This is an updated version of a ‘best studio flat designs’ article from 2018. You can find the original version archived here. The below has been updated for 2019.
The best studio flat designs balance the use of limited space, smart storage, and functional furniture, with creative lighting solutions. But, in such modest proportions, this can be a minefield. So, we’ve compiled the very best studio flat ideas from top design experts, alongside inspirational interior photography, to help you decide the best studio flat design for your home.
There are many examples of beautifully organised studio apartments with multifunctional sliding and hiding storage options and split levels. This is an example of a simple, elegant and smart studio flat, which has everything for a comfortable, affordable yet stylish way of living.
Some tips for studio flat design include:
- Arrange the furniture to create distinct eating, sleeping and living areas
- Paint your walls in bright colours
- Use mirrored sliding doors. They reflect natural light and bounce it around a small space, making it feel larger
- Don’t clutter your room, a few smart, larger pieces could make your studio feel bigger
- Decorate and personalise the space with paintings, graphic art and flower arrangements without overcrowding it
l really like this tiny apartment. A 240 sq. ft. studio apartment that appears empty, but by a series of amazing pull-outs becomes a well-equipped and functioning room for whatever is being used: bathing, cooking, dining, and sleeping. Brilliant!
The idea here was to create a multi-functional space, influenced by Japanese style of living, combined with London objectives. For the living room, we wanted to make it optically bigger and brighter, so we used a light grey colour on the floor and walls. To create a contemporary chic look, we added contrasting black details like the kitchen island, wall lamps and even the framed painting (a masculine element). On a feminine side, we used delicate colours like the duck egg shelf, old roseate mirror, maple coffee table and bar both designed by Wrkbnch on a “Garden of Eden” flowery carpet from Moooi. Altogether it works as a complementary set, creating a harmony and unique interior.
Brighten Up with Creative Lighting
This newly developed apartment was a bland and uninspiring space. But with a brief to create an unashamedly feminine and elegant home with playful joie de vivre for the city woman owner, we used a number of different techniques to create a luxurious feel in the small space. We changed the standard white walls to a soft ivory paint for a fresh, open feel, imbued with gentle warmth and kept the colour palette soft and muted to maximise the feeling of serenity and calm. The exception being the bedroom where we used dusky pink and more vibrant textiles for sensuality. Reflective surfaces such as the metallic glass coffee table were chosen to reflect light, and trick the eye into thinking the space is larger. To accentuate this effect we also picked materials with a sheen or glimmer, like silk and glazed linen.
What makes this studio flat work so well, for me, is the carefully zoned areas. Having a wall built between the kitchen and the bed area, careful placement of a plant and introducing a low-hanging light in front of the bed, gives the bedroom a definite space (and nicely tucked away). Framed prints above the sofa and a console placed between the bed and living area creates another defined space and helps the eye to be drawn here. The light coloured walls create an airy space while the warm wood, rugs and accent lighting allude to an inviting and comforting abode, brimming with style.
Fake It with Convincing Artificial Plants
As an interior designer, we always recommend looking at the architecture or fabric of a space. Sometimes if the building is old then over the years it can be chopped up, bodged and stripped until it’s no longer recognisable. The intention of the architect can be diluted, and the interiors look a bit soulless and underwhelming. Stripping a space back to its bare bones and opening it up can help to get rid of these years of abuse, which is what the owners of this studio apartment have done. It was a small one-bedroom flat but the owners stripped out all the stud partitioning to create a striking open-plan living area. They’ve made use of the head height by adding in a snug mezzanine and laid out the kitchen, bed and living areas in a practical way so that it’s coy and interesting.
This style of stripped back, exposed and up-cycled is great. It’s very fashionable right now and allows you to do things relatively cost-effectively. It also allows you to take what would have been an ugly or unusual space and transform it into a fashionable den. You can find some great home inspiration from holiday homes because people aren’t scared of venturing from the norm. It’s not someone’s full-time living space, so going a bit wild and quirky is perfectly acceptable. Holiday homes and hotels are where I have the most fun as a designer because anything goes – the more interesting or unusual the better. This property is a prime example.
