Studios for Grown Ups

Established professionals are living in studio apartments due to rising rents and real estate prices. This has made studio apartments a fundamental part of new architecture. As an architect, my advice on creating a livable space that feels like home is to follow a few simple rules.

Here are 9 ways to maximize your studio apartment space on a budget

1.Conceal your bed

Anything you can do to set your bed apart from the rest of your studio apartment will make the whole space feel less like you're living in just one room. Try concealing your bed behind a room divider or curtain. You can also place the bed in a nook if you have one.

2.Floor to ceiling storage

Don't let wall and ceiling space go to waste. Use your walls to add hooks or pegs so you can hang functional items as well as decor.  Use your ceiling to hang things like pot racks. Use floor to ceiling cabinet storage.When using large storage cabinets or wardrobes, paint them the same color as your walls so that they fade away.

3.Large Furniture

Use big furniture pieces. Although it seems counterintuitive, lots of small furniture pieces can make a room feel cluttered and hard to move around in. A few well-chosen larger pieces could make your studio feel even bigger and airier. It’s like an optical illusion; seeing larger pieces gives the illusion of a proportionally bigger room. Put your big furniture on lockable casters though to make it movable for parties.

4.Multi-Purpose furniture

Use furniture that can serve more than one purpose. A large desk can be cleared and used as a dining table for dinner parties, for example. Use a trunk or solid storage box for a coffee table and take advantage of the storage inside.

5.See- through Furniture

Consider using furniture with clear materials. A clear side chair made of lexan, for example, may serve as seating for entertaining without adding visual clutter to a space.

6.Natural Light

Don’t obscure natural light. Natural light brightens a room and makes it feel larger. In addition, a visual connection to the outdoors has the effect of expanding a space.


Mirrors work wonders. Place them near windows to reflect light. Use them strategically in your apartment along sight lines to expand your space. Be sure to also use them to highlight the architectural features you may have.


Keep to a simple color palette. This gives a clean organized look. If you choose to define a kitchen area or bedroom area with an accent color on a wall or two, stick to tones of the same color. Visually large items such as Bedspreads and sofa fabrics should also share the same palette.


Most importantly, before you move to your small space, edit.  Carefully curate your belongings. You'd be surprised how much stuff you don't need.