Deciding where to put your furniture and decor in your studio apartment is like being handed
an empty box and then being told to make a perfect dollhouse out of it.
You expect me to be able to make an effing home out of this?
That’s what it can feel like to decorate a studio apartment.
But guess what?
Deciding how to configure your furniture and your decor in your studio apartment is actually
easier than you think.
There are 3 interior styling concepts I use that, when deployed, basically guarantee that
your studio will feel more inviting and spacious, and less cluttered and cave-like.
One of the main questions I get asked about styling a studio is, “How do I lay out my
Where should my furniture go?
How do I make it flow?”
And in my experience in figuring out the furniture layout of my own studio apartment, I have
boiled it down to these 3 concepts that you can use for virtually any studio shape or
This is what boxes are for.
And before we dive into those three concepts, if you haven’t watched my full studio apartment
tour yet, I’m gonna link to that below in the description and you can see a more, like,
thorough view of my studio apartment layout.
And if you have any friends who live in a studio apartment, share this video with them!
Tell them to come on over.
I have coffee, tea, wine, and brandy - which is my drink of choice.
Because deep down I have the soul of an 85 year old gentleman.
And if you have any questions about styling a studio apartment, tell me in the comments
below and I will give you my two cents.
So the first concept that you can use to help you decide how to lay out your furniture in
your studio apartment is the idea of triangles.
So let me start off by telling you about my Big 3 concept.
I talk about my Big 3 concept in my Studio Styling 101 workbook, which I’ll link to
It comes in handy if you want a resource that’ll help you through the beginning stages of styling
But here’s the gist of it.
Your Big 3 are your three main pieces of furniture in your apartment.
And I challenge you to limit yourself to only three big pieces of furniture, and that’s
Hence, “the Big 3”.
Select three pieces of furniture that will serve as the ONLY big pieces of furniture
in your studio.
Because the human eye likes triangles.
So any time you can create a triangle in your space, it will be visually appealing.
And since you have limited space in a studio apartment, and there’s only so much room
for large pieces of furniture, I think choosing three pieces - three large pieces - and limiting
yourself to that is a way to not only budget the amount of space your taking up, but also
to make it visually appealing because of the triangle theory.
My Big 3 in my studio are my couch, my bed, and my desk over there.
They form a triangle that unifies the whole studio, making it feel more balanced and harmonious.
The Rule of Three is hardly a new concept when it comes to design - it’s kind of a
basic rule that professional designers have in their toolbelt at all times.
But it’s especially effective when you think about it in the context of a studio apartment
Because the most challenging thing about styling a studio - because you’re basically working
with one lump of space with no walls - is making it visually cohesive and not chaotic.
Triangles are this magical shape that basically act as an antidote to visual chaos.
The second concept I want to talk about that will help you decide how to lay out your studio
apartment is the idea of separation.
This is another one of the big questions I get asked about styling a studio, is how do
I create separation in my studio?
First of all, I want to tell you that I think that the idea of separation in a studio is
emphasized a little too much.
Like, I think we can all collectively chill out a little bit on the idea of separation
in our studios, and think of it more as cohesion.
Yes, creating separate zones in your studio apartment is a good thing, but creating literal
separation - like with a faux wall or a bookcase or a curtain - can actually make your studio
apartment look smaller and more closed off, depending on your studio.
If a faux wall or a bookcase or something like that actually serves to make your studio
apartment more cohesive, then great!
But separation for separation’s sake runs the risk of making your studio look smaller
and more disjointed.
A single piece of furniture can provide all the separation you need, which is what my
My couch is a very clear separator that separates the living room zone from the bedroom zone.
And for this studio, that’s all that’s needed.
So it really can be much simpler than you think.
You don’t have to go over the top.
Another easy way to create separation - or cohesion - in your studio is to pay close
attention to where you hang your artwork.
Pretend the zones of your studio are divided by invisible walls that would prevent you
from hanging art in between zones.
Say, in between your living room and your bedroom.
Let me show you.
See how my living room artwork doesn’t overlap into my bedroom area?
And then same thing with my bedroom area artwork - it doesn’t overlap into the living room
area, which is distinguished by my couch.
My couch is basically my invisible wall that makes is so that art cannot overlap on either
This makes it so the eye doesn’t get confused.
Even if your studio is laid out perfectly into separate zones, if your artwork straddles
two of those zones simultaneously, it instantly destroys the illusion of separation.
And the third concept you can use to make your studio apartment layout more visually
pleasing is the idea of repetition.
One of the biggest complaints people have about studio apartment living is that their
space doesn’t feel cohesive and it just feels kind of like a hodgepodge.
Well, repetition is a great cure for that.
When it comes to studio apartment styling, repetition is a powerful tool that will give
you instant cohesion.
To get started, I recommend brainstorming some ideas on colors, visual themes, subject
matter that you would like to see repeated throughout your studio.
To demonstrate what I mean, let me walk you through the ways I use repetition in my studio
to create visual appeal.
One way is I repeat the same colors throughout the space and I don’t really deviate from
Will some people think that’s boring?
But we’re talking about a studio apartment here, and consistent, repetitive colors create
cohesion and unify the space.
I also repeat visual themes throughout the space, like black and white photography, typography,
raw wood with iron.
I utilize repetition with my sound wave art over here.
Imagine if only one of these were hanging above my bed right here.
It would look puny and out of place.
But if you repeat it three times, suddenly it has visual impact.
I also repeat subject matter over and over again in my space.
Some of the subject matter that I repeat throughout my space is music, anime, and the Legend of
So I’m not talking about just repeating things that are visually attractive - I’m
also talking about choosing specific interests and passions of yours, and repeating those
throughout the space.
So, in summary, the three concepts that you can use when you’re deciding where to put
your furniture and your decor in your studio apartment are triangles, separation, and repetition.
Every studio has its own limitations and spatial quirks, but if you think about these concepts
as you’re decorating your studio, you can make better decisions for your studio regardless
of its shape and size.
Which will lead to a more harmonious, well laid out apartment, rather than a dungeon
For daily glimpses into my studio apartment life, follow me on Instagram @moda.misfit.
And to stay on top of all the episodes of Living Pretty, be sure to subscribe and hit
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Happy styling my friend.
And remember, your apartment is destined to be pretty and you are pretty powerful.
Look Helo, it’s a box!
It’s a box and you’re a cat.
Do you not like my gift?
I have a cat who doesn’t like playing in boxes!