We created this complete list of 50 small studio apartment design ideas because we wanted to inspire and encourage the owners of such places to use their imagination and creativity and to search for unconventional solutions. Our experience leads us to believe that the compact living is a global trend that in the feature will become stronger. More and more people choose to live in the big megalopolis such as Houston Texas, to make the small studio rentals such as these Houston apartments their home. And in the future, this tendency will increase the number of people and it will decrease inhabitable space so that the dwellings will become smaller and smaller.
To create wholly functional and welcoming home in such a restricted space arrangement is a significant challenge that requires a bold and brave way of thinking outside the box (sometimes literary). So here you can take a peak together with us to see how professional designers and renowned architects are tackling this difficult task. You can use their ideas and unconventional approaches when you design your studio apartment – an excellent way to discover how successfully to make the most of every inch of space so in the end to have a tiny, modern, and clever home.
1. Creating a special unit for sleeping and using its volume for storage compartments
One of the first things that come to mind when confronted with limited living space is where to put all my stuff? Here we have a magnificent ingenious solution by Batiik Studio an elevated bed that gives the necessary space beneath the stairs to create cabinets and provide storage. The sliding panels that offer privacy to the bed space and the full-height closet on the side complete the picture of this modern and smart design. Decided in trendy dark colors the elegant and functional unit can be a “must have” option for any small space dweller.
2. Color distinction- paint the second level in a different tonality
Painting this mezzanine premise with stylish and characteristic wall accents that visually separates the premises creates the feeling that the bed area is a whole separate world. The design composition of this tiny apartment in Poland is laid on a duality of space concept: the deep rich green walls that accentuate the ceiling half of the space and separate the bedroom with its lush plant selection from the rest of the interior design with its vintage hints – it is a unique and artistic approach. This composition of dualism has an almost mystical visual impact with its rich accents and details.
3. Elevate the bed and give yourself more space underneath
This light (bought as colors and space illumination characteristics) project of ICOSA in collaboration with Peter Suen, is located in the heart of San Francisco and offers a youthful, dynamic and contemporary solution for the space problems. The custom build unit includes the elevated bed platform with simple lines and luminous characteristic, the very cozy working area underneath, completed with a massive whiteboard, roomy desk, and stand-up computer station and of course, the cleverly hidden compartments of the storage units and extra guest bed.
4. Use Folding Glass Walls to achieve dynamic and flexible space separation
This dramatic space composition in the restoration project of an old small apartment by Tatyana Bobyleva is achieved through the dynamic contrasts in the materials palette, the textural and color combinations. The airy elegance and dynamic modern hint of the black metal – clear glass doors compo introduces flexibility in the small apartment’s interior design. The alternation of smooth green surfaces, cement floors, black metal details and trendy furniture with the warmer presence of the exposed red bricks and soft textiles is an intriguing and rich solution for a confined space.
5. Sliding staircase – movable elements which if necessary can be hidden or blend
Averagely the sleeping area is used only ones a day, so it is quite a clever solution the staircase that leads towards the bed niche to be movable and if necessary to free the space for the daily activates. This fantastic project of a cozy and functional small space design belongs to Concrete Architectural Associates for the Zoku Amsterdam – a new type of short stay hotel that promotes spacious micro living units for global nomads. One of its lofts is a 269 square-foot room with a flexible design made inviting and warm through the usage of wood. The classic combination of smooth white surfaces and base, with black framing and wooden accents, is always fresh. A playful design touch is the Olympic rings installation for working out.
6. Put your bedroom into a movable cube – fun on wells
Resolving the problems with privacy, space, and static border – this colorful bed box project is offering a moveable, cozy and fun solution for small apartments with contemporary design. And as the designers ask; “Instead of buying a sleeper couch and feeling like a guest in your own home, why not create a private retreat within a given space?”. Besides. The fact that the bed cube is on wells means that it can be moved around according to your mood or social situation.
7. Saving Space with a Suspended Bedroom
This dynamic composition for modern small home is located in London and offers charming focal accent of a suspended bed above active working area ( with trendy furniture pieces). A memorable solution for restrained space options. Further on a large dining room table – to gather all your friends – and the decorative accent of the urban-art staircase leading through the bedroom platform to a romantic skylight opening towards the roof give the mini apartment unique atmosphere.
