One of the most difficult of all home spaces to decorate is the studio apartment. In condos, houses and “standard” apartments, your space is already allotted. Even in loft apartments, you have more versatility, for you have more space with which to work. But the studio apartment requires you to make all spacial and decorating decisions.
- First, because most studio apartments are rather small, create the illusion of space by keeping your walls a very light color. White or an off-white is best. Don’t use color as accents in the trim: You’re “defining” space by adding that blue trim or that green window sill.
- Second, get exact measurements of your usable space before you move furniture in. You might have to put some in storage, but use only what your space will allow. Overcrowding a studio apartment creates a large walk-in closet—not living space. Use dual purpose furniture or retractable furniture whenever possible. Quality futons, for example, are practically godsends for studio dwellers: A couch and a bed are provided in the same piece of furniture.
- Third, use space-lending secondary furniture like open-ended bookcases and desks without side walls, like an architect’s table. If sides are necessary, decorate them in light colors to help them “disappear” into the appearance of space.
- Fourth, keep larger furniture along the walls. If possible, avoid placing larger items in front of the window. Instead, low bookcases, tables or an area rug works well. Place chairs to the side and angle toward the center of the room.
- Fifth, use sheer curtains and light colored blinds on the windows themselves to continue the “space” theme. You can provide excellent accent colors in drapery, curtains and valences. Match the bold accents with throw pillows, rugs, runners and nicknacks.
- Sixth, break up the monotony of your walls with smaller pictures and artwork. Larger pieces might be okay on the wall by the main entrance, but keep the view from the doorway when you just walk in within the make-space theme.
- Seventh, if you have enough breathing space, use a few bookcases or privacy screens to separate your living areas. If floorspace is at a premium, use accent colors to separate them. Keep yellows and reds to high energy areas like your kitchen, bath and work space, and blues, greens and browns to relaxation areas like your couch/bed. It might be subtle, but it works.
In general, don’t overcrowd. Accent but don’t force. Use corners not already occupied with plants and artificial light sources. If you can make them as light and airy, like glass, gold colored or chrome, so much the better.
Use the space under your sleep area for storage if possible. Sleeper sofas, on the other hand, are too low for clothing, books, CDs and low boxes.
With some planning and some creative imagination, even a studio apartment can be transformed into cramped economy space into a reasonably comfortable, cheery home.
Article contributed by Holly Miller, who writes for Coupon Croc. Visit us for a Debenhams discount voucher, and save on all your decor and furniture when you shop online.
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