Chic Studio Apartments:
How To Master Small Space Living

How to...
|
Charlotte Grainger
|
November 11, 2017

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a huge mansion with the highest of ceilings to have an uber chic home. No, when you get things oh-so-right, small space living can be just as fashion-forward as any home out there.

Should you reside in a studio apartment, ensuring that you’re cosy and comfortable as well as that the place is functional is key. Remember, a lack of space doesn’t have to mean a lack of style. You can quite easily incorporate some of the latest 2017 decor trends into your home, so long as you plan it well.

Luckily, if you’re looking for a smidgen of inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. So, without further ado here, let’s take a look at some small space decorating hints along with some, frankly, genius ideas for small apartments.

 

Avoid complicated colour palettes

First of all, let’s talk about the core rule when it comes to small space living. You may or may not have heard of it before now. It’s pretty straightforward — don’t overcomplicate your colour palette.

While you shouldn’t by any means avoid strong colours (wait… we will get to that later!), you need to keep things simple. Using too many contrasting tones is only going to make your space look smaller than it actually is, which is the last thing you want.

Instead, you should make a real effort to keep your colour palette quite plain, meaning you only need to include a few tones here. Not sure quite what we mean? Take a look at these examples.

 

 

Your impulse when decorating a studio apartment will likely be to keep the walls crisp and white. This is actually not a terrible idea and falls in with some of the top 2017 decor trends. It’s minimal. It’s chic. It works.

However, you want to avoid the space looking cold and, dare we say it, clinical. So, you should add a little splash of colour here and there, like this example from Planete Deco. Some textured greys, browns, and beiges should do the trick.

 

 

Taking a slightly darker tone, you could include some black and noir pieces in an otherwise white room. This alternative is a daring one, and so it won’t be for everyone. The key is that everything has to be in moderation. Too many dark tones could be a real mood killer.

By dotting some sultry pictures around the room in a somewhat randomised manner, you can draw attention to the space there. This is perhaps one of the best ideas for small apartments as it gives the illusion of extra room, as you can see here from Gravity Home.

 

 

Of course, there is a way in which you can use the white interior trend without it looking too harsh. Breaking the space up with some plush, feminine colours could well be the answer to your home decor prayers.

In a room like this one from Planete Deco, it could be worth choosing a feature to be the focal point of the space. For example, the large, intricately patterned mat draws the eye’s attention right away. Just stunning.

 

 

Divide and conquer your room

While the abode may not naturally be blessed with more than one room, you can always fake it. If you feel the need to have a separate bedroom, one of the most flattering 2017 decor trends could be just the thing for you.

Glass room dividers strike the balance between privacy and open-plan living in an ideal way. Essentially, all you’re doing here is cordoning off a small section of the room so that you might make best use of the space. It’s a clever little move and works wonders in most studio apartments.

 

 

It’s worth noting that the divider doesn’t have to be too obtrusive here. It can just sit comfortably between two areas of the space. Opting for a piece like this one from Gravity Home with minimal framework (and maximum glass) means that the space remains open, and yet is divided up a little.

This is a real space-savvy technique that is certain to make your home look irresistible when you do it. Remember, it’s not about hiding areas away, but making the very best of them and showing them off in a fabulous way.

 

 

If on the other hand, you do want to add a little more privacy to the space, there’s a painfully easy way to do so. Including some sheer curtains could give you the flexibility that you need. This works particularly well if you happen to have tall ceilings too.

Since light reflects off the window panes, it’s likely to add a whole new dimension to your space as you can see here from Immy and Indi. The greatest small space decorating ideas in the world include the use of light, and so you really cannot go wrong.

 

 

While the other dividers we’ve seen here only serve to split the room, here’s one from In My Room that sections off an entire area. This style works alarmingly well in small spaces, especially when they are well-lit. You can use this feature to create any type of space from a teeny reading nook to a bedroom area.

 

Invest in multifunctional furnishings

Let’s not overlook one of the main issues with small space living here. Storage. We all need a whole lot of it but when space is tight, it’s often hard to get it. So, what should you do and how can you add extra storage?

Well, one of the most logical ideas for small apartments is to ensure that you get multifunctional furnishings. That means that you should opt for furniture sets that have hidden storage in them. There are loads of examples of this style out there, and so it really is just about figuring out what works for you.

 

 

Adding an extra level to your apartment could well be the way forward, as you can see from Minha Casa Minha Cara. Not only will this aid in dividing the space (and giving the illusion of extra space), but it will also provide a tad more storage. Turning the level into drawers means that you will have a whole new place to store your clothes and trinkets. Let’s be real — this is small space decorating at its very finest.

 

 

Similarly, you can take things to the very next level (literally) with this next example from Apartment Therapy. You don’t need to confine yourself to a small ledge when it comes to adding a step in your apartment. Instead, you can elevate your bed and use the structure as a wardrobe.

This is a chance to really be playful with your space and make it something at once unique and interesting. This multifunctional piece even has a crafty little desk that pops out of it, turning your space into a home office. Brilliant!

 

 

As with other ideas for small apartments, there are many different ways to tackle this one. Ensuring that you have the right amount of space and storage for your needs should always be your number one goal, though. So long as you keep that rule in mind, you should have no issue at all. Just look at this example from Apartment Therapy.

