5 Tips to Make Your Cramped Studio Feel Like a Spacious One-Bedroom

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Chances are you’ll live in a studio apartment at some point in your life. Whether it’s your first place out of college, a transitional spot in a new city, or a money-saver while you’re squirreling away for something bigger, studios are an affordable and essential piece of real estate that few renters understand how to maximize.

The famous Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh, once said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” And that’s exactly how you can make your teensy studio into a sizable abode. If you live in a 300-square-footer and feel like the walls are closing in, here are 5 stress-free tips to make your home feel twice its size.

1. Paint Your Walls Bright Colors

Darker walls will make your studio feel claustrophobic, drab, unwelcoming—just plain depressing. Ditch the dark blues, browns, and grays, and opt for a lighter color palette to make your bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom open up and feel much livelier.

Another quick tip: if you don’t want to paint the walls, you could wallpaper them with a vertical-striped print or add vertical accents or sconces to add height to the room.

2. Use Creative Storage Spaces

Under-the-bed storage and creative cabinet spaces can make your apartment as snazzy as this minute modern studio. Here you’ve got everything you need: bed, desk, chair, drawers, all in about 50 square feet of space. This bed locker isn’t the only type of creative storage out there though. To expand your living area, try staggered shelves, a fold-out desk, hanging pans and utensils, or a shoe rack fastened to the back of your closet door.

3. Hang a Couple of Well-Placed Mirrors

The corner of this studio could have easily gone to waste, but instead a vintage mirror was added to help this room breathe. Some people think you need a floor-length mirror to expand your space, but this small, rounded mirror fits easily into a tight spot and makes a statement with its bold design. This is exactly what we want in a studio accessory: depth and style.

4. Always Keep it Minimal

What’s the number one studio cramper? Clutter. And clutter isn’t just leaving your shoes and socks on the floor or your dishes and silverware in the kitchen sink. Too much furniture, appliances, or knickknacks can clutter up your studio just as easily. Pick out a few tasteful items you won’t mind having in your life for a while and watch how quickly your studio becomes a minimalist masterpiece.

5. Consider Your Lighting

Take a look at what creatively placed lighting can do to a measly 400-square-foot studio. The key here is to have various light sources staggered throughout the room, letting the light spread from wall to wall. Also, lighting in high places, as shown in this picture, makes the ceiling seem taller. Notice how there are no lamps here either, freeing up a bit of floor space. This helps give this studio a more spacious and welcoming feel.

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