Tricks and tips on how to fight common apartment problems

Layout Challenges

Most studio apartments fall somewhere between 300 and 400 square feet in size. There are variations of three general layouts:

  • Option 1: living area with a bathroom, kitchen, and closet off of it on one side
  • Option 2: a living area with a kitchen and small dining room on one side and a closet and bathroom on the other
  • Options 3: a living area with a kitchenette on one of its walls.

Here’s a simple visual of studio apartment floor plans:

The following advice applies regardless of which l

The following advice applies regardless of which layout you end up with.

1. Create the illusion of a bedroom area

One way to solve a studio’s lack of bedroom is to create your own—or at least the illusion of one.

Use a curtain, shelving unit, or traditional room divider to separate your bed from the rest of the room, creating a private “bedroom” to sleep in peace. If your apartment is on the small side, a divider might not be feasible, and it could make the space feel claustrophobic.

If you can’t divide the bed off using a divider, the following tips can help:

  • Make your bed every morning. This simple step is a fast way to make your entire space feel less cluttered or chaotic.
  • Anchor your bed on an area rug. A rug is an inexpensive way to divide a space visually without taking up any vertical space. Make sure the rug is the right size for your bed.
  • Consider a murphy bed. If you can’t stand seeing your bed during the day, look into some transitional furniture like a daybed or murphy bed.

2. Pick a furniture layout based on your lifestyle

Create a space where you can hang out with friends, watch TV, and work on your laptop. To do this, think multipurpose. Instead of buying a desk, a TV stand, and a bookshelf, install wall shelving that you can use for all three. Instead of buying a huge, bulky couch, get a couple of smaller armchairs. But before you buy anything, think of how you’re going to live in the space.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I need to work in this space? If so, how can I fit in a desk or use another area (like a dining table) to serve this purpose?
  • Realistically, how many people will I have over for get-togethers? Make sure you have space for everyone to sit. If you only have one or two people over, a larger scale two-seater sofa should suffice. If you have more, think about a smaller couch in addition to floor poufs and accent chairs.
  • Am I making the space do too much? Is there some functionality you could give up to make your apartment seem more streamlined? Perhaps you don’t need to have a gym studio in the corner. Maybe you can do your work at a coffee shop instead of in the apartment. Sometimes, a compromise can help your home base feel more serene.


5. Wall Paintings

Paint Walls White

Looking for a wider, brighter place that can fit your small flat design ideas?

White walls, without any doubt, can reflect all the colors, leaving your space expanded like never before. 

Among all small apartment color ideas, white will always be the best one of them.

Incorporate Splashes of Bright Color

It is widely known that both dark and bright colors tend to overwhelm tiny places. On the other hand, you can place an energetic color as a sort of a splash on the wall. 

These splashes provide a guide throughout the normal visual tour of the eye, making the room appear larger.

Choose Your Decor Palette Wisely – Light Col

Choose Your Decor Palette Wisely – Light Color Palette

Light colors usually open things back up, providing the eye with a wider vision. Try to choose your color palette wisely, focusing on lighter shades like, for example, pastel colors. 

You can also add at least one darker color to make sure that things will stay visually interesting.

Where to Buy?

When it comes to wall paintings, then Jotun is highly recommended, where you can find literally all your dream colors.

Hanging Artworks

If you don’t want to add holes in the walls, then you can put your choice of artworks on the shelf or you can place it on the dresser too. This trick will definitely provide your space with energetic vibes that will add some freshness to your apartment. 

4. Divide Your Space With Your Furniture

Many small apartments don’t have separate dining and living rooms (or even separate bedrooms if you’re living the studio life). But you can still create different “zones” using your furniture to divide the space.

Among the best small apartment design ideas is using the back of your sofa to act like a wall that divides one large living/dining room into two separate areas. Another of our favorite small apartment furniture tricks is to use an open-back bookcase or a room divider as a way to create distinct zones within your small apartment!

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7. Dining Place

No More Traditional Dining Tables

Regarding small apartment dining room ideas, one can add a hand-crafted shelf table as a replacement to the whole dining room especially if there is no room for it.

Bring your camera

I’m also a bit obsessed with taking lots of pictur

I’m also a bit obsessed with taking lots of pictures, but bringing your camera when seeing apartments is truly worthwhile. After you see 3 or 4 apartments in a few days, they’ll all start to blend together. Having some photographic or even video evidence is your best bet for knowing what’s what a few days later.



Very similar to the above two sites, although the map view seems crappier (“you have too many properties in view, please zoom in”) and occasionally flat out broken.

8. Use Your Space Vertically

You may not have a lot of square footage in your apartment, but you can make the absolute most of it by going vertical. That’s why one of our favorite small apartment design ideas is using bookcases in creative ways!

Bookcases make use of your space vertically so you can maximize storage while minimizing use of floor space. Want to take it a step further? Try swapping your nightstand or side table for a bookcase. You could even consider finding a bookcase with a built-in desk option as an easy way to squeeze in a home office to your small apartment! (In fact, that’s one of our favorite tips for small apartment office designs!

If you’re having trouble visualizing these small apartment interior design ideas in your own home, let Modsy help! We use 3D designs to show you how new furniture and decor will look in your exact room, ensuring you don’t waste time or money buying items that won’t fit or look good in your home. Check out our Interior Design 101 page where we answer a bunch of common questions about interior design and Modsy’s services!


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