8. Don’t be afraid to use dark colors
For some may be controversial, but in this case becomes a fact – using dark gray and black colors won’t make the small space appear smaller, but quite the opposite it will give it a dynamic and splendorous touch. The designer of this 258-square-foot studio used reflective surfaces, bold dark colors and shining metal accents to create visually dramatic impact and sophisticated atmosphere. Expanding the living space vertically rather than horizontally, introducing the white frames of floor and walls, the design anchors the terrace-evolvement of the dark details.
9. Make use of the space behind the sofa
The fresh and artistic design of this tiny apartment will guarantee comfortable living space for more than one person – with its light emanation and multiple sitting zones, and chill-out niches, unique space design offers many opportunities for relaxation and privet quiet space. The light wood sculptural construct offer light, dynamic and youthful hart for a small urban apartment. The unusual usage of space aiming to increase the storage opportunities exploring the height diapason behind the sofa- is also applicable in other compositions, with deck or bed for example.
10. Movable wall in combination with folding wall bed
This high-tech, dynamic solution is up to free a lot of space for modern urban dwellings. The compact 390-square-foot of this apartment can host all the rudimentary zones of a home – sleeping, kitchen, living room, bathroom, dining zone and so on, thanks to the latest evolution of MKCA’s research on micro-housing. The motorized movable wall (that worth noticing hosts 180 degrees rotating TV unite that can be used from bed or sofa) hosts hidden closet, dresser drawers, and clothing storage and when fully extended makes space for a queen-sized fold-down bed: smart, tidy and technologically advanced; this is an exciting solution.
11. Partially hiding the bed in the closed
Undertaking the challenge of renovating this tiny Milanese apartment and giving it a youthful and functional atmosphere that it will turn its 28 sq.m into a comfortable modern-day dwelling the designers from studio WOK had searched for inspiration in the clear presence of the light wood. The structures that host the closed and wardrobes not only give fresh and smooth design expression with their light and trendy plywood surfaces but also offer clever and functional solutions to the space issue. Partially rolling the double sized bed in an opening in the lover part of the wardrobe opens a space for the daily activates and also secures a comfortable sofa for them.
12. Minimalism takes hold – live part of the premises empty
The designers of this contemporary project – a stylish home located in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, Australia had searched its inspiration in modern minimalism but also in the funny word of Mighty Mouse. Using its signature colors in red, yellow and black the apartment aspires – much like the small mouse to punch well above its size. Locating the entry foyer, storage, equipment, washing and sleeping zones behind full height, wall-to-wall sliding doors the designer freed the rest of the premises giving them empty, minimalistic and spacious emanation with slightly industrial presence – thanks to the smooth concrete floors.
13. Elevating the kitchen and hiding the bed underneath
The dynamic design of this Parisian mini-apartment hides different functional levels and multiple materials and colors combinations. The architects Marc Baillargeon and Julie Nabucet collaborated to turn this apartment piece into independent living space. Here, again, the double size bed turns into a functional sofa when partially hidden beneath the elevated kitchen floor. Few large pillows and – Voilà – a day zone with a cozy couch and trendy coffee table. In the case of this design the bed can be entirely hidden under the platform and to free the floor for other activities. Elevating the platform of the kitchen zone and adding multiple intriguing shaped shelves, gives a unique atmosphere to the design, but also becomes a smart space-saving approach.
14. Turn the bedroom it into a sculptural element
This contemporary design creation of French architects Emmanuel Combarel and Dominique Marrec offers an entirely new aesthetic experience of a bedroom space introducing unusual solutions for small spaces. Creating and single suspended box that becomes a sculptural element of the premise’s layout the designers hosted the bed platform in the center of the apartment while at the same time leaving the space of the main floor untouched and free for other activates. Redefining the bedroom objectification as the archetype of privacy and intimacy this ingenious architectural construct becomes an object of curiosity by transforming its symbolic status – situated it in the center as a suspended sculptural element and art piece.
15. Use the space in front of the entrance door
This simple yet charming design for a micro-apartment consist of a series of clear-lined, low-tech joinery pieces that form zones within the main space. The Sydney based architect Nicholas Gurney had its finger on the problem: through the vast majority of the day one does not use the space in front of the entrance door – so why not turned into something else. To give this empty space another temporary function using prefiguration of furniture joinery. Stylish, bright and just a little bit fun.
