Privacy, Please: Ideas for Carving Out a Cozy Bedroom in a Studio

updated Dec 29, 2019
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Studio apartments are efficient, cost-effective options for living in the city of your dreams, whether it’s New York or L.A., but they don’t exactly offer much privacy. However, you can still create a soothing sanctuary that feels separate from the rest of your open-floor plan home without bringing in a contractor or spending a lot of money. 

These 10 clever ideas from Apartment Therapy studio apartment tours utilize everything from furniture layout to a simple bedroom paint color  to create a designated sleep space on a budget — and within no more than a few hours.

Credit: Erin Derby

1. Use a shelving system to divide and create storage.

The renter of this 528-square foot New York studio smartly created a cozy corner for sleeping by using a tall shelving system to close off the bed, creating extra storage space along the way. The addition of a wallpapered accent above the bed further cements this pretty sleep space as its own from the rest of this wide open apartment.

Credit: Ryan Joyce

2. Take advantage of existing architectural features.

This bedroom is in an even smaller New York City apartment (a whopping 450 square feet!) and takes advantage of a pre-existing nook to create an area just for sleeping. It may be worth rearranging some furniture to better coexist with your studio’s architectural features, quirks and all, to create a cozy “bedroom.”

Credit: Erin Derby

3. Use paint colors to designate your sleep space.

Take a cue from this charming New York studio and use the previous tips, plus a fresh coat of paint, to create a secluded yet stylish sleep space. Using a painted accent wall with sconces saves on space while distinguishing your home’s retreat.

4. Treat a couch as your footboard.

This colorful San Jose studio makes the most of its limited square footage by closing off the sleep space with a cozy couch acting as the bed’s footboard. This helps establish a transition from bedroom to living area without taking up precious space or spending extra money.

Credit: Haley Rich

5. Create a distinctive gallery wall.

Extra-short on square footage? Take to the walls! This San Jose apartment maximizes the style of a vacant corner with a black-painted accent wall that’s peppered with an eclectic mix of art prints, acting as the bed’s headboard. This creates a strong distinction from sleep space to the rest of the home.

Credit: Karen Johnson

6. Invest in a design-centric partition.

How chic is this clever addition to an Atlanta studio? The 400-square-foot basement apartment maximizes storage and privacy with the use of a room divider to go between the sleeping and lounging areas. Hanging a piece of art and leaning a storage piece against the divider creates a chic vignette and a nice flow throughout this tiny, open-floor plan abode.

7. Invest in a poster bed.

This Tallahassee apartment proves that simply upgrading to a poster bed can do wonders for designating your personal retreat. The design lends itself to distinguishing a cozy corner, and the addition of a bench creates further distinction, as well as extra seating and storage space.

Credit: Jason Rampe

8. Maximize a cozy nook.

This sun-drenched NYC studio is full of chic design touches and makes the most of limited square footage. Though the bedroom is right next to the front door, it has a sense of privacy, thanks to the use of a nook with a nightstand separating the sleep space from the living area. The renter opted for just the right-sized bed to fit the nook space so that it feels like its own room. 

9. Let an area rug distinguish your sleeping quarters.

Sometimes creating an effective transition from one space to the next in a studio apartment can be as simple as using a large rug. This L.A. studio uses a beautiful blue area rug anchored by mounted nightstands to establish the renter’s sleep space from the rest of the home.

10. Use a hanging rack for privacy and display.

Another great tip for those who are *really* short on space, this 400-square-foot Brooklyn studio utilizes a hanging rack as a room divider and to display an edited collection of favorite clothing items. A bonus benefit of using a hanging rack is that this item has wheels and can be utilized as a transition anywhere in your home.