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Functional Design Hacks for Studio Apartments

Originally published on

Studio apartments are on the rise due to their compact nature and lower cost, but they also serve up some unique design challenges. Here are our expert tips for designing your studio apartment so that it is a truly all-in-one space.


The best thing you can do to improve the functionality of your studio apartment is by creating zones. If you are able to make structural changes to your studio apartment, consider building sliding walls around your bedroom. Matt Riley, Managing Director of Tonic Design, tells us:

“Sliding walls create flexible and unique opportunities for space in studio apartments. We have used sliding or moveable walls in a purposeful way to both divide, creating individual space or to open up, to unify spaces. For example a sliding wall panel can separate and unify dining from living spaces, bathroom from bedroom, and bedroom from living spaces. This can be built using hanging or concealed tracks which hold solid - or see through wall panel elements and are surprisingly light and easy to move. Using solid panels allow for privacy, while using see through or translucent panels allows for light and view but maintains a sense of individual space."

If you are not able to make any structural changes, try zoning using furniture instead. Co-host of Network Ten’s Healthy Homes Australia and carpenter Walt Collins suggests “If the layout permits and you have a large square space, consider putting a couch at the end of your bed facing the TV system, that way you can watch TV from the lounge or in bed. This acts not only as zone barrier but a nice spacer between bedroom and lounge.”

Browse the MyDeal sofa & lounge range to find the space-sectioning couch you need.

For more of Matt’s design ideas, visit the Tonic Design Instagram and Facebook.


Don’t have the budget for new furniture or installing a wall? Try zoning using decor items instead. A large area rug can help visually separate your personal and entertaining areas, while stylish folding screens or delicate sheer curtains will provide privacy for when you have guests over. Wanting a more practical way of divvying up your space? Place your bookcases and clothes rack in strategic areas so you can enjoy the storage functionality but also break up the space as needed.


Even if you don’t have enough space to carve out a separate bedroom, try building a mezzanine level so you can elevate your bed and make the bedroom seem like a somewhat separate space. Walt suggests elevating the bed by a metre or so, which is “a great way to cheat in plenty of storage and plays a visual trick on your mind to separate sleep and lounge areas."

A pre-existing nook or enclave can also be used in much the same way - you can even try removing the doors of a wardrobe and slotting your bed in instead!

Visit Instagram and Facebook for more of his fantastic design ideas.

Light up

Lighting is a subtle but powerful tool for changing the look and feel of your studio apartment. Interior Designer Nelly Reffet from Twinkle and Whistle tells us:

“Create zones and different "moods" by using appropriate lighting: efficient task lighting in the kitchen or over a desk, ambient light in the bedroom or living space, etc. It will give a sense of more space, while maximising the functionality of each zones, with a very minimal footprint. If you have downlights throughout and are not renting, you might want to add dimmers (make sure your downlights are dimmable first!) so you can adjust the light to your requirements: soft when entertaining or relaxing, brighter when cooking, cleaning, etc. Light is an essential factor to a cosy yet functional space - the two attributes of a lovely studio.”

Whether you’re building a studio apartment from scratch or are trying to make the most of the studio apartment you’re renting, some clever styling is sure to do the trick!

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