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Space-Saving Ideas For Studio Apartments

By Max Alcabes

Whether you’re downsizing from a big house to simpler living arrangements or renting your first apartment in the city, studio apartments have their advantages but space isn’t one of them. It can take some getting used to but with careful planning, creative furniture placement and space-saving ideas in mind, small spaces can be turned into a beautiful area you can call home.

There are numerous things to consider when trying to save space in small apartments. The type of furniture you use, along with where you put it, is important to maximize the use of space, as are the smaller details. One of the best ways to save space while maximizing function is to utilize furniture and accessories that serve dual purposes. For example, use storage ottomans as extra seating and for storage, use a sofa sleeper instead of a separate bed and sofa, and use drop-leaf tables that will accommodate dinner guests but fold down when eating alone.

Wall space becomes infinitely more important in smaller spaces since there is less floor space for arranging furniture but you want to maximize the use of each furniture item you place along each wall. Examine the ways a piece of furniture can serve more than one purpose. A low dresser with several drawers can act as a television stand and a place to store extra linens, clothes, and other items. Look for narrow but high shelving units and bookshelves that make the smallest footprint but provide as much storage as possible.

Any amount of space within a studio apartment can serve as two rooms if you plan it accordingly. The sofa sleeper is probably the studio apartment owner’s best friend. Better than a Murphy bed, a sofa sleeper can serve as seating for you and guests during the day but can become a full-size bed for sleeping at night. The transition between the two is simple and any extra bedding can be stored in a closet, drawer (or storage ottoman) during the day. Make sure to test out sofa sleepers for comfort, upgrading to the best quality mattress for extended wear and comfort.

Choose the placement of your furniture carefully. Build your space around your largest piece of furniture. If you are creating an entertainment area and bedroom out of one space, position your sofa sleeper so that it is easily accessible. Use nightstands as end tables to take advantage of the extra drawer space. If you are concerned about accommodating additional overnight guests but don’t have room for an additional sofa sleeper or bed, consider a sleeper chair. Similar in size to a standard armchair, sleeper chairs fold out into twin-sized beds in the same fashion as sofa sleepers.

Take advantage of any extra space within the apartment’s bathroom and kitchen area as well. Hang organizers on available wall space to house items that are not exclusively used in any one area. Look for areas, such as deep windowsills, obscure corners, and built-ins, for potential purpose. Perhaps a deep windowsill could serve as a bar to hold glasses, mixers, and bottles, or would accommodate a flower box for growing your herb garden. Corner desks, bookshelves, and entertainment centers are other space-saving furniture options that can help improve the function of small spaces.

To avoid a detached or cluttered feel caused by limited space and the need to create multi-purpose areas, anchor separate living space with an area rug, wall art, and small accessories. If you need to separate one space from another without making a large footprint, look for room screens or use a piece of furniture as a transition piece from one area to the other. Purchase small accessories, like over-the-door hooks and organizers, that can be kept out of the way but provide good storage potential.

Prior to moving into a studio apartment, draw the floor plan on graph paper to a scale of one square inch per square foot. Draw several different furniture arrangements out, experimenting with potential placement of larger pieces and designating space to several purposes. This will give you a good idea of where to put your furniture and other household items when you arrive, as well as what specific purchases you might want to make ahead of time.

If you are downsizing to a studio apartment, place your excess furniture and household goods in storage for a few months after moving to be sure you don’t need or want it in your new place. It may take several weeks to organize and arrange things sufficiently so save the smaller items, such as accent pieces and accessories, to add at a later date.

Once you get a feel for your space and how you will use it, you will be able to arrange all the furniture and accessories in a way that maximizes function, saves space, and accommodates your lifestyle. Browse magazines, websites, furniture stores and catalogues to get additional ideas as you become accustomed to your apartment and in no time at all your new home will be perfect for the way you live.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Alcabes, Max "Space-Saving Ideas For Studio Apartments." Space-Saving Ideas For Studio Apartments. 18 Jun. 2010. 3 Dec 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Alcabes, M (2010, June 18). Space-Saving Ideas For Studio Apartments. Retrieved December 3, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Alcabes, Max "Space-Saving Ideas For Studio Apartments"

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