Is It Possible to Make a Studio Living Space Feel More Spacious? Our Experts Say Yes

From furniture layouts to color palettes, interior designers share their best tips for making less space look like more.

modern studio apartment kitchen
Photo: Getty / tashka2000

Designing a studio apartment is never easy. Along with limited storage and an open layout, you have to arrange and decorate the space in a way that won't make it feel more cramped than it already is. "There are so many obstacles that one runs into when designing a studio apartment," says Danielle Fennoy of Revamp Interior Design. "These spaces can get so cluttered so fast, so decorative items should really be well curated."

Fortunately, with the right design and décor elements, you can make your studio feel more spacious. "Selecting the correct size of furniture, hanging your drapery properly, or choosing the right color to paint your walls can help the space appear larger," explains Tavia Forbes of Forbes + Masters. "The idea is to practically and aesthetically plan around the need for multifunction." As it turns out, there are several design tricks you can employ to make a small studio apartment feel roomier than it actually is.

Hang mirrors.

If you aren't hanging mirrors along the walls of your studio space, Monet Masters of Forbes + Masters says it's time to start. "Instead of artwork, hang mirrors to create the illusion of a larger space," she says. "It will also help bounce light around the space so it seems brighter, too."

Avoid tall, bulky furniture.

According to Fennoy, bringing tall, bulky furniture pieces into a small studio space is a big no-no. "Try to get pieces that are on legs versus going all the way down to the floor, as they will look lighter and make the room feel bigger," she says. "Also opt for pieces with low-profiles, because lower furniture will leave you with more wall space and make the ceilings feel taller."

Float your furniture.

When it comes to arranging furniture in a studio space, Caitlin Murry of Black Lacquer Design says to think twice about placing pieces against the wall. "While it might seem like pushing all the furniture against the walls to free up floor space will make the place feel bigger, it actually has the opposite effect," she explains. "The better option is to float furniture in ways that create designated zones and the right flow from one area to the next."

Break up bigger pieces.

If your living space is really tight, Forbes recommends choosing several smaller pieces of furniture versus one large-scale item. "Use a cluster of side table stools instead of a single coffee table," she says. "They provide even greater function when separated and serve as drink tables for guests. They also take up less space."

Keep the palette light and consistent.

Fennoy says a light and cohesive color palette is a foolproof way to make a studio space appear more spacious. "A lighter, more neutral palette will most certainly reinforce an open spacious feeling," she says. "Create connectivity by keeping the color palette continuous throughout the space, instead of breaking up the flow with different hues in each zone."

Paint a statement wall.

If you can't live without a little color in your studio apartment, Masters suggests painting a single accent wall to make a statement. "A bold colored wall provides a bright contrast to a white or neutral palette while creating an airy, gallery-like feel," she says.

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