Studio Apartment Ideas: How to Maximize Your Space

Professional Interior Designer, Marilyn, shares design tips and tricks for maximizing space in a studio apartment.

The beloved studio: it’s often a milestone of living in big, expensive cities and a symbol of personal independence. But perhaps more importantly, it’s an exciting blank canvas ready to be made uniquely yours. However amazing studio apartments are, they also come with their own set of challenges—namely, the challenge of fitting everything into one (often small) space.

We sat down with Zeus Homes Designer, Marilyn, to explore pro tips (literally, she does this for a living) for maximizing a studio apartment and bringing purpose to awkward corners and otherwise wasted spaces. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your new studio or planning to give your existing studio a facelift, Marilyn has the tips you need.



Choose a Focal Point


Standing in front of your empty studio wondering where to begin? You may be tempted to jump in and begin designing smaller elements of the space, such as accent chairs or plants. Resist this urge and start by identifying your focal point. “I begin by choosing an orientation and focal point for the space, such as the wall where the headboard of the bed will go. Orienting the room towards a view (if you’re lucky enough to have a great view!), also makes for a great focal point.” Marilyn explains that this anchor serves as a starting point from which your design will unfold and can help you prioritize your dollars to really knock this design out of the park.


Create Zones


A studio wouldn’t be a studio without its iconic open floor plan which blends sleeping, living, and dining quarters into one single space. While this design is effective in giving you the most possible space, it presents the challenge of breaking up the space without the use of actual walls. The secret to this is zoning. “Gentle zoning will be your best friend. The goal is to create separate spaces that flow by leveraging elements like area rugs, artwork, plants, and different pieces of furniture,” adds Marilyn. She recommends looking to these design elements to create unique zones and staying away from partition walls which can diminish that openness.


Design for Dual-Purpose


Marilyn recommends that you “find pieces that don’t just look good but that serve more than one purpose.” Love at first sight syndrome happens to us all. We fall in love with furniture or decor and pull the trigger on items without really assessing their functionality. As a studio-dweller it’s important to shift your shopping and bring functionality to the forefront. When buying a coffee table, ask yourself: can this table serve another purpose, such as storage? Marilyn shares a few of her favorite multi-purpose design elements:

  • Blanket ladder: not only does it look good, it saves space with its vertical height
  • Storage ottoman: another great solution for bulky items like blankets, and can be used as a coffee table when coupled with an accent tray
  • Drum table: similar to a storage ottoman, these tables can be used as side or coffee tables
  • Pull-out couch or daybed: both provide a 2-in-1 seating and sleeping solution
  • Rolling kitchen cart: versalite in the a bility to use in the kitchen as a chopping block, or roll into your living space and use for other purposes


Don’t Skimp on Seating


“While you may be occupying your studio solo, always design for two at minimum,” Marilyn advises. “In the event of entertaining or hosting a friend for a weekend, you’ll be glad you did.” She explains that designing for two from the beginning is important as it affects small decisions like having two night stands versus one, and seating options apart from the bed. “This could be as simple as two chairs and a side table to have a conversation with someone. There needs to be an option for relaxing outside of sitting on the bed, especially for our corporate tenants.”


Embrace the Awkward Corners


Ah, the awkward corner: not quite big enough to use as a unique zone and not quite small enough to look past. In asking Marilyn how she approaches this challenge, she shares two design solutions in particular: reading nooks and plants. “Reading nooks are a personal favorite to create the opportunity for escapism. Having just one seat and a side table can create an inviting opportunity to decompress with a coffee or a book.” Other ideas include:

  • Plants: add energy and color to a space and of course, come in all shapes and sizes, so they’ll fit into any awkward corner
  • Baskets: particularly great for small corners and useful for collecting items that would otherwise be clutter in the apartment (like linens, blankets, or laundry)
  • Corner shelving: either a stand-alone corner shelf or floating shelves
  • Soft decor: such as poufs, beanbags, or other comfortable lounge options


About Zeus


There’s a better way to live and own. Zeus offers a new take on renting: we lease unfurnished, privately-owned homes and convert them into expertly appointed, furnished housing.

Own a property? Owners sign one lease with many benefits. We transform your property into a furnished home, and manage everything from there.



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