16. Creating an illusion of volume using mirrored surfaces
This fantastic and almost surreal project of Gary Chang located in Hong Kong is presenting us with the unbelievable transformation of a 344-square-foot space into over 24 different rooms project using movable walls, stairs, and furniture. The mirrored surfaces of the floor and ceiling segments give visual depth of the premises and create the illusion of much bigger space. The usage of yellow mirrors and illuminators defects the light spectrum in a whole another dimension and creates the sensation of the surrealistic and enchanting world.
17. The dining table can fit and hide amongst the rest of the kitchen furnishing
Inspired by the Japanese method of an organization known as 5S the Australian architect Nicholas Gurney created a contemporary project of bespoke joinery, sliding partitions and moveable furniture to make the most of the limited space of this 24-square-meter apartment. Exciting knack becomes the designer’s solution of the dining table aesthetics- elegant and light- placed on rolling wheels the furniture piece can fit perfectly above and around the oven unit. In this way, the unique and stylish solution is able not only to free substantial /additional floor space but also to give underlined visual expression for the kitchen furniture arrangement.
18. Insert the Murphy bed into the separation wall to have an extra, guest bed
Graham Hill and his company, LifeEdited are specialized into creating smart and elegant solutions for ultra-livable micro-apartments. Here we have a fluid environment with versatile pieces like a modular sofa and expanding a coffee table that not only have multiple functions and position but are also stylish. The extra Murphy bed is hidden into the storage wall and offers options for guest bed.
19. Closet as a Swiss Army Knife
Kitoko Studio had composed and ornamented this Parisian chic apartment with Asian aesthetic hints and ingenious movable units. Once all the elements are folded and stored in this “large closet” implementing the concept of The Swiss Army Knife: simple and elegant, compact and multifunctional at the same time; the unit room composition takes only a small part of the apartment space.
20. Hang things – the ceiling is an excellent space for stuff
The latest work of Me2architects studio is this charming small apartment in a former industrial district that preserves its heritage under the original and stylish read of contemporary design. Entwining dark colors, brick walls, and metal constructs the designers created a conceptual loft for an active lifestyle. The green plant pots that hang from the ceiling are framed by a black metal frame – dynamic and stylish solution. Together with the contemporary lighting scheme this designer’s knack forms an integral design object that adorns the space above the dining table, economize space and gives additional character to the decor composition.
21. Sliding wooden doors – light, elegant touch
In this home, the bedroom is hidden behind solid sliding doors disguised as wooden panels. Fluid continuity defines the decor composition: the wooden cladding, the sliding panels, and the bespoke furniture pieces are merged in one light and elegant idea – that seems clean and easy to maintain.
22. Gave a decorative value to the second level and turned it into the attractive accent of the interior
Contrasting the deep blues of the walls with the light presence of the wooden cladding and decorative patterns the designers from NCDA created a high visual impact with the mezzanine floor of this small tree house located in Hong Kong. The pine-clad sleeping space offers a cozy bedroom level suspended above the central area. Its front wall is decided as a wooden decoration with geometrical pattern and lights modern expression. This unique solution and the artistic vision behind the extra structure becomes a memorable decorative element of the design composition instead of heavy addition.
23. If you don’t have a space for sofa – give an appropriate upholstery to an exciting part of the furnishing
This tiny home is only 13 square meters but thanks to the designers form Studiomama it offers a full-scale home experience. Its cozy and stylish decor includes some very clever architectural solutions to extend the sensation of space- the light colors scheme, the movable furniture unites and multitasking of purpose are just some of them. Because in this mini home there was no space for an actual sofa the designers ingeniously covered with soft upholstery an inner segment of the cabinetry units and voilà – a cozy reading niche. And even its lower drawers are movable and become a comfortable feet- stool. This mini sofa solution -with its colorful upholstery on walls, pillows, and back is much intoned with the rest of the serine design for the tiny home.
