According to recent data, “studio” was the second most popular term used in apartment searches on Google last year, and we definitely get it! Renting a studio apartment boasts some great benefits: less furniture needed to fill the space, more opportunity to live in your fav neighborhood while staying in budget, a reason to apply that Marie Kondo method, your bed is also your couch and dining room table – the list goes on and on.
So, what if you want to make that studio-piece of apartment heaven feel a little bit bigger? We asked Houston-based certified interior decorator and party stylist, Chári Herndon for her best tips and tricks to make your studio feel more spacious, and she delivered! Chári gave some amazing tips but if you’re in an hurry, just skim the bits in bold so you can get the message and get to decorating!
Top five tips, as told by the pro herself:
- “Utilize vertical space as much as possible. Incorporate a bookshelf or mounted wall shelves to take up less space.”
- “Larger heavier furniture will make a small room look cramped and take up way too much space. Instead, add pieces with exposed legs. When you can see the floor in a space, it tricks the eye and gives the space a more open look.”
- “Don’t be afraid to use pops of color. Adding a bit of color will liven up the room. Adding a colorful area rug, throw pillows, or artwork can bring so much personality to a smaller space. Balance the colors and patterns with a mix of neutrals. Keep in mind that too much color and/or patterns, in a smaller room, can be overwhelming. It’s important to have a balanced mix.”
- “Invest in a furniture piece that is versatile. My entertainment console has tons of hidden storage space. I use it for concealing extra throw blankets and my essentials for entertaining.”
- “Go with a light neutral wall color to make the space look brighter and larger. My apartment walls are a light gray, which I absolutely love!”
A few years ago, Chári and her husband uprooted from Florida and moved to Houston, and most recently downsized into a smaller apartment. Her best tip for anyone moving into a new space is to bring a tape measure when touring. She found that helped her decide during the apartment hunting process, based on if what she currently owned would fit and also cut down the amount of furniture she had to move.
Looking to entertain even though space is limited?
No worries! Chári tells us how she transforms her quaint space into the perfect place to host:
“I love to entertain so I had to get creative with my furniture,” she shared. “You can comfortably entertain in your home, even if you have a small space. You just have to be smart about your furniture choices!”
One tip Chári shared is to ixnay the typical couch and loveseat combination.
“In my living room, I chose to add two side chairs and two small stools, instead of a loveseat. This created the addition of four seats, when a loveseat would have only given me two.”
With this tip, and including her three kitchen bar stools, Chári can comfortably seat 10 people in their 12’x16’ living space.
Photo credit: Houston photographer, Arzu Vargas.