Tips for Laying Out a Studio Apartment
One of the biggest challenges of living in a single room is figuring out where to put the furniture. Since my current home is a 250 square foot studio, I’ve experienced this frustration firsthand, so I’ve decided to create a handy guide to steer you through the process of laying out your studio apartment.
1. Start with the bed.
This doesn’t mean that the bed needs to dominate the whole room, just that, since the bed is probably the largest piece of furniture you’ll have in your apartment, its placement is crucial and will determine the placement of all the other pieces. Some apartments really only have one place where you can put a bed, but in a case where you have options, the primary consideration is creating a little bit of privacy for your bed. Ideally it would be placed as far from the door (and also as far from the kitchen) as possible. If there’s a little nook or secluded corner in your apartment, that’s an ideal spot.
2. Lofting your bed can save you a ton of space, but it is not for the faint of heart.
A bed is really big, and you only use it about a third of the time. Lofting your bed can free up a ton of real estate, but it’s important to consider the cost. Do you really want to climb down a ladder if you need to pee in the middle of the night? Do you accept the challenge of changing the sheets on a bed that’s six feet in the air? If not, steer clear.
3. Consider whether or not creating a separate “bedroom” will be a positive thing for your space.
I live in a studio apartment, and I will admit that for the first few weeks it was very, very strange to fall asleep while looking at my oven. But then I got used to it. Using a bookcase or a curtain or a folding screen to separate your sleeping space from the rest of the apartment and create a little “bedroom” is a very popular idea, but I think this is better suited to studio apartments that are a bit larger (say, around 400 square feet) than to smaller spaces.
If you’re still very keen on hiding your bed, hanging a curtain that only conceals a few feet of the bed can help to give the feeling of a separate space without breaking up the whole room. (You can also, if you’re feeling very ambitious, install tracks for curtains all the way around your bed, so you can draw them closed at night and open them during the day.)
4. Lay out the rest of your furniture in order of size and importance.
The biggest things — and the things that matter to you most — take precedence. For most people this probably means that the sofa is the second thing to get placed, but if you’re not keen on entertaining and want to spend a lot of time working at home, for example, maybe your thing number two is a desk.
5. Consider that you may not need as much stuff as you think.
Rather than trying to stuff a lot of things into your apartment when they really don’t fit, consider whether you really need a desk, or a dining table, or maybe even a sofa. Could you replace that sofa with a single comfy chair? Do you really use your desk anyway? First make room for the things that are most important to you, and if certain things don’t fit, consider the possibility of doing without.
→ Set Your Small Space Free: 5 ‘Necessities’ You May Not Really Need After All
6. Try to place the sofa and the bed on opposite walls.
This is a great way to get the feeling of distinct sleeping and lounging spaces without breaking up your apartment.
7. Consider expanding the footprint of your kitchen with a kitchen cart.
If your kitchen has a laughably small amount of counter and storage space, a kitchen cart can be a real godsend.
8. Fit storage in above other pieces.
One of my favorite small space tricks is replacing bookshelves with wall-mounted shelving. Wall mounted shelves are brilliant because you can hang them above other things (like a desk or a dresser or maybe even the head of your bed if you’re brave), and then they take up no floor space at all. A lot of things that you would normally put in cabinets or dressers can be stored above the kitchen cabinets or on high shelves, freeing up the floor for other, more essential pieces.