Definition of a Studio Apartment

Studio apartments include living, dining and kitchen area in one room.

Studio apartments include living, dining and kitchen area in one room.

A studio apartment offers a single, multi-function living space that incorporates the living room, dining room, kitchen and sleeping quarters of a residence all in the same room. Their small foot print and efficient use of living space make studio apartments extremely popular in areas where real estate comes at a high premium -- as in New York City or small European cities. A studio apartment can be a challenge to furnish and decorate, but ease of maintenance can make it an attractive place to dwell despite the petite size.

Single Room Layout

A true studio apartment has no walls or partitions to separate the living spaces --other than for the bathroom. Depending on location, studio apartments can also be referred to as studio flats, efficiency suites, open lofts, micro units, one-room condos, bachelor pads or bachelorette apartments. Regardless of the terminology, they range in size from as little as 100 square feet to upwards of 500.

Seating and Sleeping Facilities

When space is at a premium, it’s often necessary to combine seating and sleeping arrangements into single pieces of furniture. Double-duty furniture, such as a convertible sofa, a futon or a trundle unit day bed, can accommodate one or two people for seating by day and for sleeping at night. Creative sleeping solutions using fold-away or Murphy beds can incorporate a large bed into the room, yet have it disappear when entertaining. Paired with chairs and tables on casters, these mobile furniture solutions move when and where you need them to.


Storage can be a real challenge in a studio apartment. Therefore, look for furniture pieces that have storage built into them. Ottomans, coffee tables and side tables can double as storage pieces. Small dining tables can be purchased with drop leaves that may be raised into place when you need additional seating and store extra folding chairs in the table base. Don’t neglect under-bed storage solutions like low-profile, roll-out bins. Use attractive baskets, boxes and other containers to decorate and provide additional storage through the space.

Creating the Illusion of Separation and Space

Ingenious occupants cleverly use tall furniture or draped linens to define and separate the spaces without changing the room’s structure. Use simple dividers or see-through book cases to separate living room, dining room or sleeping spaces. The open nature of the units help define the spaces while keeping an airy feel in the room. Glass furniture offers functionality without limiting visual space. Ample lighting and large mirrors go a long way in making any small space look bigger. Linens can also be artfully arranged to section off sleeping areas.

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About the Author

Terry Mulligan has been writing since 2007. As an accomplished artist, decorator and business professional, she enjoys covering art, decor, business management, real estate, education, computers/software/ERP, animal rescue, cooking and self-improvement. Mulligan holds an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix.

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