How to make a small bedroom feel like a studio

When you are trying to make it on your own, space may seem like a premium you just can’t afford – especially when set against considerations like location, price, and function. But where you work and where you relax are just as important as the talents you bring to the table (even if you feel like a table is a frivolous splurge). If you’re looking to make your teeny tiny space feel massive, here are a few tips to consider.

Get off the floor

The most important thing about room volume is that there’s a lot of it, even if you don’t immediately see it. Imagine a bedroom that’s a mere 7×10 feet. That’s a scant 70 square feet, or barely enough for a twin mattress, a small dresser, and maybe an office desk. However, when you include the height of the bedroom, which is typically a minimum of 7 feet, you now have a whopping 490 cubic feet to work with.

Instead of placing everything on the limited floor and wall space you have, you should instead make use of all that open air and consider hanging things up. A hideaway bed that neatly tucks away into the wall during the day, tables that can be stacked on top of each other and moved around, and other tricks that capitalize on using height will allow you to fully claim all the space you actually have.

Photo: Getty Images

Everything is an art piece

Many of us hoard way more than we actually need, from grandma’s old ottoman to clothing we haven’t worn in decades. Because of this, we tend to need space for our belongings, which cuts into the rest of the room available to our studio. Rather than keeping sentimental items tucked away under beds and in closets, you should turn a critical eye to the artistic merits of everything you keep. That shirt may look good when you’re wearing it, but what does it say about you when it is crumpled up on the floor in a pile with the rest of your laundry?

The thing is, if something is worth keeping, it should be worth showing off, in its own location that draws the eye to it and invites consideration and appreciation. If you really love that shirt, consider framing it like a painting, and hanging it up as a nostalgic memoir. Do the same for everything you just have to keep, and then throw away what is left. This will clear a lot of the clutter immediately!

Separate spaces

Nobody wants to work all the time, so you need to keep your bedroom and the studio separate from each other. This can be literal, like putting up a wall divider between your workspace and living space. Or it can be more metaphorical, like having different color schemes for different parts of the room. Maybe your bedroom half should be green and luscious, with vibrant flowers and wooden decor to invite calm relaxation, while your studio would showcase contrasting modern industrial looks of crisp whites and polished coppers.

Photo: Getty Images

Whatever design you go with, you should be able to tell immediately when you sit down whether you are “at work” or “at home”, based upon your surroundings. This will also allow you to overlap the spaces, easing your way into transitions and adapting things to multiple purposes to save even more room (such as a bookshelf that is a fifty-fifty split of your favorite fiction paperbacks and important technical documents from current projects). The idea should be to not have the two halves of the room fight over space, but to coexist peacefully together.

By following these simple design tips, you can create a cozy space that feels both inviting and luxurious!

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