If you live in a limited space (like an efficiency apartment) you can often make do, but residing in just one room can be particularly daunting.
First, assess how you live: Do you like to throw parties or have regular gatherings? How much storage space do you have available for books, clothing, knick-knacks, etc.? Do you work at home?
Perhaps the biggest factor in one-room designing is the separating of public and private space (bookcases and Murphy beds are good examples for this purpose).
Guidelines for Living In a Small Space:
Items can always be put away and stored in pretty boxes. And the boxes can be “hidden in plain sight” by stacking them in the open spaces at the bottoms of desks and end tables.
“Zones” can be created with lighting. They can also be created well with a L-shaped studio apartment, when divided roughly into thirds: The rear corner, the front space, and the mid-section.
You can indeed put big pieces in a small space.
Select furniture with legs so you can see under the piece (and the room will look less small).
If you’re going to paint, use one color and bring in different textures (your place will appear to have more space). You don’t want 50 different colors fighting with each other in one room; the walls will feel like they’re closing in!
Don’t put all the furniture in the room’s center.
A good sturdy coffee table can double for dining or as a work table.
If you don’t have enough space to go horizontal, consider vertical.
If you have a kitchen and you’re considering painting it, make the color identical to the rest of the room, or paint it to totally contrast.
You DO NOT want a large desk in a one-room place, OK? It should be no more than 48 by 24 inches.
Even with a one room place, you should still be able to seat at least three guests. You’ll want pull-up type seating such as benches, small dining chairs or ottomans (these can all be moved over to the sofa when company comes a-calling).
Multi-task furniture is a godsend. Stools, benches and plant stands can double as bedside tables. Foyer-style chests and dining room sideboards are great buffets for serving guests and can double as dressers.
In a long, narrow room, sitting the sofa (if possible, consider a 72-inch model) on the shortest wall will actually give you more space for other furniture.
When guests have to sleep on the floor, make it more tolerable for them by having the most luxurious linens, pillows and bed sheets you can afford.
Still a little crowded? Get a twin-size inflatable air mattress for those extra bodies.
Even in a one-room place, you will still need a foyer. Create one by installing a shelf or a low bookcase with a little tray on the top for your mail, keys and other small essentials.