The 10 Best Decorating Ideas for Your Studio Apartment

updated Dec 16, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

With a great space comes great design responsibilty—especially when it comes to a studio apartment. While it can be difficult to make an impact in a small space, it’s not completely impossible. In fact, a studio apartment gives you a unique opportunity to flex your creativity and design chops.

Follow Topics for more like this

Follow for more stories like this

Many renters have managed to deck their studio apartment to the nines and, lucky for you, we’re sharing their techniques right here! Check out our 10 favorite studio spaces with amazing decorative elements.

Credit: Minette Hand

1. A Homemade Headboard

Want a headboard but worried that a classic design will overwhelm your small space? Try the trick Whitney Thayne used in her Brooklyn studio and hook two oversized pillows to your wall behind comfort and cohesion. The bed space looks soft and serene but is still perfect for lounging and working on a laptop.

2. Hang it Up

When in doubt, hang it up. As Thayne’s space also shows, walls can totally double as storage systems for your glasses, hats, and, yes, even fold-up chairs.

3. A Fireplace Functional

While a built-in fireplace mantle brings tons of charm, it can be a bit difficult to decorate around. Brooklyn renter Alyssa Greenberg placed her TV atop the mantle to make for easy watching while maximizing the wall space in her 208 (really!) square foot space.

Credit: Minette Hand

4. Prioritize Form and Function

Sure, a traditional desk may not have worked well in Nicole Lacombe’s nook. (After all, who wants to sit down and keep kicking the radiator?) However, a large shelf with a standing desk function fits the bill perfectly and still allows for a pleasant view out the window.

5. Snug Seating

Don’t neglect traditional elements such as curtains and an area rug just because you’re living in a small space. You can still carve out various nooks and seating areas, as Quinne Myers demonstrates above in her charming apartment.

6. Style With Shelves

No built-ins? No problem! Even if your small space is missing some standout architectural details, you can still get creative with shelving. A glass cabinet makes for a fun display area à la Francis Domínguez. Just make sure to keep it neat and organized!

Credit: Liz Calka

7. DIY a Wall Divider

Bookshelf walls are often the way to go to divide up space in a studio. The model in Channing Foster’s apartment allows light flood into her bed area. And, hey, check out all that awesome storage!

8. Stay Neutral

Outfitting a studio in mostly neutral hues as Samantha Stein did will help it feel brighter, more open, and less cluttered. Bright colors certainly work in small doses, but white, gray, and beige are always optimal choices for spaces with minimal square footage.

9. The Lofted Lifestyle

Elevate your bedroom area (literally!) by constructing a loft to create more room down below. Not only does this Massachusetts apartment’s setup create tons of visual interest, but it’s also extremely functional as long as you’re not bothered by heights!

Credit: Erica Thomas

10. The Art of the Matter

Studio dwellers oftentimes don’t intend to stay in their space for long, but that doesn’t mean it should be totally devoid of life or personality! Take a cue from Erica Thomas, who made the canvas hanging above her bed—rather than painting and ultimately having to repaint an accent wall—and angled her bed for extra character.