How to Live in a Studio Apartment

There are many advantages to living in studio apartments, if they fit your lifestyle. They're the perfect place for people who require just a little space to call home. They're a great option if you're on a budget, just starting out on your own, or wanting to cut back on expenses and save money. Whatever your reason, opting to downsize and live in a studio apartment will save you money in the long run.

Finding a Studio Apartment

  1. Look for a studio apartment in large apartment complexes and extended-living hotels. They can also be found in private homes, where they may be referred to as a bungalow. They may or may not have a separate kitchen area. Be sure to ask if the apartment has kitchen facilities.

  2. Keep in mind that one advantage of renting a studio in an apartment complex or even in extended-living hotels is that as a resident, you'll have access to any amenities provided, such as a pool, tennis court, on-site gym and club house.

  3. Don't buy furniture until you've seen the space you'll be renting. Living in a studio requires much less furniture than a regular apartment. Also, because it is smaller in square footage, the utility bill will be less. In some apartment communities, utilities are included in the rent, so this can be another money-saving advantage.

  4. Research whether there are washer/dryer facilities available, whether the apartment is wired for cable (and if not, can it be installed), whether there is any additional storage space available, whether they provide room-cleaning service (for extended-stay communities), what is the policy for cooking in your apartment (for studio apartments that do not have any kitchen facilities) and, if applicable, whether pets are allowed.

Furnishing and Decorating a Studio Apartment

  1. Start with the floor space. There are three main items to decide on: a bed, dresser and sofa. To utilize the space to its fullest, select a pull-out sofa bed. If you opt for an actual bed, consider a day bed or futon that can be used as a sofa. If you choose a traditional bed and opt not to have a sofa, consider adding a good recliner, rocking chair or any comfortable chair as a second place to relax. You will also need a dresser for your clothes. If the apartment has a large walk-in closet, an option would be to put the dresser in the closet. To add a little privacy and to break up the room, a decorative folding screen can be set up between the bed and chairs. The screen will also add another bit of "wall" space.

  2. Determine what other pieces of furniture are important to you and can be used to serve multiple purposes. Set up the dresser wherever possible, if it won't fit in the closet. The dresser top can be used to hold a lamp or a TV. If you put up book shelves, these can be used to hold a variety of items. A small drop-leaf table with folding chairs can be used as a work area; TV trays can be used as a desk to hold a lap top or for take out. A small desk can be used for a computer, and a small media center for a TV, DVD player and sound system.

  3. Consider buying a small apartment refrigerator, microwave, toaster, toaster oven and coffee pot. The refrigerators available are small and compact, but they hold quite a few items. The other items are good to have if you want the option of fixing your own quick meal or heating up take-out food. Keep in mind that the studio apartment will most likely not have a regular kitchen sink, so keep a supply of plastic plates, cups and utensils handy and toss them out when you're finished. To save space, consider a wall clock instead of one that requires a table top, and use floor lamps instead of table lamps.

  4. Use the bathroom to store more items. Purchase shelving that fits behind the door. These shelves can be used to store sheets, pillow cases, towels and washcloths. Shelving that fits over the toilet tank can also be used to store items. Purchase a clothes hamper that uses a clip to hang the hamper from the back of the door to save space.

  5. Utilize your closet space as much as possible. Use plastic interlocking storage containers to stash shoes, purses, socks and other items. Store seasonal clothing, blankets and comforters in large rectangle plastic containers and flat containers that slide under the bed.

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