Studio Units: How to Make it Work

6/12/2013 08:20:00 AM

Condominiums are sprouting in this city in an unbelievable rate. One minute they're breaking ground, the next minute they're already topping off. Do they even rest?! It seems like a huge building grew faster than that last seed I planted back in elementary days. Which died by the way. 

What do these buildings have in common? Really small studio units. Lots of them. Its good that many are given the chance to own a property with easier terms, but lets face it, it sucks. Not all of course, but those low ceiling, shoe box sized of a unit is what I meant. I recently been to a studio unit pretending to be a one bedroom flat. It's bad. No storage, little floor space, small windows. But we have to embrace what we can afford and make the best out of it. It can be fun too. Imagine how proud you'll feel creating a cozy little space for yourself with all that limitations.

I've compiled a few inspiration photos and some tips for studio unit dwellers. Dive in!

I love how she separated the living and sleeping area in here. It gives a feeing of a separate room without closing off the space. It also gave the sofa a proper anchor. It would totally be weird to have that layout without the divider. Very lovely.

The built-ins in this place is amazing. It created a foyer area, a sleeping nook, and extra storage with those shelves and lower cabinets. 

Another great example on how to create a nook with using shelves/storage as divider. 

If you're space is really small, use a day bed. It also acts as a sofa and frees up lots of floor space. Also great if you added vintage full-of-character furnishing. It gives a sense of warmth and personality to any place

If a good night's sleep is the main priority, make your bed the focal point. Invest in a nice looking comfy bed and work around it. 

If you have the means, why not construct a nook that just snuggly fits the bed. It's super inviting and can give you privacy when needed.

A nice geometric screen is perfect to give the illusion of a separate space with out chopping of the layout. You also don't block off any much needed sunlight by going this route. And while you're at it, install an accent brick wall for that loft feel.

Place the bed and sofa side by side. I've seen a lot of narrow studio units out there and this layout is perfect. A 2-seater sofa is probably best for smaller spaces (DUH), it is a place to hang out without automatically going to dreamland. Also notice that instead of having one coffee table, they have a couple of smaller ones. It's flexible, light, and something you can move around when the need arises.

Doesn't have a space for a proper dining area, a little nook is fine. One small table, cute chairs, and you have yourself a place to eat in, and work on as well. 

If you really want a separate bedroom, don't go the usual route. Use sliding glass doors instead. This way you can open it up if you're alone, and just close them if you don't want anyone near your "bedroom"

If by any miracle you've got yourself a high ceiling, build a loft. Not for everybody of course, I'll probably have kidney stones for not wanting to go down at night to pee. Haha.. But it frees up so much space, which is sometimes more important than your kidney.

This one's a big studio but you can copy the concept into your smaller dwelling. If your space gets a lot of sunlight, paint it crisp white. And just add texture, pattern, and color everywhere. It will make your space feels so bright and cheery. 

Okay, this place is one amazing studio. All the furniture are lovely. And that murphy bed it just awesome. Just closed it up in the morning and you've made your bed. Also, mirror, mirror, mirror. Add one giant mirror and it will automatically give the illusion of bigger space. An old but proven trick. 

Fill your walls with art you love. Actually, fill your home with stuff you really really love. You'll just be happy surrounded by things that really means something to you. Keep it organized too. With a small footprint, it can easily be overwhelmingly chaotic. Everything should have a proper place, and returned immediately after use. That might sound like your mother but that advice will come in handy in your small space. Hope this helps!

Btw, I've worked on two studio units, you might want to check them out. Fashion Designer's Lounge Pad and Newly Wed's First Pad

How did you make you studio unit work?

*All photos from Apartment Therapy


  1. This is amazing; I stumbled on your article through Facebook. I've been looking for ways to make a studio unit work - it really can get tricky fitting stuff in (and I have a lot of stuff). Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  2. thanks Zye. best of luck on making your space work :)


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