24. Combo-box: all the furniture in one unit
As it happens some of the most ingenious solutions are evoked form personal experience or need. This stylish and innovative design of space-efficient box was created by Swiss designer Till Könneker to provide compact storage solutions first for his own one bed flat. Now it offers a tidy and stylish solution that hosts a platform with a queen-size bed, an internal space for storage or a workspace underneath and can save a lot of space and offer contemporary design solution for many space-challenged studio apartments.
25. Use glass partitions for better illumination of the premises
Like an origami, this small loft space unfolds its specific shapes and lines in one luminous and stylistically pure interior ambiance. The intriguingly ingenious second level solution offers its elegant and unusual construct to the light that filters through the premises, the glass partition of the bed platform secures the space and at the same time remains transparent for light circulation.
26. Sliding glass doors
Creating this modern studio apartment decor the designers from INDOT gave it a characteristic for the Asian style design minimalistic expression. Natural materials like wood and metal prevail the materials composition, and the main characters in the color palette are the warm wooden textures of the floor and the furnishing with dramatic accents of the black painted walls and frames. According to Sharper Impressions Painting, The casually spread gray and white spots help keep the balance. Three glass sliding doors separate the sleeping corner from the rest of the premises and give visual dynamics and certain aerial elegance to the composition.
27. Create a wall from shelves
This cute Loft Space in Camden, London is created by Craft Design and aims to secure a bespoke and innovative environment, flexible to the requirements of modern life. Dynamic details jazz up the atmosphere, a structural cube that sustains the mezzanine bedroom visually separates the kitchen, dining zone from the cozy living room niche. Here the stair that leads to the mezzanine level is integrated into this single piece of furniture. But the unifying visual accent comes from the A pitched decorative wall – composed of differently sized and shaped shelves; its presence is an artistic design accent and smart storage space arrangement.
28. Furniture Island in the middle of the living space
Creating a room within a room the designer Nils Holger Moormann searched to optimize the living arrangements in modern micro-apartments. The large furniture unite contains a sleeping, eating and working areas developed in contemporary and dynamic manner. Dark colors, modern materials, space development that includes a double bed on the top, staircase with storage compartments functions, walk-in closet and many other flexible features that respond to modern lifestyle search of optimizing every inch of space available.
29. Elevate the bookshelf as high as possible
This light and clear-lined design project belongs to the Taiwanese studio A Little Design and optimizes a 22-meter-square micro apartment to serve every need of its occupants. The mezzanine level of the apartment is used to its full scale: a staircase leads to a bed platform, bookshelves and storage compartments adorn the walls, and even a micro-working desk that can be used by a person sitting cross-legged on the floor completes the playful design arrangement.
30. Hide the desk when is not in use
This functional contemporary design of a compact modular furniture system for micro-apartments is designed by MIT Media Lab in partnership with designer Yves Béhar. It presented us with furniture unit that incorporates a bed and a closet on one side, and a home office and an entertainment suite on the other so it can turn the space into a bedroom or living room at the touch of a button.
31. Shrink the kitchen to its absolute minimum
Polish designer Szymon Hanczar’s felt inspired by the minimalistic urban atmosphere to design this light micro-apartment on just 13 square meters. Using light wood, white surfaces and glass partitions the space composition is luminous and appears big. If one does not spend long hours cooking in the kitchen one does not need a big one. So the usage of space can be more accurate for other purposes. This is the approach of the polish designer: minimum space for kitchen usage and functional distribution of elegant design touches.
32. You can use more than two levels in height
If space permits it the design of the living quarters can include more than the traditional for micro-apartment – two levels. Like is the case with the ingenious design of this Madrid apartment the designers had created a dynamic and playful three-level space in the long and narrow dwelling. Here the owner moves between living and working spaces like a character in a computer game – using ladders and stairs that connect platforms in a non-lineal path. Creative, sufficient and light the design allows the best distribution of the limited space.
33. Bathroom on the second level- closer to the bedroom
Elevating the bathroom on the second level of this small apartment in Sao Paulo, the Brazilian architect Alan Chu archived fey essential tasks: open free space in the living room and allowed a beautiful sculptural staircase from black metal to lead the way to the bedroom and bathroom spaces. Which are now in close proximity thanks to this new distribution of space. And this spatial solution gives the micro-apartment a vision of trendy urban mezzanine. Dark walls, fashionable furniture in bold colors and beautiful custom-made wooden boxes that host the appliances and the storage space complete the picture of this modern “micro” Brazilian vision.
