Skip To Main Content

7 Strategic Hacks for Decorating a Studio Apartment on a Budget

If you’re new to apartment living, decorating a studio apartment on a budget might seem like a challenge. After all, you're not only limited by space but also by budget. This can be overwhelming to say the least.

However, small apartment decorating doesn’t have to be a headache, and it certainly doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive. You'll need to think creatively and make purposeful purchases. Avoid trendy solutions and figure out what works best for you.

This blog is best used as a decorating guide, not an end-all-be-all. Remember, it’s your studio apartment and we have never seen inside. We don’t know what your interests or your needs are or what quirks define your personality (all of which will likely influence your design decisions).

What we do know is that by thinking efficiently and implementing a few of these decorating hacks, you can make your studio apartment into a space you enjoy while still adhering to your budget.


How to Decorate a Small Studio Apartment

When it comes to studio apartment decorating, one thing is true: space is a commodity. This is where choosing multi-purpose furniture and eliminating clutter comes into play. Effectively decorate your space by following these tips, then continue reading below to learn how to decorate on the cheap.

1. Synchronize Your Sleeping Space

Your sleeping space is one of the most important areas in your apartment. Not only is this the space where you'll rest and recharge, but there are also various creative ways to make your “bedroom,” space-saving.

Skip out on the commonly regurgitated but rarely practiced, Murphy bed tip. These beds seem optimal on paper but in practice, they are expensive, prone to malfunctions and require more effort than necessary. A good space-saving hack is to purchase a bed frame with built-in storage. The average Murphy bed will run you between $900 and $1499, while a premium option will cost over $1500. This effective and stylish storage bed from IKEA only costs $399.

If you are looking to save even more of your hard-earned cash, you can purchase a raised bed frame and then purchase two rolling storage drawers to create your own under-bed storage system.


2. Divide Your “Rooms”

If your studio doesn’t have a partition wall of some sort, you will want to create the illusion of “rooms.” A great way to do this is to divide your sleeping space from your living space. On the more expensive end of the spectrum, you can choose to divide your “rooms” by installing a glass partition wall of your own. However, for much cheaper you can instead create a “bedroom” by placing a bookshelf or desk at the foot of your bed and by placing a stylish rug under your bed frame.

While retailers such as IKEA, Wayfair and others offer affordable bookshelves, desks and rugs, second-hand shopping is also an option. Obviously, you won’t know what you're going to find at a thrift store, consignment shop or garage sale before you go, but that is also part of the excitement. You may find an abandoned Lucite desk or just a few furniture pieces past their prime.


3. Personalize Your Living Area

Now that you have your sleeping space situated, it’s time to make your studio your own. Hanging wall art and decorating surfaces with curated nick-nacks will make your studio a physical representation of your personality.

For a sleek, refined look, substitute the collage wall for one statement piece. If you are looking for affordable art, you can browse Society6’s catalog of prints. In addition, you can also make a stop at Michaels, Hobby Lobby or another craft store to purchase supplies to complete your own DIY art project.


4. Clear Your Closet Clutter

The Container Store has long been defining what it means to have an organized closet. And while their custom closet systems are effective and easy to install, they're also quite expensive. Instead of dishing out a thousand dollars or more, upgrade your closet by purchasing an extra hanging rod, under-shelf dresser, and matching hangers.

Overall, if you source these materials from IKEA or a comparable retailer you will be able to redesign your studio’s closet for under $200 (rod, modular dresser, hangers). If you are okay with mismatching pieces, you can also source these materials from several different retailers or from second-hand shops for even more savings.

Studio Living Advice: For more closet organizing tips, visit our guide on How to Organize a Small Closet Like a Pro.


5. Craft Your Kitchen

It’s not uncommon to forget about the kitchen when decorating a new space. However, in a studio apartment, where every area is highly visible, it’s important to make calculated design choices all around. In the kitchen, you should continue to implement ideas that simultaneously give your studio personality while creating more space (even if it’s simply an illusion).

One way to achieve this is to take advantage of every inch of space with additional shelves, hooks and organizers. For an affordable kitchen system, pair magnetic knife strips, peg boards and removable shelves and hooks together. If you have a kitchen island, keep decorations to a minimum. Crowded surfaces often make a space look smaller than it is. For a bright and airy option, consider adding a single potted plant or cactus terrarium to your kitchen counter or island.

