Mistakes Everyone Makes When Decorating Their Studio Apartment

Studio apartments often get a bad rep due to their small size and lack of a designated bedroom, which, according to the Apartment Guide, usually range from 300 square feet to 600 square feet. While having more living spaces is ideal, larger areas equate to more money, something many people do not have. The reality is that renting can be expensive, especially in cities that notoriously have a high cost of living, such as New York City or San Francisco. This may explain why renters opt to live in studio apartments to save on rent costs. Apartment List says that renting a studio apartment is almost always cheaper than renting a one-bedroom. They argue that the few hundred dollars you may save on rent can cover your utility and grocery bills for an entire month.

Decorating can make or break your space, and if you are in a studio apartment and don't have much room to work with, selecting the right décor elements becomes critical. If you're not careful, the way you decorate can leave your already small space looking more cramped and crowded than it needs to. On the contrary, properly decorating your studio apartment can allow you to maximize your limited room and turn your tiny flat into your favorite place to hang out.

Not dividing up your space

Since a studio apartment is essentially an ample space, it can be easy to treat it as a singular room when decorating. However, Real Simple suggests dividing the open area into smaller spaces via room dividers or rugs to define the various rooms in your apartment. Interior designer Heather Hilliard says you should first determine how you want to use each area in your apartment — be it for entertaining, sleeping, or working from home — and then place furniture accordingly to define the space. A desk that can double as a dining room table and other multipurpose furniture pieces is a great way to create a valuable and space-efficient layout.

Creating distinct areas in your studio apartment is one of the best ways to make your space feel more like home. It can facilitate functionality, reduce stress due to the lack of cramped areas, and help you to create an efficient organizational system.

Choosing wrongly sized furniture

Your furniture to living space ratio is a much bigger deal than you might think, as filling your apartment with furniture pieces that are too big or small can create cramped conditions and make you feel uncomfortable. According to Club Furniture, measuring out the apartment before furnishing it is the best way to ensure that your purchases will fit, be well-spaced out, and look proportional to other décor elements in the room. 

The size of your furniture doesn't matter nearly as much as the scale and proportion, so choose furniture pieces based on how well they complement each other and fit into the room's overall layout. For example, even if your loveseat and sofa fit comfortably into your studio apartment, they shouldn't be of similar size, and you wouldn't want to pair an oversized coffee table with a compact couch. 

Club Furniture suggests first measuring the length of the walls, taking into account things like doorways, windows, and appliances that will affect your ability to furnish those areas. They also recommend measuring the height of window sills and picking pieces that don't go much higher than that.

Not choosing the right accent pieces

Too many accessories and decorative accents crammed into a small studio apartment can make it look cluttered. On the other hand, not utilizing enough can also empty the room. This is why Real Simple suggests choosing accent pieces that give the illusion of larger spaces. Interior designer James Wheeler says incorporating taller, oversized works of art to help elongate and open up the room can do just that. Utilizing mirrors can also help create the illusion of open spaces as they bounce light. Jason Graft, another interior designer, recommends placing them opposite windows to double the view and create the perception of additional room. 

But you should note that an accent wall with the wrong pieces can unintentionally make your studio apartment look smaller. This is because cute spaces typically feel unified and put together if the walls have one color. Accent walls, when done wrong, can break up a room's flow, detracting from the clean lines you should aim for if you want your apartment to feel more spacious. Interior designer Wendy Labrum proposes adding color and personality to a small space by utilizing gallery walls instead, with a mix of framed artwork and prints. This will add visual interest in a way that doesn't make an already undersized space appear smaller.

Not factoring in texture, shape, and color

Small doesn't have to mean simple, and limited space does not signify that super stylish and modern furniture pieces are out of reach. In fact, according to Club Furniture, choosing fun pieces that incorporate texture and detail can help liven your studio apartment and bring the space to life. You should select furniture pieces in lighter, airier colors with a soft, neutral color palette to open up and brighten your living space. Deep-colored browns, blacks, or greens, can make your apartment feel smaller than it is.

In addition to color and texture, the furniture's shape is also essential. The experts recommend picking furniture pieces with rounded edges instead of square, as the latter takes room and can make you feel boxed in. Sofas with rolled arms and spherical coffee tables can help create openness. Incorporating a round area rug can also create dimension and visual interests, as they allow the space to feel open and welcoming.