In our “Layout Guides” series you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. Finding the right layout for your room can be the trickiest part of interior design! This week we’re looking at two different ideas for a rectangular studio layout that’s, as many apartment designs are, a bit shy on floor space.

studio layout

Studio apartments are notoriously tricky spaces to design. It’s a tough situation to have to fit all the functions of a home into one room—including a living area, sleeping space, dining nook, home office, entryway, etc.! If you have a studio, you face the unique challenge of how to fit all those functions and make them feel like distinct spaces. Not to mention that you also need storage space and a layout that ensures that your home doesn’t feel stuffed to the brim!

So how do you go about arranging furniture in a studio apartment? It really depends on the function you want and the shape of your space! The good news is that with a little creative thinking and a few apartment design hacks, you can come up with a number of options for making your studio space feel homey and comfortable. Here we designed one rectangular studio layout two unique ways to show you the possibilities. Check it out and get some ideas for your own studio!

studio layoutLayout Idea #1: The Open Studio Apartment

Our first studio layout idea is all about creating a space that’s open and inviting. All spaces flow into one; the bedroom is open to the living room which is open to the working space. You can see the living room when entering from the doorway—but the layout keeps the bedroom a bit more private from the kitchen area.

An open layout like this serves a double function: the living room is front and center so the TV can be seen from the bedroom, sofa, kitchen, and working area. And the bedroom + living areas are subtly separated by rugs so you have some separation between your lounge space and your sleeping space.

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studio layoutThe Key Layout Elements:

An Open Layout: This layout features a low sofa centered in front of the TV. This setup serves to anchor the space and allow for TV watching/gathering in all areas of the studio.

Tall Furniture: A tall desk in the corner keeps space visually decluttered—plus it leaves space underneath for a file cabinet and baskets for organizing. The bookcase is also tall! If you’re sensing a theme here, that’s because tall furniture takes up vertical not horizontal square footage.

Distinct Spaces: The reading chair adds additional seating and can also be used as a separate reading nook with the bookcase. A queen bed adds a cozy touch with full nightstand and dresser—plus you can take advantage of the view out window from your “bedroom.”

Smart Storage: It’s not always enough to have storage in small spaces. Sometimes you need sneaky storage ideas. Here, the large media cabinet allows for lots of storage—but it’s also low so you can take advantage of the surface space!

Savvy Seating: The living area doesn’t have room for a coffee table, but we used pouf ottomans as another space saver. They work great as coffee tables/ottomans/seats and can be easily moved for open floor space.

studio layoutWill this studio layout work for you? Yes if you…

  • Want one big living space and don’t see the openness as a lack of privacy.
  • Like lower furniture to keep the lines of vision open across your studio.
  • Need multifunctional spaces—i.e. sharing the TV space with the bedroom space and vice-versa.
  • Are a couple or live solo.

studio layoutLayout Idea #2: The Divided Studio Space

Our second studio layout idea is ideal for someone who wants a more separated space. With these multi-use design hacks, you can still have designated areas in one open room. It’s a great way to create privacy in both the bedroom and living room even though your space is wide open.

To get this look, see how the different spaces in our studio apartment are designated for different functions. The living room is just for TV viewing and lounging (but it can also function as a guest room with a sleeper sofa). Then, you have a separate bedroom and dressing area. This layout also leaves room for a desk in bedroom area, but it’s vertical so as not to take up much square footage. The handy room divider separates the living room/bedroom but still allows natural light through so it doesn’t close off the space. It can be easily moved so you can change up the flow of the space as needed. Bonus: it provides extra shelving/storage—essential for any studio apartment!

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studio layoutThe Key Layout Elements:

Split Up the Space: The room divider is the key to this studio layout. It is an architectural piece that adds lots of visual interest to the apartment at the same time as creating two distinct living and sleeping spaces. It also allows light and provides shelf storage so you can keep your space tidy and clean. This also means that the TV can only be seen from the sofa to give you even more of a true living room space.

Functional Furniture: In a studio apartment, it’s much easier to make the space work if your furniture offers both form and function. The sofa acts as a sleeper for guests, the coffee table doubles as a bench for extra seating, and the poufs can double as seating or slide underneath the bench to get out of the way. A chair in the corner provides reading nook as well as seating for conversation—plus all the furniture pieces are easy to move around as needed.

Lots of Storage: The bedroom in this layout idea has a full dresser for lots of extra storage space! A floating nightstand helps keep floor space free and the mounted plug-in wall sconce allows nightstand to be less cluttered (aka more room for books and midnight snacks!).

Use of Vertical Space: A wall desk like this is great for homes that are short on square footage. It provides storage vertically and its sleek design doesn’t visually clutter the space—a great space-saving design hack for studio apartments. And the eating area in the kitchen is a tall tabletop peninsula with barstools so you don’t have to have a big clunky table taking up space.

studio layout

Will this studio room layout work for you? Yes if you…

  • Want to keep living and sleeping spaces separate.
  • Work from home or work a lot at desk and need it separate from your living (TV viewing) area.
  • Are a couple who loves privacy.
  • Often have overnight house guests (put that sleeper sofa to work!).
  • Love to entertain—this design has plenty of seating for all your friends.

Need help designing your studio layout?

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