Furnishing a Small Studio Apartment

So, you’ve finally ditched your roommates and moved into your own tiny studio apartment. Congratulations!  Next up, getting the most out of each square foot at a cost you can afford.   Here’s what you can do in the $1,000  budget range.

1.)Think DOUBLE-DUTY.  Everything in a small apartment needs to be multi-purpose.

Bed.  If you do not use a futon or daybed, you can turn any mattress into a “couch” by covering it with a nice fitted sheet and adding two extra-firm king-sized pillows, with matching or contrasting pillowcases, as bolsters.

Bed Frame.  Bed frames also do double-duty. They lift your bed off the floor, but also provide STORAGE SPACE.  The frames come in different heights, get the highest and maximize the space for the rolling storage boxes you can pick up at Container Store, Bed Bath and Target or even at Home Depot.

Coffee Table (the table in front of your bed/couch.)   Again, double duty.  You’ll want something that offers storage.  Try a nice old trunk, even your old camp trunk (throw a shawl on top, if it’s really beat up), or a storage ottoman.  You can also use a couple of covered storage cubes side by side.

Table and chairs.  Try to fit in a real table, not one of the tiny round bistro ones. And if you have any friends, or intend to make some, get four chairs.  (IKEA has a great set of a solid wood table plus 4 chairs you should check out.) Your table will also be your desk and can turn into a work counter when you cook, since your studio’s kitchen is probably minimal.  One of the chairs becomes your night table and another can be  moved near the entrance to catch your stuff when you come in.

Comfy Chair.  Every apartment needs to have one comfortable chair where you can unwind.  If you have room in your budget and expect many overnight guests, get a chair that turns into a twin bed.

Dresser.  Your dresser can be a room divider or serve as a TV stand or display a couple of nice storage baskets.

2.) Use UNIFORM COLOR SCHEMES.  The walls in your rental are probably already painted basic white to make the room look bigger, but also consider how the various other surfaces match.  Uniform colors may seem boring, but your everyday objects will add color and character to the apartment.  You can always add a large rug to either tone the look down or perk it up.  Either way, the rug will add warmth to the room and make it homey. You can find many inexpensive options at stores like IKEA or Crate & Barrel.

3.) Utilize EXTRA HEIGHT.  If your studio is in an old building, you may be lucky to have higher than standard 8 ft. ceilings.  In your closet, you can stack storage boxes on the top shelf for rarely used items. And if you have a corner for a skinny bookcase, IKEA has one that can add another section on top to make it extra tall.

P.S.  We are looking to add a new guest blogger to write about furnishing/decorating small spaces on small budgets.  We’ll pay $20 a post and make you famous among our close to 40,000 monthly visitors.  Please email a brief note about yourself plus a critique of the above post to [email protected].

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Comments (4)

  1. Avatar Find Apartments

    These are great pieces of advice for those who want to design their apartments that are small in size. It’s practical and it can be cheap if renters know where to look for affordable furnishings. The key really is in choosing furniture that is double in purpose or multipurpose so you can use it for other means.