, dresser, chair, chaise lounge, side table, and a set of nesting tables.

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#3) Lila's Live/Work Studio: Lila fits her home and office into a 240-square-foot space. The sleeper chair in the center of the room folds out into her bed. Behind that, a dining table and bookshelves create a small study. The desk is a very smart system, designed as a ledge that wraps around the corner of the room. A brown-and-green color scheme keeps things unified.

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#4) Moo and Ju's Super Comfy: The bed is the central hangout spot in Moo and Ju's studio. During the day, it doubles as a sofa. Two armchairs face it, creating a conversation area. A small dining area separates the bed/living room from the kitchen. Vertical storage pieces flank either end of the main room. The symmetry and order of the arrangement anchors the playful prints and colors.
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#5) Kevin's Triple Threat: Kevin's studio separates the bedroom from the living area with a hanging "screen." The sofa folds out into a bed for guests, and a stool provides extra seating. Storage is built into the bed and the walls.

(Re-edited from a post originally published 08.07.09 - JL)

Photos: Tony and Hilary,
Laura, Lila, Moo and Ju, Kevin