34. Using contrasting textures for the floor and the ceiling cladding
When it comes to small spaces design the combination of multiple different textures and materials is difficult – because the visual impact between them is strengthened by their proximity. So this project of Studio Bazi is an excellent example of how to do it: here the shining white surface of the ceiling is well balanced by the wooden texture of the floors, entwining this effect in the rest of the furnishing is a spot on clever approach.
35. Metal-mesh panels used as a separation knack
Making the best of the high ceilings in this Brooklyn studio, the designers from New Affiliates entwined light plywood structures, chunky columns, metal-mesh panels to define different spaces and shining brass accents to give a light industrial touch to the place. The mezzanine level provides a sleeping area with a working niche beneath it: clever, functional and stylish composition; the white mesh that wraps around the upper level to form a barrier for safety and privacy gives a certain aerial feel to the design.
36. Sliding bed under the working place
This project of CIAO has a dynamic and functional approach towards a small studio apartment design this time is located in London. The premises are utilized according to the lifestyle of the owner including a practical and comfortable working corner that hides a sliding second bed that can be used for guests. Plywood platform gives a sling elevation behind the half-height bookshelf and hosts the main bed.
37. Using bold colors for some of the furniture
Usually the designers tend to give an unostentatious or even a camouflage facade for the furniture units and combo furniture so they can maximally blend with their surroundings, but the opposite approach is possible and desirable in some cases. Using bold, accentuating color the furniture unite can become the focal point of the whole composition. Like is the case in this studio apartment project of MKCA in Manhattan. A single oversized custom cabinetry piece with multiple functional components attracts the attention and don’t let you notice how small is the apartment in reality.
38. Using the furniture for visual separation of the premise but leaving a free space above them
If one uses a centrally located furniture pieces as a separation of functions knack: like is in the case of this studio Folk Design project; it may be a good idea to leave air above the furniture units and in this way to permit the actual volume of the space to be felt. The contemporary home of the two sisters presents a cozy, clean and intriguing atmosphere. The Asian simplicity of premises and the organic combination of wooden structures, fresh greenery, and white surfaces is shown in a multi-layered architectural construct that is fresh and comfortable. Thanks to this approach the mini-apartment feels spacious and light.
39. Bookshelves from old wooden beams to be used as a separation knack
Renovating this 269 square-foot Parisian pad the Swan Architectes searched for light and space, so reducing the separation wall to its bare structure is quite a smart move. The old beams become an artistic bookshelf, a transparent and symbolic (essential qualities when you deal with restricted and dark space) separation between the night and day zones, and on top of this a main focal accent of the interior composition.
40. Wondering about the color scheme? White & Wood is always a winning combination.
This 29sqm flat in Poland is designed by the 3XA studio and features fresh, artistic atmosphere that entwines the luminous white bases (including the original brick walls painted in white) the gorgeous texture of the restored wooden floors with some modern additions from recycled wood and tile compositions. The simplistic color base: white, light wood and black accents, in trendy details like the metal bar chairs, the tile floor, or the suspended lamps give a spacious and elegant feel to the composition.
41. If you love the sun move your bed closer to the window
Cute, artistic and fresh this project of Skica Studio, located in Sofia, Bulgaria makes the most of its 55sq.m. space. Generous in size and texture the reclaimed wood table (strong focal point) makes the dining corner suitable for the lifestyle of the owners it can host many guest and friends. Attractive and welcoming living premises that combine vintage charm whit contemporary artistic touch elements are hosting the unusual design solution to place the bed under the window and separate it with airy curtains. In this manner, the designers are not only utilizing a space that is rarely used but also introduce the charming possibility of wakening up in a luminous and sunny environment.
42. Movable shelf unit
French architect Paul Coudamy had fined an intelligent and stylish solution of how to utilize the restrained space of 23m2 of this Parisian apartment. Creating custom made movable bookshelf unit that slides to uncover either the bed or the working corner the designer provided smart and trendy furniture solution for small premises. The red carmine gloss paint reinforces the graphical dimension of the space and is well balanced by the matt walls and soft textural elements.
