Small Space Expanding Ideas to Steal from a 300-Square-Foot Studio

published Apr 11, 2016
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(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

It’s almost unbelievable that this studio apartment is only 300 square feet; it looks so much bigger. You can tell this is a home that feels airy—not cluttered in the slightest. Even more impressive? Two people live here. Here’s the scoop on why this small space does such a good job of looking spacious…

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Maximizing natural light

First of all, Joe and Keith’s Oakland apartment has tall ceilings and massive windows that let lots of natural light in. But let’s say you’re living in a small space that’s architecturally challenged in those departments. Use design principles and tricks to maximize the natural light you do have and make your ceiling seem to be taller than it is, like these:

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Raising things up

In Joe and Keith’s tiny studio, the addition of a lofted bed means they don’t have to find room for a sleep space in the main area’s minuscule 300 square feet. Now, if you’ve got the ceiling space and the DIY know-how to create a lofted bedroom area, great! But that’s not the only way to make more room in a small studio. Building platforms with storage or just using risers under your bed to add more storage underneath can be smart ways to increase the spaciousness of a super small space.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Allowing messy in small doses

If you’re not necessarily a minimalist, designating a small spot as an “organization-free zone” could help you control the rest of your space, by not feeling pressured to keep every square inch of your apartment perfect all the time. In Joe and Keith’s studio, this cozy but adequate art-space under the loft stairs is a the perfect place to “let loose” while still maintaining clutter-free style in the rest of the home.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Pushing one side of the dining table up against a wall

In a small space, it can sometimes feel like you have to choose between a couch or a dining table. But keep in mind you don’t always need space on all sides of a dining table to have it function. As you can see in this studio, a substantially sized dining table fits in this tiny space simply by pushing one side up against the wall.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Adding all the plants

The advice to add as many plants as possible can seem counter-intuitive for a small space (after all, aren’t we trying to limit the amount of stuff?). But there’s just no denying how great plants make spaces of any size feel. When you add lots of plants, it makes a room feel much more livable.

See all the style of this super small 300-square-foot shared studio apartment → Joe & Keith Share a Tiny & Inviting Oakland Studio