Design ideas for studio units

Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.

studio-type unit may be smaller but there are ways to make it more appealing. PHOTO FROM WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A studio unit is defined as a self-contained space where everything is in a single room though the bathroom is separated. Compared to those with separate bedrooms (1- or 2-bedroom), these units are cheaper to buy or rent. But the tradeoff is lesser or smaller space. Thus, studio units are ideal for those living alone.

As such, small spaces do not allow a lot of furnishings. Unless you adhere to spartan living, there are ways to make a studio unit look attractive even with less furnishings. The following are some ideas on how to design an otherwise plain studio unit into a stylish one. One thing to note is that designs may vary depending on the floor area and configuration or layout of the unit.


One issue with studio units is there is no floor plan. It is up to the unit owner to define areas and one way is the use of a bookshelf. A bookshelf or any large furniture helps in partitioning areas, such as the kitchen and home office, or the bed room and den.


Instead of installing a fixed divider or partition, a folding screen is ideal. It can still create an illusion of privacy and separateness. It can also be used as a changing area when getting dressed coming out of the shower.

Another way to divide sections is using rugs or carpets. Not only does it separate the sleeping area from the living area, the colors provide a feeling of warmth.


Your bed can be repurposed as a couch to create additional seating options during the day. It is suggested that the bed is to be positioned against the wall and adding throw pillows to make it look like a couch. A convertible sofa-bed combination would also be ideal in a studio unit.

Design ideas for studio units

You may also consider getting a folding bed, sometimes called a Murphy Bed – one that can be folded upwards to the wall to help make up space. It can be tucked up during the day and folded down when it is time to retire for the day.


The otherwise drab walls can be made visually pleasing by putting a decorative wallpaper if you are not allowed to paint (especially true in an apartment), thereby making it an accent wall. The wallpaper may serve as a huge piece of artwork.

For those who own bicycles, a bike rack can help turn a parked bicycle into piece of art while at the same time, free up floor space. It is recommended to surround the bike rack with objects like a painting or plants so it does not merely look like a bicycle hanging on a wall.


Curtains are ideal to separate the sleeping area in lieu of any kind of partition to provide a measure of privacy.

Wall shelves

Rather than stack things on the floor, wall shelves help create additional storage space. If it is not feasible to have a work desk, a folding desk or table attached to the shelf is recommended if space if the concern.


Give the small space of a studio unit, it is recommended that you get modular furniture – furniture that can have many functions. One example is a bed that has a storage compartment underneath in lieu of additional cabinets. If the studio unit cannot accommodate more than one table, a sizable coffee table is recommended that can serve as work or dining space.

For units with low ceilings, it is advisable to get low-profile or leggy furniture to create an illusion of higher ceilings.

Furthermore, strategic placement of furniture can help create zones. For instance, placing the couch at the foot of the bed so you do not need to look at your bed as well as separate the sleeping area from the living area.

All in all, a studio-type unit need not look drab. With these suggestions put forward, a plain-looking studio unit can be made to look snazzy even with a few furnishings. First, know what is your need. Have an idea what you would like your unit to look like in accordance to your lifestyle, then let imagination and creativity run free.