Studio Apartment: 5 Ways To Define Living Space and Bedroom

Studio apartment divider   source

Studio apartment divider source

Studio living has come a long way on the style scale of decor. They’re no longer just cheap sleeping quarters where bachelors shower and house their clothes. Studio space today is designed with more creativity. It incorporates occupants’ lifestyles and interests while still being efficient and functional. Occupants can relax in dedicated living spaces, such as a sofa in the living room and a table in the eating area. Guests are entertained without being confronted with unmade beds and hanging clothes. Privacy generally afforded in larger space can now be enjoyed in studio apartments.

Here, I’ve identified five examples of how privacy between the living space and the bedroom can be achieved:

  • Floor to ceiling or half wall

  • Sheer or solid draperies

  • Bookcase/Shelving Units

  • Freestanding or media projection screens

  • Elevated bedroom

As you’ll notice too, other elements that define functional spaces include placement of furnishings, area rugs, and lighting.

Walls as dividers

  • Floor to ceiling walls or half walls does require construction.

  • Installing a single wall with an open entrance maintains a kind of open floor space, sparing the occupant of feeling closed in a tiny space.

  • A wall can include storage space.

  • A wall can provide headboard support.

  • It can also provide structure on which to attach lighting, as well as art

Studio apartment with privacy wall for bedroom   source

Studio apartment with privacy wall for bedroom source


Draperies as Living and Bedroom Dividers

  • Sheer draperies offer an etherial openness visually and physically.

  • It allows natural light from the windows that can fill the entire studio space.

  • Drapery fabric helps to muffle noise.

  • Colors and patterns can be added to the overall decor scheme.

Behind this semi-sheer drapery room divider peeks a colorful wall with a dramatic focal point:  a beautiful textile art that brings all of the colors in the room together in one piece.  The drapery is mounted to the ceiling which adds vertical height and visual appeal.  The decor has a bohemian feel to it, invites relaxation and lots of comforting interests.  In short, any decor style you choose accommodates using draperies to define your studio apartment bedroom.

In this contemporary designed studio, the sheer draperies are more formal yet still have a visually relaxed presentation with the soft gathering of drapery fabric on the floor.

Ceiling to floor draperiers provide bedroom privacy   source

Ceiling to floor draperiers provide bedroom privacy source

From House Beautiful, the image below is included in an article A Petite Apartment Doesn't Stop This Designer From Living Large. The studio is 525 square feet.  Yet, it feels larger, is elegantly designed and provides bedroom privacy.  Draw draperies are floor length and mounted from the ceiling.  The draperies also offer a kind of "wall" to which the sofa rests in front of it.  Above the sofa hangs a large piece of art that is also mounted from the ceiling.  


Drapery Dividers 

  • Uses very little horizontal space.

  • Mounting from the ceiling requires special installation, most likely a professional help. 

  • A ceiling mount emphasis the vertical height of the room and gives it a more expansive look and feel.

  • Softens the visual appearance of the room.

  • Infinite fabric selections for color, pattern, and texture, as well as attractive accenting hardware.

Bookcases and shelves as a solution to defining your bedroom space

  • Requires a little more space but provides lots of storage for books and art pieces.

  • Cost can run about the same as custom made draperies. 

  • Bookcases and shelves don’t require wall installation. 

  • Can often be purchased in modules, making it flexible to current and future spaces.

  • Can be easily moved around in the room and create new “visual” spaces. 

  • Open shelving permits natural and artificial light to flow throughout the studio space.

Bookcase divider in studio apartment   source

Bookcase divider in studio apartment source


Free standing and media screens

  • Some free standing screen designs may need a bit more space due to its z-like shape.

  • While it offers privacy, free-standing screens depending upon the material used and its location may reduce natural light throughout the room.

  • Screens can add additional color and texture to the overall design of the room.

  • Screens can add the perception of a wall.

  • Screens can also be used as a great decor element to create an entryway to an open room.

  • Media screen, taking a tech approach, creates the double use of privacy and viewing movies and other programs.

Projection screen as divider   source

Projection screen as divider source

Projection screen as divider   source

Projection screen as divider source

Elevated Bed as Living and Bedroom Divider

  • Requires construction.

  • Requires a very high ceiling to accommodate sleeping space.

  • Offers additional living and working space under the bedroom.

Elevated bed provides office space in studio apt   source

Elevated bed provides office space in studio apt source

Studio apartment with elevated bed   source

Studio apartment with elevated bed source

Sliding Door System as Living and Bedroom Divider

  • Sliding doors require construction.

  • When not installed properly or cheaply done, the doors can be wobbly.

  • Depending upon the number of sliding doors installed, they take up more space.

Sliding doors give bedroom privacy   source

Sliding doors give bedroom privacy source

How you can create a design to define your studio apartment space

Use an interior decorator or DIY.  If you choose this latter, you can easily create a floor plan and shop--even online for furniture and accessories.  The nice thing is that it won't cost you until you've made a final decision.  So get some dinner or snacks, a glass of wine.  Work together with a significant other or you may want to invite a friend or two and make it a fun evening using one of these free planners and shoppers:

  • Pottery Barn Room Planner.  Easily design your floor plan space and then shop from the Pottery Barn furniture and accessory inventory.

  • Ikea Home Planner.  Similar to Pottery Barn -- draft a floor plan and shop

  • Home - can create a floor plan but will need to find furniture and decor items elsewhere 

In Summary

In the United States, average size for a studio apartment is around 600 square feet or smaller. Sometimes this is referred to as a small apartment. In any case, how that floor space is defined and used can make it a boring space to where the occupant just sleep and stores clothes. Or better, it can be created to give the occupant a comfortable space reflecting her or his lifestyle and interests. How does one do this?

  • Create privacy using one the many ways to separate the living room space from the bedroom space. Use dividers such as walls, draperies, screens, and even elevating the bedroom space.

  • Use area rugs that visually separate the living space from the traffic areas.

  • Place lighting where the central activity will occur.

  • And finally but perhaps it should be first, utilize a decorator. If not affordable, try a free floor planner such as one of the above where you can also purchase some or all of the furnishing. This is especially helpful for building a budget.

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