The most important part of a designing a challenging space is the bed concept. Ideally, the bed should be flexible enough to double up as a sofa or be able to be concealed in some way. This is my favourite way of concealing a bed – it is motorised and comes with a remote control. The bed travels down the wall and out across the floor, it’s very neat and a lot less clumsy than a lot of pull down beds. It also means that you can hide the bed behind a stud partition wall or a bookcase. This image illustrates a bookcase design which has been built around the bed.
When it comes to limited space, the challenges are many, so meticulous space planning is crucial. In this image, the bedroom has been divided by a partition wall that accommodates a small study area, without compromising the privacy of the sleeping area. The glass screen adds to the charm of the room, enhancing the space and the natural light. The far corner has its own utility and contains the TV set.
From experience, I have seen that no matter how big your home is, there is never enough storage – even more so with a studio flat. That is why fitted furniture, such as this media unit, is important as it makes the best use of the space. It allows you to go up to the ceiling and close to the wall with no unsightly gaps. This type of unit is also multipurpose; as well as housing a TV, you have a display unit surrounding it, both for books and your nice ornaments sprinkled around and highlighted with lighting. Below is hidden storage which is great for anything that is not worth displaying and would otherwise cause a visual mess.
Get Smart & Stylish Storage Solutions
I like this NYC flat because it is so relaxing and homely. By using different tones of the same hue, we create a very tranquil environment. Here the designer used different colours in the lounge area and bedroom to separate the areas.
This stylish studio in Stockholm clearly shows what can be achieved in a very small space. By keeping furniture to a minimum and using a palette of white and grey, the whole space feels light and airy. The traditional ‘Kakelugn’ stove and the wooden floor provide character and warmth, while the foliage brings a pop of nature inside. The beautiful leather chesterfield is given its own space to breathe. This look could easily be achieved on a budget – the hanging magazines art display demonstrates this perfectly.
Super cool 22m square micro space – keep the palette clean with white demi-height storage combined with open wood cubes to emphasise depth. Ladders are fab; practical to reach those unreachable ‘bits’, perfect for hanging things from and are also very interesting. These living spaces may be small but have to support all in a living programme – eating, sleeping, lounging and bathing. Pull out tables hidden in kitchen drawers, bed spaces on a mezzanine level. Hooks and more hooks!
Secretly I have always dreamt of owning a studio flat tucked away in Paris. Would I make a feature of the bed or not? Daybed, sofa bed or wall bed? Useful tricks to create a chic space: use mirrors, a screen to separate the kitchen from the living space and adding key decorative objects and good light always give a small space a bit of magic and personality. Voila!
Bounce Light Around with Mirrors
The key to living in a small apartment is to maximise the space, bring in more natural light and add more storage to maintain an uncluttered appearance. A great tip is to keep the corner of the room empty for a larger loft feel. Creating a statement wall with beautifully pigmented paint will give the illusion of a higher ceiling.
Platforms, hatches and openings are fantastic design solutions to define different areas while keeping the natural light throughout the entire flat. You can use the space under the platforms for storage and add blinds for privacy.
In your bedroom, symmetry is key for a balanced Feng Shui. If you have a small bedroom, you can use wall lights and hanging storage to save floor space. Here we also play with scale with small shelves and an oversized painted headboard to enhance the bed.
Jigsaw Interior Architecture recently finished this warehouse conversion in Stoke Newington. The seven studio duplexes were designed in an industrial style where we retained the steel beams and columns. A full interior specification: kitchen, bathroom and lighting design, as well as a show home, was created by our team, using splashes of colour and textures to complete the design.
This image shows all the attributes of a well-designed, compact, open-plan interior. By observing some simple principles, the scheme achieves scale, balance and harmony. The space appears light and airy due partly to the use of a neutral colour scheme, clever storage, well-portioned furniture and by creating definite zones.
