Detroit’s studio apartments are an excellent, inexpensive option for people who are looking for a straightforward place to stay. How, though, do you maximize the space in a studio? While the wide-open layout is great for avoiding claustrophobia, ironically, it can actually make the room less intuitive to use. It turns out that the human brain likes things divided into spaces that are assigned to specific tasks — so it can be a great thing to figure out a good-looking way to divide up a studio without wasting too much space. Here’s some great ideas:
Start With the Floor Plan
Some studios are a simple rectangle — if that’s the case for yours, you can skip this bit. But others are L-shaped, T-shaped, or even chunkier. So start by looking at your layout: can you distinguish between ‘living’ and ‘sleeping’ by tucking your bed behind a corner? Does the position the kitchen(ette)/bathroom door/other features prevent you from assigning one end of the space as your ‘bedroom’?
Creating Visual Distinction Without Barriers
Every studio can be divided without using any form of ‘wall,’ just by decorating each area differently. If you’re lucky enough to have a loft studio apartment, you can utilize the area above it all to create a special space, say, by hanging up a pretty batik up over the ‘bedroom’ area and letting the rest of the apartment enjoy the vaulted ceiling.
Easy Separator #1: A Couch
The easiest way to divvy up a studio space is to position the couch (assuming you’re using one) away from any wall, toward the middle of the room, pointed at the T.V. (or whatever your focal point is.) Then arrange any secondary furniture around the couch to further identify the ‘living room’ you’ve just created.
Easy Separator #2: Bookshelves
Many studios are too small to be able to set aside space enough for a ‘living room.’ Particularly if you’re a student, you might feel it’s more important to create a ‘study’ space. That’s not hard — a book case (short or tall as you see fit) or two can easily turn an area into an intellectual haven, even if the only other furniture there is a chair and a small folding table with one of those armature lamps. Just be sure that you have something interesting and useful to do with the back of your bookshelf. Alternately, put the back of the bookcase toward your workspace and install a size-matched piece of whiteboard (available cheap at Home Depot) on the back to turn it into a useful note-taking tool.
Easy Separator #3: Dangly Stuff
It’s tough to make it look classy, but we’ve seen some amazing room dividers made of hanging fabric, those bead curtains that were popular doors in head shops a few decades ago, and even full-on framed posters hanging from the ceiling on nifty-looking cords. The key to remember when dividing a studio with things like these is that you shouldn’t go crazy — the suggestion of a divider is often actually more effective than a literal view-blocking division!