OK: What exactly is a studio apartment?

By someone who used to live in one

A studio apartment with a couch, desk, bed and shoe shelves
(Image credit: @bygracelee)

My studio apartment was one of my absolute favorite places to live. When I was studying, it was my li’l haven — just the right size for me to live in the big city. It had everything I needed to feel at home and saved me mega bucks as well.

You’re probs reading this because you’re curious about what it’s like to live in one too. Maybe you’re thinking about moving into one, or maybe you want to be prepared before moving into one. It’s def a unique living sitch, so I’ve delved into all the deets you need to know about them.

TBH, it was always a li’l confusing explaining to friends and family what it was like. No, it’s not a whole apartment. Yes, I can roll out of bed and make a cup of coffee. There are def pros and cons of living in one, which I’ve gone through as well.

Want to know more about studio apartments? Scroll on down for all the info…

What is a studio apartment?

A studio apartment is a self-contained living space, with one room that has a living area, bedroom, and kitchenette within it. The bathroom is usually separate from this, with its own room. Studios are usually designed for just one person, or a couple living together (perf if you’re boo’d up).

How does a studio apartment work?

It def can vary from place to place, but it generally includes a small kitchenette with a stove, fridge, and sink, a living area with a couch and bed, as well as some storage space. The bathroom will include a toilet and sink, as well as likely having a shower. Everything is pretty much in one zone, meaning you won’t have to move between rooms, except for going to the bathroom. 

Pros and cons of living in a studio apartment

Thinking about going for that studio life? I've weighed up the pros and cons of living in one (I'm talking from experience, legit).

Pros of living in a studio apartment

  • It is often cheaper than other apartment types.
  • It requires less furniture and decorations, which can save money and time.
  • It is typically easier to maintain and clean, as there is less space.
  • It offers privacy and independence, as there are no shared areas.
  • It is often conveniently located in popular areas.

Cons of living in a studio apartment

  • It can feel a li’l cramped.
  • It may be difficult to separate activities.
  • It can have limited storage space, which can make organizing trick
  • It can get real noisy, especially with closeby neighbors.
  • It can have less natural light, which can make the space feel dark.

Tips and tricks for living in a studio apartment

Looking at moving into a studio? Here are some helpful ways to make the most out of the unique living space. I've also rounded up some buys, in case you need some decor inspo too.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article.

Maximize your space

Since you only have one room to play with, you’ve gotta make the most out of what you have. Invest in multi-functional furniture such as a bed with storage, storage ottomans that can double as seating, and a desk that can also work as a dining table.

Keep decor minimal

You may want to fill your room with loads of decor, in order to try and disguise how little space there is. Hiding just doesn’t work in studios though, and it will only make the space feel even smaller. Instead, opt for breezy, minimal decor, sticking with a color palette that you like and a few personal objects here and there. This will make the space feel more open, which equals a more relaxing living vibe.

Get creative with storage

When you only have a li’l bit of space, you have to think outside the box when it comes to storing items. For smaller spaces I always recommend utilizing vertical space, such as with over-the-door organizers, floating shelves, and tall and thin shelving units. This way, you can keep all that clutter off the floor, which is oh-so-precious in a studio apartment. 

Make sure to get out and about

Trust me: I know how weird it can feel living in one tiny place. It can feel like you can’t move around very much, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed. Make sure that you go outside at least once a day, even just for a 15-minute walk, so you have a change of scenery and can clear your head too.

Create zones

Make each area it's own by using small rugs to separate out the kitchen, dining area, bedroom, and study zone. Not only will this look cute AF, but it will help you get into the right mindset when you’re in each area — for example, you don’t want to feel like you need to work in bed, nor do you want to feel sleepy while you’re studying.


What is the difference between a studio apartment and a one-bedroom apartment?

Apart from the bathroom, a studio apartment has everything you need in one room — i.e. the kitchen, bedroom, and living room — while a one-bedroom apartment has separate rooms for different areas. 

What is the difference between a studio apartment and a loft apartment?

Usually, studio apartments are specifically designed to maximize the small space. Meanwhile, loft apartments are generally converted spaces in larger buildings, meaning that they are more spacious, and may also have separate areas for living, sleeping, and working.

Up next: How to organize a small apartment, according to the experts 

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.