Smart Ways to Make a “Bedroom” in a Studio

published Oct 10, 2017
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(Image credit: William Strawser)

Ask anyone who’s ever lived in a studio apartment what their least favorite thing about it is, and chances are that (after the size) they’ll complain about their bed being out in the open, in sight of the living room/dining room/kitchen. It can make it feel like you’re living in a dorm room versus an actual adult home. But, with smart decor elements and design tricks, you can make your bed feel like its own area, improving the way your studio looks from any angle.

These real-life examples are studio apartment successes — and they may be just the inspiration you need to carve out a “bedroom” in your studio.

(Image credit: William Strawser)

Combine and conquer

Amelia’s “bedroom” in her Hell’s Kitchen studio uses a lot of different elements all working together to create a beautiful sleeping nook. First, she chose a wise placement; she picked the corner of her studio right next to the hallway, getting architecture on her side to help visually divide the bed from the rest of the space. She then placed a tall shelf and a small ottoman at the end of the bed, setting the boundaries of the “bedroom.” She made a wallpapered accent wall behind the bed to define the space. Finally, a small curtain offers privacy without closing off the space entirely.

→ See more of Amelia’s home: An “Urban Cottage” Studio in Hell’s Kitchen

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Set lofty goals

Perhaps one of the simplest, ready-to-go ways to create a “bedroom” in a studio is to buy a loft bed. Raising your mattress as high as it will go will free up an entire room’s worth of space underneath. In Andy and Danielle’s Chicago studio, an affordable white loft bed from IKEA takes up residence in the back corner of their rectangular rental. Just be aware that living with a loft bed can present some challenges…

(Image credit: Anna Spaller)

Think outside of the box (literally)

When living in one room (big or small), you’ve got to be willing to look past the obvious places to put your bed, like Brett did in his Rhode Island loft. Where someone else may have looked at the open space above the bathroom and thought “storage” (or not even thought of it at all), Brett saw “DIY hanging loft bed.” Wrapping the DIY lofted bed in curtains helps disguise the “bedroom” and make it feel special when he’s up there.

(Image credit: Franke Chung)

Divide and DIY

400 square feet just isn’t a lot to work with when you’re trying to fit everything you need. But when faced with such teeny dimensions, it’s even more vital to somehow carve out a dedicated bedroom space…because being able to see your dirty dishes from your bed is not the most conducive for falling asleep.

Similar to Amelia’s bedroom area above, Emily picked the corner that made the most sense in her Chicago studio, using a shelf to carve out that bed nook (though Emily placed the shelf along the bed’s length, not the end like Amelia). Emily didn’t just stop there, though — she DIYed a a cute copper hanging divider for the end of the bed, visually completing the “bedroom.”

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Commandeer a closet

Does your studio lack a bedroom but come with a surprisingly large closet? Figure out other storage solutions for your stuff and turn that closet into a mini bedroom. While the closet in the apartment here enviably comes with a window (and therefore feels more bedroom-y than the standard closet), remember that you’re mostly sleeping in a bedroom and a dark, windowless nook would actually be ideal! Need another closet bedroom example? Check out Kyle and Alex’s San Francisco home:

More studio inspiration: