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Thinking Inside The Box -- A 4-Step Guide To Studio Apartment Layout

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Living in a studio apartment has its advantages (lower cost, less stuff to move around) and its disadvantages (mostly a lack of space and defined rooms). When faced with the task of trying to find a way to make one feel like home, those disadvantages can seem overwhelming. But you can create a real home in a studio apartment by following these 4 steps.   

Start With the Bed. The bed is probably the biggest furniture item you have, so it's a good place to begin. Ideally, the bed should not be immediately visible or noticeable as you enter the apartment. It should also have some privacy while you sleep. Depending on your bed needs, many people opt for a smaller bed (double or twin), a convertible futon or pull-out or even a Murphy bed (which folds up vertically when not in use). 

Enter into the Social Area. The space closest to the door is usually reserved as the entertaining and hangout space of the home. Organize this space by deciding what will be the central focus and arrange around that. This focus item can be anything that defines a lot of your recreation or entertainment -- such as the television, a conversation grouping of two or three chairs, a comfy sofa or a work desk. 

Create Borders. Using several different methods, you can add some borders to help define the "rooms" in your studio. A large area rug is one way to delineate the size and limits of a "room" -- such as the living room or dining area. Use floating furniture -- like a sofa's straight back -- to create a sort of wall between areas placed back-to-back. A tall bookshelf or armoire (easily found in good furniture stores) is an easy way to add a "wall" to the bedroom area and give it some privacy.

Use Focal Points. Design each segment of the apartment -- kitchen, bedroom, living room or dining area -- with something interesting and unique to draw attention away from how small it is. A focal point can be any number of things, including a bold paint or trim color, a beautiful piece of furniture, a fun wall hanging  or a unique back splash. Adding focal points that reflect your home's overall theme and your personality are good ways to make the space feel like your home rather than just a rented apartment.   

By following this basic outline when planning the layout of your apartment, you can find the best solution for your furnishing challenges. It may even help to sketch the layout and existing furniture when planning and when buying new pieces -- saving time, money and energy. And the end result will be a cozy place you'll be happy to call "home."