 

 

Of course, it’s not just about providing extra storage, but also about making the most of the space that you have. Without a doubt, the bed is one of the largest things that most people will have in a  studio apartment. For that very reason, investing in a dual-function piece like this one from Isabella Martins Nogueira could be an intelligent move.

A sofa bed which can be easily stored away will allow you to make the very best use of the room that you have. Many 2017 decor trends encompass this idea, and so it’s 100% time to get on board with it.

 

Include a loft bed for extra space

While we’ve already covered how levels can aid in small space living, there’s a more dramatic idea that you may not have considered yet. Part mezzanine, part furniture — the loft bed is the very latest thing and we just cannot get enough of it.

The trend sees people suspending their beds above their living spaces. It’s a neat little trick that opens up the space and provides ample room where once there was none. Here are some examples of just how that may play out.

 

 

In a traditionally Scandi style room, this type of feature works exceedingly well. It’s all about using natural looking materials and getting the proportions just right. The fact that the bed is not in the space at all means that you’re free to make the most of the room that is available. Throw in a bright, funky mat and some contemporary art like this example from 3DDD and you’re certainly onto a winner here.

 

 

In even smaller spaces, where a whole staircase may not work, you could use a ladder instead. Keep in mind that this should open the space up, rather than close it off. That means that you don’t want any part of the structure to get in the way too much when you’re on the first level of your space.

Keeping the frame of the loft bed as stripped back and slim as possible is doubtless the way to pull this off, as you can see from Brit + Co. While it needs to be sturdy, it can’t be over the top. It’s one of those 2017 decor trends that can look effortless so long as it’s not too overbearing.

 

 

If you worry that the loft bed will be too much for your space, you may wish to consider toning your colours down completely like this room from Hall of Homes. Yes, we mean you should paint it all crisp white. We all know that light, bright walls tend to open up any area, and so this could be the simplest solution to your problem.

When you have a blank canvas like this one, it could be worth picking out a few features with a little colour. For example, here the wooden pieces are most notable as they differ from the base colours palette in an unassuming way.

 

Choose a major focal point

 

A great challenge when it comes to small space living is often the fact that the room can seem like there’s no central point. If you have a dash of colour here and a sprinkle of trinkets there, it could end up looking a real mess before long. Don’t let that happen.

Choosing a main feature or ‘focal point’ for your room means that you will have a stylish abode no matter what. That means that you need to opt for something that is truly attention grabbing and gorgeous. What you choose will likely depend on your taste, but here are a couple of ideas.

 

 

Before you go running for the hills when you see this one, hear us out. A swing chair may be a little eccentric, but so long as everything else is plain, you could well find that it works like this example from Arty Icons. Having a unique and ‘out there’ furnishing piece will mean that there’s always a talking point. It’s worth looking around until you find something that just oozes your own style.

 

 

Equally, you could find that your chosen focal point happens to be one of the biggest 2017 decor trends like this example from Planete Deco. Subway wall tiles have been a trend for quite some time now, and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere fast. Picking out a space in this material and style means that your apartment will be en vogue in an instant. It’s so fresh and urban, yet still chic.

Use colour as an illusion

And now, as promised, for a little colour. Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, you should know that the 2017 decor trends have been seriously colourful. No, really! Now, while most of us worry that too much colour can be a garishly bad thing for home decor, there is a way to use it to your advantage.

When well thought out, you can use many different shades to divide up your space and make it look spacious and truly wonderful. Still not convinced? Well, here are a few little examples of how it can look utterly contemporary and simply stunning.

 

 

Of course, studio apartments don’t have more than one room, but you can give the illusion that they do like this apartment from Nivaply. Here’s a small space decorating hack that’s sure to whet your creative appetite. Why not use a bold, daring colour to mark out your kitchen?

By keeping the living area stripped back and minimal, you can afford to do something honestly experimental with the kitchen. The island bar here acts as a subtle divider between the two space, while the bright yellow block colour ensures we know which room is which. Genius.

 

 

Here’s an example from Les Murs Ont des Oreilles of a space that uses both the traditional divider (which we have previously discussed) and colour to complete the look. Since the wall is pattern-heavy, the designer has chosen to avoid taking up too much space here. It’s a little flamboyant slice of action, but it doesn’t overbear the room at all.

This modern take on the studio apartment look is just unforgettable. There are so many elements at work here, and yet there’s not a single thing that feels out of place. It really is excellent inspiration if you’re considering ideas for small apartments.

 

 

Finally, here’s a minimal space from Côté Maison that really does use colour to its advantage. The plush shades here add a whole new atmosphere to the space, while the slight divider separates the bedroom area. Here’s proof that you don’t always have to go with the crisp white aesthetic. If you’re feeling brave, go ahead and mix things up!

 

So, what do you think? Let us know if you have any small space living hacks of your own! We’d love to hear them.

Charlotte Grainger

Charlotte Grainger

Charlotte is a freelance writer living in Sheffield, UK. Her interests include gender issues, kittens and the Gilmore Girls. In her spare time, she also writes poetry and drinks copious amounts of red wine and coffee.