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Studio Flats: Designing for Large Living in a Small Space

Studio flats were originally associated with dorm life and cramped quarters. People seeking solo living quarters while on a limited budget opt for a flat at least 300 square feet but not more than 500 square feet in size. Due to the limited space, the living and sleeping areas are merged, and it’s up to the tenant to find a way to maximise the space without it feeling cramped.

Now, many people, regardless of budget constraints, are embracing small-space living. You’ll find many stories online of people downsizing their living spaces from a huge house or flat to, say, a 300-square-foot studio.

What’s in it for you when you live in a studio flat and how can you live large in a limited space?

Living your best life in a small space

The most obvious reason for living in a studio flat is it’s more affordable than larger units. Having a small space means you spend less on utilities. Everything is accessible, and you don’t have to walk around a large space to find something.

Living in a studio flat also forces you to be more intentional about what you keep at home. You don’t need to spend much on furniture and accessories, as it’s more practical to buy fewer impactful pieces. On the practical side, a smaller space is easier to maintain.

The limited space of a studio flat also allows you to channel creativity when it comes to decorating. With limited space and a necessity for functionality, designing a small space poses a challenge that forces you to think more thoroughly about the way you furnish the area. You’ll find innovative ways to maximise the available space, from functional storage solutions to the creation of open spaces.

Designing your small space

Designing a homeAccording to Weldon Owen, the author of Small Space Style: Because You Don’t Need to Live Large to Live Beautifully, the key to living comfortably in a small house or flat is designing the space so that it can perform multiple functions within the modest square footage. Consider the following aspects when designing your studio flat:

    • Partitions – Even though a studio flat combines several functions in a small space, it doesn’t mean you can’t divide the area into several rooms. Partitions like curtains, sliding doors, half walls and bookcases act as dividers to create a sense of privacy between, say, the living room and bedroom. Make sure to plan beforehand to determine how much square footage to assign to each room.
    • Colours and textures – A neutral palette – white, grey and beige – or subdued, natural colours are recommended to create an open and airy effect. To break the monotony of colour, add furniture or install fixtures with interesting textures. For example, using marine grade plywood as flooring to contrast a white wall adds an element of luxury and warmth to the flat.
    • Transforming furniture – Investing in transforming furniture is the key to making your studio flat multifunctional. A Murphy bed is an obvious space-saving choice, as you can pull down the bed from the wall at the end of the day then tuck it back after use. Versatile pieces like a modular sofa and an expanding desk quickly transform a living room into a dining room.

Living in a studio flat allows you to save money on rent and utilities, but it also comes with space limitations. While you can’t expand your property’s square footage, you can maximise every inch of your space to create a comfortable and functional home.