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Many of us live in more compact sized apartments because of financial restrictions, for easy maintenance, for proximity to work/family, or all three. Despite the conveniences, these kind of living quarters can often lead to a feeling of being boxed in or experiencing clutter overwhelm. Even decor itself can at times feel like it is taking over a small space, leaving little breathing room in which to relax and rejuvenate. These six small studios show how to overcome the pitfalls of styling a limited living space. By approaching compact dimensions with restraint, you too can fashion a calm, cool and collected retreat to come home to.


Visualizer: Fotis Kazantzidis  

This 31 square metre space is a studio in Stockholm. The white Scandinavian living room scheme is made rich with metallic accents in a copper globe pendant light and gold coffee tables.

Despite the rooms small proportions, the pendant shade is picked out in a larger size to create the illusion of a grander space. The metallic surface helps by bouncing the natural light and reflecting the room.

The bed is directly adjacent to the lounge area – almost touching the sofa. The cohesive colour scheme means that instead of the tight space looking crowded, it just calmly flows. White bedclothes blend with the fresh walls, whilst a black bed throw and cushions match the black tops of the nesting coffee tables.

A careful collection of monochrome wall art and accessories dress the room without creating a confusion of colour.

Clear acrylic dining chairs disappear at the dining table, appearing to take up no room at all.

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White units help the small kitchen appear more spacious. Gold handles add upmarket interest.

A wooden cutting board props against a white marble backsplash.

Small spaces can still spell luxury: Champagne glasses rest on a side unit. A linen tablecloth dresses the table for two.


Designer: Zita Csaba & Kata Imre  

Our second tiny studio is a 28 square metre flat located in Budapest.

The designers main aim when redesigning this space was to find the optimal spatial distribution for each function. The decor was completed in a minimalist aesthetic, using light colours to create a sense of spaciousness. See more minimalist living rooms here.

Just an indoor plant or two quietly decorates the surfaces in the room.

The kitchen stands separately from the lounge.

The high contrast black and white kitchen looks sharp and functional without being bland.

Sheer white drapes let daylight into the room.

At one side of the lounge, a small staircase leads to a lofted bed. The space beneath the stairs is utilised for storage.

The bespoke bed was designed to retain as much open space as possible for the living area.

Every available inch of wall is made good use of in the bathroom.

An easy-to-dismantle wooden grille was designed to cover the bathroom piping.

Plan for bathroom ceiling grille.

The loft bed facilitates zoning of nighttime and daytime function.


Designer: LD studio  
Photographer: Sergey Melnikov  

Our third studio apartment has a project area of 32 square metres.

Decor here is kept mainly monochrome, with an ikat rug and terracotta plant pots bringing in warm earth tones.

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Living greenery colours the room too.

The bed in this studio is hidden away behind a portiere.

A swing arm wall lamp lights the dining area.

The one wall kitchen is simple and functional. Open shelving provides opportunity to add a little homely touch with glassware and dry food jars.

Home plan showing the division of space.


Visualizer: Bogdan Bulgakov  

Fourth on the list is an industrial style pad.

Raw concrete walls are matched by a modern sofa in a similar grey tone.

A clear glass door leads to the bedroom. By night, a privacy curtain can be drawn to make the sleep space feel cosier.

Gold kitchen bar counter pendant lights sing out against the rough industrial backdrop.

The dividing wall to the bedroom consists of storage cabinets.

Three bar stools line up along the kitchen peninsula to provide a dining spot.


Visualizer: Soma Monoldorov  

Fifth up is a studio with a rustic blue living room. The pop of colour adds character to the home.

In front of the sofa, a mid century modern style coffee table stands poised to hold coffee mugs. White marble tv wall decor is flanked by towers of shelving, where books have been propped up on display by elephant figurines.

A unique classical look has been achieved in the kitchen diner by adding a traditional portrait mural. A low profile dining pendant light hangs over the table without obstructing the art. Kitchen wall cabinets run all the way up to the ceiling to make best use of the vertical space.

The herringbone flooring folds up onto the headboard wall of the bedroom. The lamp used for the bedside is the Atollo lamp. Atollo lamp. Cheaper replicas are available on Ebay.

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Visualizer: MakeMe Visuals  

Finally, our sixth and last space is a wood clad apartment with rustic Scandi charm.

A murphy bed pulls out of the wood panelling at night. The pull-out goes unnoticed during daylight hours with a reading chair situated in front of it, and a few easily movable planters.

The rest of the wooden doors cover storage cabinets and kitchen cupboards. A Scandinavian style dining area sits in front of the one wall kitchen. One single dining chair is picked out in a pale muted green in contrast to its pure white counterparts. The small difference provides an interesting design touch.

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Ultimate Studio Design Inspiration: 12 Gorgeous Apartments

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