PSA: Avoid these common studio apartment decor mistakes

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White studio apartment with long curtains
(Image credit: @small_cozy)

FYI: Studio apartments have their pros and cons. Pros such as being much more affordable when it comes to paying your monthly rent and cons in terms of being too small in space, especially when it comes to decorating. 

Before you rush off to take out a lease, you may want to check if a studio apartment is right for you

Interior Designer Julia Lachar, took the time to discuss mistakes you may be making and how to correct them. So don't sweat it bestie, you'll have your studio apartment looking chic and on point in no time, as well as feeling spacious. 

Too Much Wall Clutter 

Lachar recommends leaving the peel-and-stick wallpaper and gallery walls for your powder room. The influence walls make on the overall feel of the space is crucial. Choosing the right paint color is the key. 

Don't skip testing the paint color or colors you like by applying a small patch in different rooms and living with it for a minute. She suggests keeping it light and neutral, as it is not basic, but rather classic and enlightening.

Having an Excessive Amount of Recessed Lights 

Your home is not an operating room or a showroom. With that said, Lachar states to minimize ceiling lights and go for other light sources instead. 

Wall sconces, art, and accent lights will not only create ambiance but will help accentuate focal points in the room. The key is to avoid extremely dim or harshly lit rooms, with no in-between. 

Busy Floors 

For Lachar, busy floors are not always good when it comes to small spaces. She recommends avoiding too much fine detail as any busy element will give your studio apartment a cluttered effect.

Instead of going for catchy floors, go for light, airy colors, and don't be scared of glossy finishes. Consider installing the planks with the longest dimension in the room. 

Not Embracing Natural Light 

Choosing the right window treatment is key. If your privacy allows it, go for a sheer look, such as Belgian sheer linen drapes, or Roman or fabric shades.

This will let in plenty of natural light so you can avoid harsh overhead lighting. Don’t use large mirrors to reflect natural light.

Too Much Hardware and Open Shelves 

Both can certainly be trendy, however, could also clutter your space. Unless your ceilings are 10 feet high, go for upper cabinets to the ceiling and use invisible hardware like pulls or touch-to-open cabinetry. 

The same goes for walls and floors, the lighter the kitchen is the larger it feels. Use an enclosed kitchen sink that doubles as a prep area. 

Using Small Furniture 

Lacher suggests scaling it up! Embrace your space with larger items like a nice sectional sofa or projector movie screen. Lay it out in nice symmetry with other furniture pieces. 

She also recommends choosing the right size rug that is close to the shade of your floors. Make sure to leave a wide enough pathway to navigate around your apartment and keep an easy flow. 

Not Using Every Inch of Storage 

According to Lacher, the greatest mistake you can make is not using every inch of your studio apartment wisely. From high to low, invest in custom-made storage solutions and multifunctional furniture pieces that can double or triple purpose. 

She suggests investing in a coffee table that can open into a dining table, a storage ottoman, a bed with drawers underneath, or a full-size mirror with integrated light. Get creative! 

Under Utilizing the Bathroom 

Double your bathroom space and storage with a large mirror medicine cabinet. Extra storage in the medicine cabinet will also minimize the clutter on your bathroom counter. 

Utilize every inch of the space by choosing large towel rods instead of small hooks and a toilet paper holder with a shelf rather than a much more traditional style. Whether it's pull-out drawers or storage baskets, take advantage of the space! 

Too Many Electrical Devices 

Anything from outlets, light switches, internet wires, and cable boxes to large electronics such as a television, makes your place look cluttered and messy looking. Instead, go for screwless wall plates or cable box/ router covers. 

If you need to run the wires over your walls, don’t choose a contrasting wire color. If possible, simply paint it the same color as your wall or baseboard. 

Lastly, invest in a television that doubles as wall art. Overall, clearing your electrical noise will instantly transform your space. 

Holding on to Items 

Of course, Lachar states that a major mistake is holding on to items that are hard to let go of, as you may feel they are near and dear to your heart. As a result, these items actually clutter your not so large to begin with space.

If you are not ready to donate or let go of these items, find a temporary home for them somewhere else. Until you can upgrade to more square feet, consider getting a storage unit or asking a friend/family member to hold on to those items you don’t use on a daily basis. 

Aida M. Toro
Freelance Writer

About Me:

Hello! My name is Aida M. Toro and I am a freelance writer that loves cultivating stories about amazing people, fashion, interiors, art, and food. I currently write for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, The House Magazine, Hobnob Magazine, The C-Word, and Real Homes. I live in West New York, New Jersey, which is literally a 10-minute ferry ride or 20-minute bus ride away from New York City. Although I was born and raised in West New York, I consider NYC my home, as I believe it to be the place where all dreams come to fruition, and of course, spend most of my time in. When I’m not writing, I love perusing the city streets and taking snaps with my iPhone of street art along with random things, scoping out new restaurants as well as their spaces, shopping at some of my favorite stores, spending time with family and friends, walking my cockapoodle Benji, and working out at Lifetime or DOGPOUND, which are some of the top fitness spaces in Manhattan and overall the U.S.