Furniture You Need (& Don’t Need) in a Studio Apartment

You’d think that furnishing a studio apartment would be easy. After all, less square footage means less furniture, and less furniture means less hassle. Right? Not exactly. When it comes to smaller spaces, you have to be strategic about your furniture: what you need and where it should go to maximize your space. Learn what furniture you need for a studio apartment, and what you can live without.


Opt for vertical shelving.

Floor space is a precious commodity in a studio apartment, which means you’ll want your storage to go up, not out. When considering storage ideas for small spaces, pieces that utilize vertical space can also make your ceilings appear higher. Pick tall, narrow bookcases over short, wide ones. Using a tall, stately chest, like the Hendrick 2-Door Chest, will free up more floor space than your typical lengthy dresser.

Look for furniture with built-in storage space.

You won’t have a lot of room for extra trunks, cabinets, and shelves in a small studio apartment, so it’s great to invest in furniture that comes with built-in storage. For example, you can store extra linens and clothing in a bed with storage functionality, and the perfect ottoman can serve as additional seating, surface area, and storage space all in one!

Embrace expanding or nesting furniture.

When you’re hunting for studio apartment furniture, pay close attention to anything with descriptors like “nesting” or “expandable” – these are your friends! Nesting tables, like this sleek set from CORT, can provide an extra surface area in a modern studio apartment when needed and be tucked away when not. Use an extendable dining room table as your desk during the week, and extend it to make a spacious table for entertaining guests during the weekend.

Consider a kitchen island on wheels.

Preparing a home-cooked meal can be tricky in a studio with limited kitchen space, which is why a kitchen island on wheels can save the day. Roll it into your kitchen space when you’re chopping up your mise en place, use it as a buffet table for dinner, and park it back against a corner when you’re done with it.

Select furniture that can divide your studio into “rooms.”

It can be a bit of a puzzle figuring out the ideal studio apartment furniture layout. You may be stuck wondering how to divide a single space into a living room and a bedroom, or a dining room into a mini-office. Using pieces like bookshelves, clothing racks, entertainment centers, or the appropriately-named room dividers can create the feel of a multi-room space (and without the price tag)..

Invest in furniture that can serve two purposes.

The best 400 square foot studio apartment ideas are all based on one general principle: less really can be more. Why crowd your space with two pieces of furniture if one could do both jobs? Turn your living room into a guest room instantly with the dual purpose sleeper sofa. A versatile bar table has multiple uses, from dinner table to work desk to room divider!


Buy fun-sized furniture.

When moving into a micro-apartment, your gut instinct may be to furnish it with micro apartment furniture. However, filling your space with small furniture can make it feel even tinier. You don’t need to rush out and buy a twin bed or a dollhouse-sized couch. Instead, focus on furnishing your studio apartment cleverly, with normal-sized pieces.

Buy oversized furniture.

On a similar note, a studio apartment isn’t probably the best place to showcase a California King bed or a sprawling sectional. In other words, you’ll want to aim for a happy medium while furniture shopping!

Overdo it with furniture.

Just because everything can fit doesn’t mean everything should fit. Take a look at professionally furnished studio apartments. You’ll notice that each piece serves a purpose or makes a statement, and things don’t look cramped or overcrowded into the space. It’s never more important to choose your pieces wisely than when you’re furnishing a studio.

Completely sacrifice your preferences for functionality.

Should you be strategic and furnish with functional pieces when possible? Absolutely. Should you fill your space with furniture you don’t like, simply because it’s practical? No way! Your studio is still your home sweet home – and it should feel like it! Just because a murphy bed, a foldaway desk, and rail-thin bar stools might save you a little bit of space — doesn’t mean you should get them if you don’t like the look! Make sure to balance functionality with your taste.

Still not entirely sure how to furnish your studio apartment? After years of helping renters furnish spaces big and small, we can help! Turn to CORT for professionally-curated furniture rental packages designed to fit your space.

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