Living in a studio apartment when you're a young adult just starting out is practically a rite of passage. At around 500 to 600 square feet on average, studio apartments — also sometimes called studio flats — are generally the least expensive apartment option in any city. That means that even with the small budget of a young person just beginning their rental journey, a studio apartment is almost always attainable.
Having the kitchen, living space and bedroom within one smartly-designed space makes it easy to decorate and clean. They're great starter apartments that teach you how to budget and outfit a space to fit your needs and personality.
There is a common misconception that studio apartments are determined by their size. But that's actually not true. It's the layout that determines whether a unit is a studio or a one-bedroom. As their name suggests, one-bedrooms have the bedroom space separated from the rest of the apartment, allowing for more privacy.
In studios, at best the bedroom area is in a little alcove or loft space. Generally, the only extra room you'll have in a studio will be the bathroom. Here are some other basic must-knows about studio apartments to help you figure out if they're the right kind of unit for you.
The average size of a studio apartment is 523 square feet. And remember, that includes everything: the bedroom, kitchen or kitchenette, living area and separated bathroom.
Think of a studio apartment as a box that has everything you need to live inside. While the exact design of different units will vary depending on the building, the studio will always have the bedroom, kitchen area and living space within one neat, compact area.
Sometimes there will be partial walls or alcoves to provide visual variation and slight separation between the different areas. The only part of a studio that has its own fully-closed-off room is the bathroom. Here's a sample layout of a studio apartment to give you a general idea of how they look:
Right off the bat, there are many benefits to choosing a studio apartment. Firstly, it's inexpensive. One of the main factors in determining how much an apartment will cost is the square footage (bigger apartments = more expensive) and as the smallest unit available, that means studios are almost always very inexpensive.
That affordability makes it ideal for all kinds of renters, whether this is your first apartment and you need a smaller unit to fit your budget, or you're trying to downsize and live a more minimalist, compact lifestyle. The smaller square footage also means that there is less room to heat or cool, which adds to the overall affordability factor.
Especially for lovers of modern aesthetics and design, the open-flow layout presents a fun opportunity to experiment with how to design and decorate the space. If you're trying to live a more minimalist lifestyle and not acquire lots of unnecessary, extraneous stuff, you'll find a natural fit in the studio.
Even if you're not trying to downsize your life, the studio's small spaces also help you save on furniture and other items. And with such an enclosed design, it's easy to keep the place clean and tidy.
Without having to transition from room to room, you can have the whole apartment spick and span in no time at all!
Just as there are pluses, there are minuses. A studio's small square footage is great for saving money, but that also means there's barely any extra space for storage. In a studio, pretty much every inch must be used efficiently to maximize the space, which is why furniture that doubles as storage is a must.
With so little room, that also means you don't get much privacy. So, if you have a roommate or are living with a significant other, be prepared to see each other's faces most of the time.
With no extra bedrooms, there's also very little room for guests. This can make it difficult to host large parties or have groups of friends come over to hang out. It also limits your ability to have friends or family visiting from out of town stay with you, unless you're comfortable with them crashing on the couch just a few feet away from where you sleep.
So there are important limits to consider when choosing a studio apartment, especially if you value privacy and personal time.
There is really only one key difference between a studio apartment versus a one-bedroom. While a studio combines the bedroom, kitchen and living space into one room, a one-bedroom apartment has a bedroom and bathroom that are fully separated from the other spaces by walls and doors. One-bedrooms also sometimes have the kitchen area slightly separated from the living areas as well by half-walls or alcoves.
With such a small space to work with, make sure to smartly decorate a studio apartment. You'll want to figure out how to stretch those precious few square feet to the limit, taking advantage of every inch to maximize the space. Here are some useful pointers on how to effectively and attractively outfit and decorate your studio apartment.
With no extra closets, if you want to keep your studio looking tidy and uncluttered, you'll need to figure out places to organize and store extra stuff that you don't use on a daily basis. Investing in furniture that has built-in storage compartments is one great way to accomplish this. From couches whose seats lift up to reveal storage underneath to coffee tables with hidden compartments, there are tons of ways to find furniture that lets you keep that extra stuff hidden from view but easily accessible for use.
Unless you want your apartment to always look cramped and packed to the gills with your personal items, moving into a studio is a great chance to declutter your life! Quite literally, there isn't much space for non-essentials, so it's a fantastic opportunity to go through your possessions and get rid of unnecessary stuff. Following the KonMari Method from decluttering guru Marie Kondo is a great place to start.
There's only so much room on the floors of a studio apartment, which is why you need to take maximum advantage of the walls. That's vertical space going to waste! Add some wall shelves, invest in tall shelf units and find other creative ways to fill and use the wall space. Add posters, prints, mirrors…the sky is the limit. Have fun and be creative, and it will also help with keeping the floor space from becoming overly cluttered.
Just because you're living in one giant room doesn't mean you can't still create some more private areas (especially around the bedroom) or make the different areas of the apartment feel more separated. Use boxy furniture like couches or chairs to section off the living room, and you can also hang curtains or set up folding screens and room dividers around the bedroom. Using area rugs can also help divide up space.
As with any kind of apartment, there are benefits and drawbacks to having a studio. Great for single people or couples who don't mind sharing a small space, the attractive price point, condensed design and easy livability are big pluses.
On the other hand, there really isn't much in the way of privacy. You also can't have a ton of stuff without risking overcrowding and cluttering up the joint. It really all comes down to what you want and need in a living space. But either way, the studio apartment will always be an important step in any person's rental journey.