To live in a studio or not to live in a studio? That is the question – at least for many solo apartment hunters. Studio apartments have a lot of benefits when you’re living by yourself. They’re often cheaper than one-bedroom places and their smaller size makes them a bit easier to keep clean and tidy.
But one-bedroom apartments have their own merits, the most obvious of which is that it’s easy to have friends over without feeling like you’re entertaining guests in your bedroom. Luckily, there are tons of ways renters can divide their studio apartments into two distinct spaces, which means they can have the best of both worlds – an inexpensive apartment where they can still hang with friends.
Looking for ways to divide your new studio? Read on for some great ideas.
Use the Room’s Floor Plan to Your Advantage
Sure, some studios are your basic rectangular floor plan. But there are others in “L” or other funky shapes that can transition into two separate rooms without a lot of extra work on your part. So, if your studio has a floor plan that makes it easy to differentiate between a living area and a bedroom, you’re already halfway there. Simply focus on the way you arrange your furniture – the pieces of your your living room set should face one another in an intimate arrangement, while your bed, dresser, and other items should form a completely separate area.
Use Double-Sided Bookshelves
If you do have a basic floor plan, or one that isn’t easily separated simply based on the way you arrange your furniture, you still have plenty of options. Many people use tall double-sided bookshelves to divide a room. Place two right next to each other in the middle of the room so they act as a dividing wall, then fill the shelves with baskets, bins, books, and knick-knacks. You can do this with single-sided bookshelves as well, you’ll just need to paint or cover the backside because it will be exposed.
Hanging one or two curtains is another super easy dividing method. Curtains, even sheer ones, create an effective visual barrier between spaces, but they’re also simple to hang and relatively inexpensive. Not to mention, curtains can easily be pushed to the side any time you need to use the whole space. Just hang a curtain rod from the ceiling, or string strong wire between two hooks and use white or light-colored curtains.
Create a Visual Distinction
Though there are several ways to divide the room with a physical barrier, creating visual distinctions between the two separate parts of the apartment can be effective as well. What exactly does that mean? Paint (with your landlord’s permission of course) one side of the apartment one color and the other side a different hue – they’ll instantly appear to be two separate spaces.
Then, arrange the living room set around an area rug, with all of the furniture pointed inward. Tuck the bed into a corner on the other side of the room with your dresser, shelves and bedside table nearby. Ta da! Two different rooms.
Set Up Folding Screens
For a more vintage feel, see if you can find a folding screen at a resale or thrift store. It can be unfolded and placed in the middle of the room when you want to create a divide, but it can also easily be folded up and slipped into a closet when you’re using the whole apartment.
Hang Windows or Artwork
Many people make their own room-divider “walls” by hanging several canvases, windows, or other pieces of decor from the ceiling. A project like this would likely take a few hours to complete, but the end result is one-of-a-kind and super stylish. To make your DIY endeavor a bit easier, divide the room first using short bookshelves or a dresser. Then, hang one or two windows or canvases in the space above the furniture. That way there will be a divide all the way from the floor to the ceiling without having to string several decorations together.
Another stylish addition you can hang above short bookshelves or a dresser? Plants! If you’re up to the responsibility of taking care of some greenery, potted plants are a beautiful way to separate two rooms. Choose ones with greenery that will drape over the pots, such as ferns or spider plants, and stagger their heights to create an even better visual barrier.
There are tons of ways to divide a studio apartment, so don’t be afraid to get creative and take on a DIY project. And remember that room dividers don’t have to be physical barriers – do what you can to visually distinguish the two spaces from each other. Just make sure you ask your landlord before making any big changes!