To designate your kitchen as a separate “room” from the rest of your studio (similar to how you used a rug under your bed), align a slim runner or rug parallel to your cabinets.


6. Organize Your Bathroom

Like the kitchen, the bathroom is often forgotten from decorating plans. However, in a studio apartment, there are also ways to take advantage of space and create a stylish bathroom.

Here, apply strategies you used elsewhere to give your studio a cohesive and practical design throughout. If you are lacking storage space in your bathroom, consider adding an additional peg board. You can outfit the peg board with small plants and additional hooks to combine style and organization.

Also, maximize space elsewhere by adding an adjustable shower caddy for your shampoo, body wash and other soaps. For an easy install, consider choosing a caddy with suction cups.

Studio Living Advice: Move your hamper into an under-utilized corner in your bathroom to free up additional space in your closet.


7. Power Up Your Patio

If your studio apartment includes a patio, you will want to make the most of this space as well. This can be done simply by adding a few lounge chairs and a small table. Once again, IKEA is a great resource for affordable patio furniture, while second-hand shops and thrift stores occasionally carry outdoor furniture as well.

In addition, use potted flowers and other plants to give your patio a touch of color. If you haven’t yet found your green thumb, consider following this guide from Swanson’s Nursery to plant a garden using planter boxes.


Small Apartment Decorating FAQs

How can I make my studio apartment look nice?

Overall, you should make your studio apartment a representation of your own personality and a space you enjoy spending time in. To make your studio apartment more welcoming to guests, consider different ways to divide your space into separate “rooms”. For example, you can divide your “bedroom” from your living space with the help of a well-placed bookshelf.

How can I make my studio apartment more homey?

The lighting of a space plays a big part in defining its personality. You can make your studio apartment homier by including accent lamps with warm light bulbs into your decorating plans. This will give you the ability to transform your studio apartment from a fluorescent-lit workspace to a cozy reading nook with the flip of a few switches.

How do you make a studio apartment look bigger?

Decluttering is the most effective strategy to make your studio apartment look bigger. In addition to decluttering, you can also read our blog, 7 Easy Tricks of the Eye: How to Make a Room Look Bigger, to learn how to utilize mirrors and vertical space to make your small studio look bigger.

How do you fit everything in a small studio apartment?

When attempting to fit everything you own into a small studio apartment, start by getting rid of any items and possessions you no longer need or use. Next, invest in storage furniture such as bed frames with built-in storage and multi-purpose ottomans and other pieces. Finally, keep yourself from making extraneous purchases. When you buy new clothes consider following the one-for-one rule (ex: for every new shirt you buy, donate an old one).


Wrapping Up: Decorating a Small Studio Apartment

Hopefully, after following these 7 steps and implementing each of these decorating hacks into your studio apartment design, you'll have a space you are proud of.

If along the way you realize you need more storage space to make your studio into a residence you love, consider self-storage.

Store Space offers professional storage solutions at an affordable price. We have facilities located across the United States and are excited to help you during your studio apartment journey. To take advantage of the benefits of Store Space Self Storage today, use our storage location finder to find the facility nearest to you!

$1 Rent for your First Month!

Rent Online Right Now. Skip the Counter & Go Straight to Your Space.


Helpful Articles



Relocation across town or across the country is one of the many reasons homeowners and renters choose self-storage. We have storage units that are perfect for a few boxes or units that can easily store the contents of a home!


Life Transitions

Lifestyle changes can be planned or unplanned but knowing that there’s an affordable storage facility nearby to help you cope is reassuring indeed. 


Home Renovations

During remodeling projects, it’s risky to leave furnishings uncovered where they might be subject to damage from workers, the elements, or other hazards. 


Don’t allow your personal space to be overtaken by your possessions—when you’re starting to feel crowded, it’s the right time to rent self-storage.  

doing business

Business Storage

With units ranging from small closet-sized units to large oversized units, Store Space facilities have the space to accommodate everything for businesses from a few boxes of records to inventory and equipment storage.

Storage Near You