Interior Design: What are some good tips for studio living? by Annie Wang
I think there’s really two ways to approach a studio apartment: you can basically turn your studio into something of a hotel room, or divide it into living areas. I prefer the latter, but the first isn’t a bad option either.
The first thing I’d try to do in a studio apartment is to separate the sleeping area (the bed) from the living area (your sofa, the television, etc). There’s many reasons for doing this, including but not limited to the fact that when guests visit, it’ll feel less like they’re stepping right into your bedroom.
If you have the room, Expedit bookshelves from Ikea are a nice, cheap option for separating your bed from the rest of the room. I think there are aesthetically much better options, but for the price point and ease of purchase, nothing really beats the Expedit.
This bookshelf below is pushed up right against the bed, which is fine.
You can see the bed behind this black Expedit.
If you don’t have the room to close off your bed with a bookshelf or divider, consider curtains. Curtains don’t take up any space at all.
You can use curtains as a divider like the below…
… or you can create more of a canopy bed. That thin black piping used to hang the curtains below are just curtain rods mounted on the ceiling. You can also find similar piping at any hardware store and mount it to your ceiling.
You can also consider giving up a bed entirely for a daybed. Doesn’t this one-room apartment look just like a beautiful living room? The daybed is used as both a sofa and bed. I think this is the best option for people who entertain a lot in their studios.
This may not be a great option for tall people or those who like to move around a lot, since a daybed is generally about the size of a twin mattress. You can also use a sofa bed if you prefer not to have a real bed in your studio.
Same apartment as above, with the daybed slept in…
The other much pricier option is to purchase a free-standing Murphy bed or have one installed (the installed ones look much better). Murphy beds have come a long, long way and they can be really stylish… but expensive!
You really want almost every piece of furniture you choose to act as both a surface and as storage. Rather than getting a television console that just allows your television to sit on top, set your television on a dresser or chest of drawers. You don’t really want anything with glass or open shelving, because you want to hide all those wires.
As for hosting in your studio, just pretend it’s a full apartment! Make every surface, including the bed, open and available for seating or lounging. Get yourself some trays or folding butler stands so everyone has a place to set down their drink. I like the idea, too, of having a little bar cart — it won’t take up much room but creates a nice station for guests to help themselves.
When not in use, the bar cart serves as a nice little side table (if it’s the right height for your sofa).