I love an eclectic mix of styles with plenty of colour, textures and shapes while staying sympathetic to the architecture of the room (my sitting room has all the original 1906 features including a working fireplace). I like a space to hold your interest – wall art and shelf styling in particular. I use books to style and even colour coordinate them! I am passionate about up-cycling so charity shops, auctions and car-boot sales are my favourite hunting grounds. I believe you can achieve a high-quality look without spending a fortune.
Show Character With Modern Wall Art
As we strive to deliver the perfect interior, small interior spaces commonly suffer from a lack of colour and respect for scale. So, let’s not dip our brush into the white paint just yet in the hope that our room will feel grandiose or look more spacious. Instead consider the use of bold statement patterns to create intrigue, atmosphere, and playfulness; distracting the eye from the lack of open space. This stunning London apartment delivers an inspiring aquatic paradise within the confines of its bathroom walls. Dark wallpaper with vibrantly illustrated flourishes is beautifully complemented by the use of brass fixtures and fittings that ooze both glamour and style. The herringbone floor, wall lights and mirror have all been skillfully selected for their contrasting materials and unified scale. The dimensions of the room, size of the wallpaper pattern and interior fixing are in proposition to one another, a simple relationship that is often misjudged during the decoration of small spaces. How tranquil would it be to relax in this space at the end of a busy day at work? Go ahead, submerge yourself in pattern and colour!
We love a great studio apartment, and this design really portrays what we admire about them. Dividing the lounge and bedroom with the use of a glass screen allows a light and airy feel while keeping the separation of both spaces. Limiting the use of colour in this apartment and using neutral and earthy tones, compliments the natural flow of the design and completes the look. This practical design undoubtedly makes this studio a perfect example of beautiful, flexible living.
This home is ideal for the single, professional man. The natural, yet darker tones and use of wood provide a subtle masculine feel. The design is not only sleek but also modern and extremely practical, without an over-furnished feeling.
Space: the final frontier, the holy grail of clever design – especially in small, city flats where every square foot is precious, and prices are at a premium. This studio flat in Paris, Designed by Architect, Anne Rolland, nails the storage factor versus the comfort factor superbly. The Birch Plywood storage system keeps possessions out of sight, thus enforcing a vision of clean lines and no clutter. It also acts as a room/space divider between the sleeping quarters and the kitchen and living areas, without being a solid wall. Studio flat design ideas like this, where clever joinery is multi-purpose, all help to maximise that precious square footage. For me, the two stand-out successes in this minimal, yet stylish, apartment are the bold use of texture and textural materials, where the architect has highlighted some of the original period features, thus avoiding the ‘banality’ many Pod-like designed small spaces exude. And the winner: using the self-same flooring material throughout. The geometric patterned tiles here literally carry the eye around the space, uniting it with one, overall, key material, and effectively grounds the space. Define your palette, and stick to it!
The key to studio apartment living is knowing whether you are a tidy and organised person or not. Coupled with that goes the need to separate your sleeping area from your living space. If you are someone who can stick to a routine of tidying and organising, a bed which folds away such as a sofa bed or a wall bed will be the perfect answer to freeing up space during the day. If you can’t cope with this kind of disciplined regime, disguise your bed behind a piece of storage furniture. This works for both luxury apartment living or simple budget living spaces. The storage shelves can be used from either side of the space and serve to provide privacy when sleeping while hiding the bedroom for daytime living. Separation of sleeping and living space is understood to be important to wellbeing and peace of mind.
Get Sorted with Stylish Shelving
In this space-challenged studio flat in Moscow, the split level differentiates the sleeping and living zones, and at the same time creates a clever storage solution with hidden drawers. A thick, white curtain is drawn across at night to create privacy. Subway tiles and a white base colour is combined with soft pastel tints for a unified design scheme.
With this fabulous selection of expert studio flat interior ideas, we hope you have been filled with lots of inspiration to enhance the space in your home.
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