If you’re an urbanite you likely live in a space that’s as big as your suburban friend’s garage. But you don’t need to live in a mansion to have a comfortable and stylish home. Here are some ideas for making your studio apartment into your own minimalist palace.
Invest in some dual-purpose furniture. If you are moving from a bigger space into a studio you’ll likely find that storage is your biggest challenge. Studio apartments might have one closet or none. If you are planning to buy some new furniture, consider pieces that can double as storage space, like an ottoman that hides storage for blankets or a bed with built in drawers along the platform for all your bulky sweaters. Sleeper sofas are also ideal if you want to accommodate a guest or if you want to forgo a traditional bed altogether to free up some room for other furniture.
Lighten up your space. Paint color, mirrors and choice of window dressing can trick the eye into thinking a space is bigger, airier, and lighter than it actually is. Limit your use of dark paint colors-especially on the ceiling-because they can make a small room seem more claustrophobic. Painting the walls in soft neutrals also creates a more expansive look than wallpaper with a busy print. Keep window dressing to a minimum: try sheer or translucent curtains that allow for maximum light. Mirrors mounted on an entry wall can also open up the space.
Think vertical. If you’re looking for more storage options, just look up. You may not have a lot of floor space, but you have walls, and it’s far more practical to mount small shelving or hooks than it is to hang all your framed posters or art. Try mounting baskets vertically along one wall in the bathroom for your towels and toiletry storage, or install a series of pretty hooks in the bedroom for hanging clothing and accessories.
Divide and conquer. Consider how you want to divide up your studio space, then create the illusion of division with the strategic use of freestanding bookshelves, screens, area rugs, even placement of furniture. Think of each area you create as its own cozy nook. For example, placing furniture in a circular display around an area rug creates an intimate sitting area for talking and entertaining. A corner desk with stool and a bulletin board hanging above becomes your office space. A screen around your bed eliminates the awkwardness of having it be the first thing someone sees when he or she enters your studio and also creates a peaceful sleeping area for you.
Keep it simple. Take stock of your belongings and ask yourself: ‘what do I use regularly?’ and ‘what do I only use a couple of times a year? What do I never use?’ Anything that is redundant (there’s no reason you should have two toasters on hand at any given time) or that you can’t remember why you bought should be sold, donated, or discarded. Living in a studio will make you a lot more judicious when shopping, too. Not only will you ask yourself: ‘do I need it?’ but: ‘do I have room for it?’ If the answer to either question is no, pat yourself on the back. You just saved yourself some money and spared yourself the unnecessary clutter.