With house prices high, it can often feel next-to impossible to find a place to live that’s both affordable and ticks all the right boxes. From converted garages (hello London), to damp-ridden spare rooms, you find yourself wondering just how much you’re willing to compromise for the sake of paying a ‘reasonable’ price. With moving back in with your parents looming as an ever-more-likely prospect, you find yourself in need of a solution – fast. Enter the studio apartment.
Though the thought of living in a one-room flat can seem daunting (don’t recoil in horror just yet), all it takes is a little interior design savvy and a few creative storage tricks to make a small place feel roomy enough to live in. From Ottoman beds to hanging shoe racks, we’re here to take you through the all the hacks you need to adapt to studio-flat living.
Floating shelves make heavenly storage areas
It’s easy to get carried away with displaying your precious collections when moving into your first apartment, but where do you put those antique encyclopaedias when you’ve hardly enough space for the bare essentials? While a bulky display cabinet would take up far too much space, high-up shelves offer a practical solution to your problem. Placing them around the room near the ceiling – as opposed to lower down – creates the kind of storage space that doesn’t add that claustrophobia-inducing feeling of clutter. Plus, nipping up a ladder to get access is much easier than having to ship all your old belongings offsite. Finding shelves in a subtle shade, like this Junction Floating Shelf, will make sure they blend in nicely with your colour scheme and don’t look garish or over-the-top.
Extend your dinners with a party table
One of the biggest downfalls of living in a small space can be the inability to host your ever-growing friendship group when it’s your turn to play chef. But falling at this hurdle would be the easy way out. Extending dining tables offer a slick and practical solution to the dilemma of space (or lack of it) in a studio apartment. In a flash, you can turn your small day-to-day dining table into one with enough room to fit the whole herd. Or for something even more ingenious, check out the Calligaris Magic J Coffee Table. It transforms from compact modern coffee table to a full height, full size, eight-seater dining table in seconds.
So, while we can’t help with dubious cooking skills or the pressure of entertaining, being short of room is one excuse you won’t be able to use to get out of hosting the next dinner party.
Shoes to the wall
Sometimes, you need to think inside the box to solve storage problems. Find a free door to hang up an inexpensive (but lifesaving) shoe rack, helping to clear the space usually taken up by your collection of trainers. Not only will this save on space, you’ll find you have a much better view of what you’ve got – all the better for outfit-picking. And you don’t need to stop there. From cosmetics to jewellery, to hand bags, there’s a wealth of things that could find a home on the inside of your wardrobe doors, eliminating unnecessary space wastage and allowing you to finally get those make-up brushes off your nightstand.
Cut the kitchen clutter
It’s a given that your studio apartment probably won’t have enough kitchen cupboard space, leaving you faced with over-flowing cabinets and general kitchenware chaos. But don’t worry, there are lots of solutions that both save on space, and add a stylish, minimalist edge to your apartment. Yet again, the humble wall (and unsung hero of studio flats) offers a much-needed solution. Opt for a magnetic, wall-mounted knife rack over counter top-dominating alternatives. This will also free some precious drawer space. And for those who like to get crafty, attaching metal hooks to a wall-mounted wooden pallet provides a great space to hang mugs in a way that’s neat and stylish, without wasting any hard-to-find cupboard space. For the less craft-conscious among us, there are plenty of ready-made ones in the shops, too.
When in doubt, stack
Although it’s tempting to hold on to all of your belongings when you move home, there are many products made for small space living that might prove more practical. Find a collection of stackable pots with a detachable handle to ensure that no space is needlessly wasted in the kitchen. Not only will this make for more room, it means less hassle when searching for the right pan for popcorn on a Saturday night. Make sure you extend the same logic across the entire flat – for example some stacking chairs, or better yet, stools, that you can keep in the corner and bring out for dinner parties.
Coffee tables should be versatile
A coffee table that only holds coffee is a waste of space in a one-room apartment. Combine practicality, style and storage with an old trunk – but be careful to shop around for something that achieves the right look (think vintage charm over dog-eared and dull). Find one in any local vintage shop, give it a polish up and then plonk it in front of the couch to be used as a coffee table – it’s as simple as that. No need for coasters – coffee stains simply add to its charm! And don’t worry, if you have no desire to trawl through dark and dingy warehouses (not everyone’s cup of tea), you can find plenty of modern alternatives that are made with storage space in mind, like this Teramo Coffee Table. In both cases, you can fill the table up with all the bits and bobs you can never find a home for – be it the games console you’re just not quite ready to get rid of, or throws for those winter evenings. A means of putting your feet up while watching tv and massively increasing storage space around the apartment? We think we’re on to a winner.
Living in a studio flat doesn’t have to be a nightmare if you tackle the problem of storage with a sense of creativity and innovation. If you’re clever about it, you’ll find you need a lot less space that you first thought. And besides, what’s better – a small but utterly sleek and stylish flat all to yourself, or a big house that comes complete with two interfering parents? Thought so.