A studio apartment can appear cozy and urban, or it can turn into a cramped living space where furniture looks twice as large and there is barely room to move around. With the knowledge of a few crucial tips however, your studio apartment can be transformed into a fully functional, snug abode.

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Read on to know how to make the most of your studio living room:

1. Strategic Room-dividing

In a studio apartment, you have the unique challenge of creating isolated spaces within open ones.

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You will want to start by using your existing furniture to create designated areas. Your couch, for example, will serve as a visible yet unobtrusive barrier that separates the conversation area from the dining room or even the kitchen. Adding a rectangular area rug underneath your couch will further reinforce this sensation.

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But be realistic– if your couch is too big, it will become a mere obstacle in the middle of the room. Light colored rugs and couches will create the illusion of expansion, while also uplifting moods. If you prefer, you can use multiple square cushion seats in accordance with a small couch, so you don’t cramp up the space.

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Benches and chairs are just as crucial to consider! If they are dark in color, you may want to paint them over in an ivory or creme color. Pick pieces that are low in height and small in size, to create as little visual obstruction in your living room as possible. Try to keep them away from the windows or terraces, and instead use them to separate the dining region from everything else. Remember, you’ll want to separate, but not fence off areas completely. Create uniformity through the color scheme of your furniture.

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If you want to take a more chic and DIY approach, screens, curtains and other kinds of room dividers are available. Hanging a light colored curtain from a ceiling rod is a flexible approach, as you will be able to trespass into the other areas easily while maintaining separation. Screens can appear more discreet, especially Asian-styled paper screens. Be conscious of the height, and take note of detailing in the colors or patterns — you can make dividers blend into the rest of your living room by matching up these small details.

2. Paint

You will never go wrong with soft or light colored paint for both the ceiling and floorings in a studio apartment.

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You may wish to use two shades, using the darker one on the back wall to add more depth. Because you won’t be able to have a ton of decorations or trinkets, detailing in the walls (polkadots, patterns, scribbled quotes, etc) can be a nice touch without the clutter. Painting sections of the walls in accordance to the area of the room (kitchen/living space/studio/dining area) can be another way of dividing the room in a natural manner.

3. Plants

Literally adding life to your living space can make the room more inviting, fresh, and lively.

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You may wish to peg mason jars filled with plants onto the walls, or line a window sill with small pots. To hide or dissimulate corners, place plants of medium height in slender pots. You may also wish to hang terrariums from the ceiling to spice things up, but remember that tending these plants will be a concern.

4.Decorations

As much as you will have to hold yourself back from using tons of decorations, a handful of them won’t hurt, especially if they work well with the color scheme of your living room.

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Play around with sources of light — candles are a great alternative to natural lighting, and they serve as lovely accents. Try to keep the walls as free of decor as possible however, as they already enclose the living room. By maintaining particular themes in select spaces within your living space, you can also maintain that division that is so crucial — two birds with one stone!

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5. Rugs

Rugs are a great way of decorating your room without the commitment of painting or drilling. Like stated previously, you can use them as dividers or to simply add color to the room without overwhelming the space. If your floorings are dark, opt for smaller rugs or don’t use them altogether.

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Who says that you can’t create a cozy living room within your studio apartment? Space may be a little limited, but by putting these tips to good use, you will be able to have a miniature house with the bonus of feeling comfy while having everything near to you.