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How to Decorate Your Studio Apartment

Yvonne Boulay

Decorating a studio apartment can be both a creative challenge and a rewarding experience. In a limited floor plan, every design choice matters. To make the most of your studio apartment, thoughtful planning is important. Just because your space is small does not mean it can’t be functional, personalized, and feel like home.

Even if you don’t have a keen eye for design, there are still plenty of things you can do to make the most of your small apartment. Here are some tips to help you transform your studio apartment into a stylish and functional living space:

Floor Plan

Keep It Functional and Spacious

The foundation of a well-decorated studio apartment begins with a well-thought-out floor plan. Prioritize your personal comfort and daily routine when arranging your furniture. Measure your apartment's dimensions meticulously and sketch a rough floor plan to visualize the ideal furniture layout. Consider traffic flow and leave enough space to move around comfortably. Remember that your floor plan should work seamlessly with your lifestyle, so keep as much floor space available as possible.

Additionally, consider the role of rugs in your floor plan. Rugs can either divide your space or unify it. Before investing in a rug, take a close look at your floor plan, or even better, wait until you've moved in to ensure the rug complements the space perfectly. If you want to learn a few extra tips about creating the feng shui of your apartment, check out Mr. Cliff Tan on TikTok!

A floorplan of an apartment.

Wall Space

Optimize Your Blank Canvas

Wall space is key to making your studio feel like home. Depending on your lease agreement, you might have restrictions on hanging items on the walls. If so, consider using renter-friendly Command hooks. Floating shelves – which also come in a peel-and-stick version – are also excellent for displaying books or decorative items, adding both storage and aesthetic appeal. For a stylish touch, create a gallery wall with framed photos or art prints of varying sizes. Mixing up frame colors or wood tones can add some visual interest to your walls.

An eclectic gallery wall.

The Scale of Your Furniture

Choose Wisely

When it comes to furniture in a studio apartment, size matters. Oversized furniture can overwhelm the space and make it feel cramped. While a large sectional or a traditional three-cushion couch might be appealing, they may not be practical for a smaller floor plan. Opt for appropriately scaled furniture, such as a loveseat, which can provide comfortable seating without overwhelming the space. If additional seating is needed for guests, consider accent chairs. Chairs with thin legs, open backs, or shorter profiles can also help maintain a sense of openness. Opting for low furniture will be crucial, especially if you have low ceilings. Pro tip: attach furniture pads to the bottom of the legs of your furniture. This will make it easier to slide your pieces around and experiment with different layouts until you land on the right one for you. 

Rent an Ori Studio Apartment.

Illusion of More Space

Mirrors and Curtains

Since studios have limited square footage, maximizing the perception of space is vital. Taller pieces on the edges of your apartment can elongate your walls, making the room feel more open. To amplify this effect, consider incorporating mirrors. A large mirror on one wall or a few smaller ones incorporated into a gallery wall will reflect the light and create the illusion of a more spacious, brighter area. If possible, hang your curtain rods higher than your window’s frame. This may sound unorthodox, but it will draw the eye upward and make your windows appear larger.

Hang your curtains above the window frame to create an illusion of space.


Adding Life

Indoor plants can add a breath of fresh air to your studio. Plants of any kind will bring life to your space, but low-maintenance houseplants are a great place to start. You may have to do research on what plants will thrive in the amount of sunlight you have available (and make sure you pick pet-safe plants if you have a dog or cat!), but it’s worth the extra Googling. An easy way to add some greenery to your space would be to pot small sprouts of herbs on your kitchen counter, such as basil or rosemary. Not only will it add a pop of color, but they are low maintenance and will be great for cooking!

House plants will make your space better.


Set the Mood

Lighting has a great influence over how your space looks and feels.  Multiple light sources, including ambient, task, and accent lighting, can brighten your space and create distinct moods. While LED strips and twinkle lights can be a bit overdone, consider floor lamps or small table lamps for a more sophisticated and moody atmosphere. You should be able to give yourself a break from fluorescent, overhead lighting to help delineate day from night, working from relaxation.

Make sure not to obstruct windows with furniture so that natural light can flow freely. Make the most of natural light by keeping window treatments minimal, like using sheer curtains or blinds that can be fully opened during the day to allow sunlight to flood in. Adequate natural light can make your apartment feel more open and inviting.

A pretty salt lamp that adds mood lighting.

Storage Solutions

Get Creative

Look for innovative storage solutions to maximize your space. Ottomans with hidden compartments and wall-mounted hooks or racks for kitchen utensils can help keep your studio organized and clutter-free. Plastic or metal drawers for the floor of your closet, and a hanging shoe rack for the back of doors are also great ways to store your things. This way you’re maximizing storage, while still hiding items from view from your main living area.

Hanging mugs in a kitchen.

Division of Space and Multifunctional Furniture

Rent an Ori Apartment

Creating distinct living areas within your studio is essential for functionality. No one wants to work where they eat or eat where they sleep. Instead of shelling out hundreds or thousands on new, multifunctional furniture to fill a temporary space, consider renting an apartment that already has your needs in mind. Ori apartments are Semi-Furnished and Expandable

Ori comes with all necessary furniture like a bed, couch/table/and or desk, so you still have the freedom to move with pieces you already own and love. The furniture expands at a push of a button to maximize your square footage, allowing you to live large in a small footprint. Its sleek design still enables you to personalize your space, but gives you the freedom to live your lifestyle unrestricted. 

The best part? Ori is in over 30 cities across the U.S. Click here to explore Ori Apartment Locations. 

Incorporating these decorating strategies into your studio apartment can help you create a comfortable, stylish, and functional living space. Experiment with different arrangements and decor elements until you find what works best for your needs and preferences.

Remember that personalization is key, so don't be afraid to add your unique touches to make your space truly feel like home. Whether your studio apartment is a temporary residence or a long-term investment, these tips will help you make the most of your space while reflecting your personal style and needs.