How To Style And Layout A Studio Apartment

Living in a small space is a reality for more and more people nowadays. With more and more people wanting to live in cities, and more and more people living alone, that is a logical consequence. But how do you live big in a tiny space? I have done it for two years now, so I have a trick or two up my sleeve out of experience. If you’ll continue glazing your eyeballs over the screen, you’ll find them all out!

What does a studio apartment look like?

One example of a studio apartment (via:

As you might know, a studio apartment is an apartment without a bedroom. Your bed is in the main living space. Most of the time it is quite small, in Europe and Asia roughly between 15 and 35 sqm, in America mostly between 30 and 55 sqm. A lot of times there are only window(s) on one wall, and most studio apartments I have seen are pretty long and relatively narrow. The layout of my apartment is quite classic for Amsterdam new built studio apartments. A narrow hallway with the bathroom adjacent, leading into the living space with the kitchen either in the narrow hallway or in the back of the space after the bathroom.

Think about height of furniture and light flooding in

Learn how the light floods into your space and try to make sure not to obstruct it with massive furniture.

Storage is key with small space living. To keep it neat and space efficient at the same time, a lot of people opt for high closets. When you do this though, think about how this unit of furniture blocks the light. You don’t want dark corners, so high furniture should be placed as far back from the windows as possible. If it fits, the hallway area is perfectly suitable for ceiling height storage. You can also do what I did, and fit a high closet next to the kitchen so it becomes visually a part of said kitchen. Choosing the same colour as the wall behind it distracts from the volume.

Show that floorspace as much as you can

Massive storage doesn’t seem bulky once they are on legs to free up the floorspace.

Lots of people agree with me that you should pick as much airy furniture on legs as possible. The elevation from the floor makes the space look bigger, because more floorspace is visible. Another bit of advice I’d give you is picking see through furniture. I’m not hiding any mess under a chair or under my coffee table, so I chose acrylic and glass versions for them. I also like to accent my home with chrome (like my vintage lamp) to reflect some light through the space.

Zone your space with rugs, room dividers or curtains

One rug to define the living area, another one to define the kitchen and dining area.

I’m a sucker for vintage rugs, so I use them a lot in the spaces I live in. When all your home’s functions are in the same space, it is important to dress them up and seperate them a bit. Otherwise it might feel a bit like a college dorm. I find it works best when actually anchoring the furniture for a space by putting them ón the rug. Other things that work well are room dividers and curtains, as long as the light can fall through them. Open shelves for example could very well divide the livingroom area from the bedroom area.

Make sure that everything has somewhere to belong

A little shelve in my hallway where I toss my keys when I get home.

Sure, everybody knows that clothing or cutlery and plates need to be stored somewhere. But the real magic happens when the day to day stuff has a place to belong. Think about keys, your phone, your bags, your coat, headphones, shoes, your wallet and your mail. Work with bowls or plates to allocate a place for the small stuff, and work with hooks for coats and bags to keep the floorspace empty. Shoes you wear daily must be easily accessible. I keep them beneath my sideboard for example.

Be sure to make it personal

A home ain’t a home without a strong reflection of your personality. More on that in an upcoming blogpost. What tips I can give you now is to make sure to decorate with prints and decor items that you really like or that have a story. Thanks for reading yet another blogpost, and I’ll see you for the next one! In the meantime, you can follow along on my Instagram!


  • Nice one. Why didin’t you add a floorplan? As a loyal follower I saw one in your stories. I know that living small means that you need to look at things in a different way, but sometimes you just do what you like. I have a old metal suitcase as a coffee table. So it’s not ‘airy’, but it’s a much needed storage. So I know that airy furniture is better for the room, but the storage space was more important.

    • I have the floorplan ready for a coming blogpost! I try to go for light and airy as much as I can, but add storage more in “the back” of the studio. So that the main living space remains pretty and peaceful!

  • Gosh, this makes me want to go back to my studio. I loved it! There’s so much room for creativity.

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