With studio apartments, you must visually create the divisions of distinct “rooms” or purposes for yourself in an open space, while not overcrowding a small apartment. Most people will want an area for at least:
- Living Room
- Office/Work Area
- Dining Room
If you have another function that your apartment must serve from the above list (such as an exercise area, kid’s room, or guest bedroom) then you will need to also consider these requirements when you are allocating floor space. Decide the functions you need ahead of time so you don’t have to try to squeeze in other sections after you’ve created your main layout.
How to arrange a studio floor plan
Generally, you should prioritize arranging your furniture from your largest pieces to your smallest pieces, starting with your bed.
Depending on how much space you’re working with, you want your bed to be positioned diagonally (in the far opposite corner) from the entrance and against the opposite wall, illustrated to the right. This arrangement is called the “command position” in feng shui, and essentially what it means is that the ideal position to sleep is with your back against a wall, with a clear view of the entry door, and with the maximum distance to have time to react if intruders entered. In other words, where you’re sleeping is also where you should feel most secure.
Once you have the bed positioned, for most people, fitting in the couch/seating area and then your desk/working area (or vice-versa, depending on how much time you use each area) comes next. If your studio apartment layout is similar to the sample floorplan below and you prioritize seating and entertainment, I would consider the figure on the left slightly preferable to the one on the right because of its greater distance from the bathroom door. Either one is fine, however.
Notice that in either position, the back of the seating area would face the wall, giving someone seated a greater sense of security and comfort than a sofa floating in the middle of the space.
The desk area can be tricky to decide on in a studio apartment when you have so little wall space to work with. It may seem instinctive to maximize your open floor space in the middle of the studio and push the desk against the wall, but this leaves your back “exposed”, which is not ideal from a feng shui perspective. If you can make one of the below arrangements work in your studio, you will feel much more comfortable.
If you can’t make any of these plans work, position your desk as far from the entrance as possible and consider using a bookcase or some sort of room divider behind you to visually “protect” your back from exposed areas and the front door.
Arranging everything else
Unless you spend an unusual amount of time at the dining table or another area in your apartment, the lowest-priority area (which is usually the eating area) should be fit in last.
It should usually take the least preferable position, which will usually be closest to the front door, but if the kitchen and dining table space are not on the same side of the apartment (as in the floorplan below), you could also choose to keep the two “highest” energy areas closer together and move your couch or desk to less favorable positions.
This option has the trade-off of keeping “like” energy levels of your studio apartment together, at the expense of your other furniture being in the idea feng shui positions. Some people will find they prefer to the more “protected” positions of their desk and couch, while others will prefer to keep the highest energy rooms of the house closer and risk feeling a little more exposed.
Below is one example of a basic but effective studio apartment furniture layout:
Making room for storage and organization in your studio floorplan
Once the basic pieces have been arranged in the studio, you need to consider storage. Modular pieces that can be re-arranged to fit into different sized spaces are ideal. Stores like IKEA, the Container Store, Target and Walmart have many inexpensive storage options. Since they’ll also be seen from many places within your studio, try to get storage that matches your decor or theme.
How to create separate “rooms” in open studio floorplans
Most studio layouts can be enhanced by visually delineating the distinct areas of your apartment or condo. There are countless ways to divide the space visually, but here are some of the most popular methods.
- Tall potted plants
- Area rugs covering one “room”
- Curtains hung on a rope
- Room divider screens
- Different paint/color themes
For more ideas on dividing rooms, click here for room separating ideas.
You don’t have to memorize the furniture floorplans above; just remember these simple rules that guided me through this advice.
- Diagonal from the front entrance and as far away as possible is always the ideal location for psychological protection, meaning this is almost always where your bed should be.
- Whenever it’s feasible, position furniture so the person’s back would be to a wall during normal use.
- Once your major furniture pieces are in, work in all the storage you need where you can fir them. Stackable storage containers, wall shelves, and furniture with storage will help you minimize the floor space you must dedicate to storage.
- Divide different “rooms” visually if you feel like your bed is sitting in the middle of the living room. You don’t necessarily need to squeeze in more furniture to do this: take inspiration from some of my suggestions above, like using area rugs, house plans, or room divider screens to make your own visual separations.
Feel free to share any challenges you’ve had with your own studio floorplans, or what worked for you!