43. Rotating space divider that can host a TV set
When dealing with limited space options, one must get very creative, so a multifunctional space divider that rotates and can bring the TV into your “living room” or “bedroom” premises is a useful knack. The design of this small apartment created by McCRUM offers smart solutions, but composing a bookshelf unit that separates the functional zoning of the place and introducing a rotating bit that enables the TV to be watched both from the sofa and the bed is a very functional approach. In a studio apartment, while dividing your space, you can make the room divider function as a second thing too like this room divider also serves as a shelving unit and a wall for TV.
44. Metal framework with transparent qualities
This contemporary Polish mezzanine project carried out by MUS Architects has the light atmosphere and modern touch given by the combination of trendy furniture, quality materials and some fascinating metal structures and details. Here the usual for small apartment’s staircase structures leading to the mezzanine level are custom made from black metal with elegant, minimalist and modern feel. The staircase is with simple almost delicate and airy presence and allows the premises restrained volume not to be crushed.
45. Light in the different color spectrum for a visual division of premises
The play with the light has an almost magical effect on the ambiance, so in the case, with this artistic Parisian creation, the illumination project that reflects upon the bright whiteness -the different color hues of the light play the role of space division. The three zones of the apartment include bedroom, bath, and kitchen. The first two are distinguished by bright yellow light that adds a beam of fresh accent. The rest of the long narrow space is designed with light, almost airy furniture pieces that blend their whiteness with the rest of the minimalistic stylistics of the space.
46. Play with the floors and the walls
In this project, the designers intriguingly combine the simplicity of the wooden textures, the rustic accent of the stone walls and playful graphic details of the floor tiles. Transforming a ground-floor space of a 17th century Parisian townhouse into a studio apartment, the designers from Anne Rolland Architecte had preserved the original limestone masonry but added trendy plywood material structures like the multi-purpose closet furniture and the Graphic-patterned tiles that give a playful nod to the old-style Parisian bars.
47. Use the A-framed ceilings to the maximum
Often the small studio apartments are located on the last floor or the attic and the problem with sloping ceiling or A -frame can occur. In this project of Batiik Studio the dirty, forgotten space was turned into cozy, elegant and inviting attic studio apartment. Intelligent design solutions deal with the restrained space beneath the windows – using wooden lattice panels, corresponding in style with the rest of the design, the architects created storage departments: bookshelf unit and nightstand functions from the otherwise unusable space. Small working corner under the sloped roof, a bed that can turn into a sofa or a kitchen bar are the other clever insertions in this cute Parisian apartment.
48. Use light colors for the niches, so the shadow to not overcome them
Designing this compact studio apartment in St. Petersburg the designer aimed for an effect that preserves the freedom of an open layout with the added privacy of a divided home where needed. Such clever insertions like the central volume, clad with wood veneer that hosts the bedroom space. The minimalistic and smooth niche of the kitchen are created to blend with the interior design and at the same time to give it focal points. The whiteness of the interior palette is also a good approach towards the windowless space the luminosity of the all-white interior has only a few colorful accents: the wooden box, the cerulean blue rug, and a few terracotta details. Apart from the built-in lightning scheme that saves the niches constructs from obscure ambiance, the prevailing whiteness is the main design knack that brings light to the decor composition.
49. Separate the bedroom zone only with curtains
Look at this space division approach – the long curtains drapery that reaches the floor and the dark color inside of them – give a strain decadent feel to the whole ambiance. The architect Rick Joy had composed quite an elegant decor for this minimalist yet warm studio apartment. The rich textural details – the main focal point of which are the canopy style curtains around the bed are combined with contemporary and smooth materials like the Venetian plaster of ceiling and walls and spiced up with fashionable design pieces of furniture and lamps.
50. Use a modular system with movable shelves
In this Budapest apartment project, we observe the classical approach of an elevated platform for the bed that has a new bright and elegant read. Using plywood and its clean and fresh emanation, the designers from Position Collective composed an ambiance of style and light, playful mood. The wall that stretches from the bedroom platform to the kitchen area and offers the possibility of arranging you shelf system like a puzzle – according to your needs is an ingenious approach for confined spaces. This custom made structure gives a useful shelf space and at the same time leaves the premises free and unburden like it will be the case if classical cabinetry system is used.