So, you moved into your first grown-up apartment and it’s sooo cute—and also sooo small, because it’s literally one room. Hello, studio. But there are actually a bunch of ways to make your teensy home feel so much bigger. (Hint: It involves some very chic furniture.)
Here’s how to lay out your studio for maximum Zen vibes (and storage).
Fake a divide.
Segment your one-room home with curtains, a privacy screen, or furniture like a couch or a bench, says interior designer Marina Hanisch. This creates the feeling of separate areas, even if they’re, like, two feet from each other.
Get all the rugs.
Area rugs can also create “different zones,” says Alessandra Wood, director of style at interior decorating app Modsy. So if your coffee table is on one rug and your bed is on another, they’ll seem like two very (okay, sort of) different rooms—even though they’re only a cell phone’s throw away from one another.
Remember: Open bookshelves are your BFFs.
“In my old studio that I lived in for years with my husband, we built a ‘wall’ with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves to separate the bed area from the rest of the room,” says Wood. Plus, they let natural light through, which is ideal if you have windows only on one side.
“Style the upper shelves with cherished items like framed photographs or travel souvenirs,” says Lisa Ruff, director of business development at home organizing company Neat Method. “Then place your books on the middle shelves and use the bottom shelves for baskets or bins. This will add visual interest and storage while not making the piece seem so imposing.”
Create a “dining room,” even if it’s teeny.
You probably don’t have room for a big dining table, but setting up a little eating area will make you feel more chic, less “I’m basically in bed.” Find a small bistro set or a wall console with drop leaves and place it against the wall.
Then, to create that cute date-night vibe, hang a light over the table, says Ruff. “This creates a visual boundary.”
Sleep far, far away from the door.
“Keep your bed on the side of the room with less passing traffic,” says Wood. “Then place your sofa closer to the side of the room next to the kitchen or entry.” This helps create a feeling of privacy when curling into bed.
Another pro tip: “Nook your bed in with a small side table or a floating shelf,” says Hanisch. This gives you some functionality (hello, bedtime reading) without taking up a ton of space.
Just *think* about getting a Murphy bed.
Both Ruff and Wood suggest investing in one of those beds that stores itself against a wall, now that designers are making ones that are actually cute (nobody wants to see your bedsprings when they’re coming over for Bachelor night). “A great way to get more entertaining space is by hiding the bed when guests come over,” says Wood.
Don’t forget about the rando nooks and crannies.
Make use of literally every single storage situation you can, says Rashelle Isip, founder of organizing blog The Order Expert. Her go-tos for the bedroom include behind-the-door shoe racks, sweater storage units, and stacked organizers. In the bathroom, hang cute shelving over your toilet or above the doorway.
Actually decorate your walls.
Create a gallery wall by clustering small framed items together, or keep it clean by hanging just one big-ticket item. Make sure to leave some walls bare—overdecorating is one hundred percent a thing.
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