How should a studio apartment feel? Think about it this way: Have you ever stayed at a luxury hotel and been so enchanted that you forgot that you were staying in what was essentially a single room? The place was cozy and indulgent, and you felt like you could stay there all day? That’s how a studio apartment should feel.
Living in a New York studio doesn’t mean you have to exist in a tight, miserable space. The tips below can help you turn your studio into a place that feels more like a guest suite at Windsor Castle.
1. Create clearly defined zones.
Part of what often makes a studio feel small and a bit depressing is the sight of a giant bed looming front and center in the middle of the room. By creating a separate sleeping area, you’re blocking the bed from view, gaining privacy and giving the illusion of spaciousness. Making other zones — like a space for eating and a living-room-like area — will also enhance this effect.
- Use long, glamorous white drapes or large shades to section off the bed.
- Take a large piece of wood and attach it to the bed to create a divider you can paint or decorate with luxurious material.
- Use color to define spaces. For example, you could give your kitchen a gorgeous yellow backsplash, separating it out from the rest of the room.
2. Play with scale in furniture and accessories.
Just because you have a studio doesn’t mean you have to use doll-size furniture and accessories. In fact, tiny furniture often highlights how small a space is.
- Opt for a mix of large and small pieces. A gorgeous, full-size overstuffed sofa could work beautifully in a studio with high ceilings. The size of the sofa and the height of the ceiling can create the sense that you’re working with a vast amount of space.
- Hang a giant painting on one of your walls. Oversize accessories are usually found in large spaces like lofts, so using them can visually suggest that your small studio space is bigger than it is.
3. Optimize lighting.
The importance of great lighting (and using reflective surfaces to maximize illumination) in a studio apartment cannot be overstated.
- Use a large glass or acrylic coffee table. This gives you a surface that doesn’t clutter up your line of sight, as the clear material helps create the illusion of more space in the room.
- Fill your studio with lamps, spot lights, or any other kind of lighting that will brighten up dark corners. Well-placed lighting can make a space seem larger.
- Strategically place mirrors around the apartment to make it seem like your studio is double and triple its actual size. For example, a Louis Ghost chair paired with a glamorous mirrored desk would provide Mandarin Oriental–level style, while increasing the visual square footage.
4. Fill the space with items you love.
In a studio, everything is visible all the time, so limit your furniture and accessories to things you truly adore. You’ll be looking at them a lot!
- Go for high-quality items. Keep in mind that high quality doesn’t have to mean expensive. For bargain hunting, try the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market.
- Tiny details make a huge impact in small spaces: Score a luxury kitchen faucet for pennies on eBay and showcase it in your kitchen, or choose pretty knobs for your kitchen cabinets.
Image Source: Flickr/Gregory Han
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