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Ask Angel: Multipurpose Furniture For a Studio

If your design questions aren't getting addressed in the Ask Casa or Room Therapy posts, then direct your queries to west elm designer Angel, who's started a new TeamSugar group called Ask Angel to help you solve all of your design conundrums!

BellaSugar wrote to Angel saying,

How can those of us who live in studios divide up our space? Right now, I'm low on furniture—I have only a side table, a dresser, and a bed—but I feel kinda stuck. I don't want to overwhelm the space with too much furniture, especially because everyone comments on how spacious my (mostly empty) studio feels. Any ideas for adding furniture without making things feel cramped?

To see Angel's answer, just

Angel writes,

Ciao Bella! These days, everything and everyone has to multitask – including furniture! As you know, in a small space every corner counts. All it takes to make the most of yours is a little planning and a piece or two of multitasking furniture.

To make the most of your space, furnish with versatile pieces you love. You can never go wrong with a stylish daybed, which serves as a couch by day and doubles as a cozy sleeping space for friends by night. I’d suggest putting a white coverlet on the daybed to brighten the space and maybe add a few throw pillows for color. Place an accent stool next to it that can double as a small side table or extra seating. Or use side by side ottomans with trays on top as your coffee table – these can also become seating or be moved around as needed. Remember, sticking to furniture with simple lines is key when creating a calm open space.

Another tip to design a highly functional, creative space is to build up. Instead of taking precious floor space, utilize your wall space instead. Refrain from crowding tabletops by choosing wall sconces and floor lamps and add wall–mounted ledges and shelves for storage. If you need a small work space area I’d suggest investing in a classic Parsons desk, which is not only the perfect shape and size but can also multitask as a cozy dining table for two or a decorative console! To finish off this corner of the room, think about adding an adjustable pendant lamp to highlight your vertical ingenuity.

Hope these quick tips help you maximize your space with style!


Join The Conversation
yogacooker yogacooker 9 years
You can also use a bookshelf (w/o a backside) to separate space. This also allows you to keep the spacious feeling since you can see through the bookshelf, as long as it's not jammed packed.
hayworthgilda hayworthgilda 9 years
for a desk, I'd also suggest the C&B desk version of their ladder bookcase - it takes up hardly any space against a wall. If you want to section off part of your studio to create distinct rooms and/or give some of the space more privacy (ie, bedroom), the expedit bookshelf from from ikea is great. it's open so it doesn't shut out the light, serves as a great display area/bookshelf, and is large enough to seem like a solid divider. You can also create areas by sectioning off spaces w/ furniture that doesn't go to the ceiling - you could set a sideboard not against the wall, for instance, to help create a dining area. The room won't feel too chopped up since it's low and light and air can still flow.
kristyrk kristyrk 9 years
These are awesome tips, some of which I wish I would have known before dressing my studio! I lived in a small studio with my boyfriend for a year and boy was it a designing challenge! We needed an office space too so we had to make sure that all of our furniture worked overtime, having them act as storage but have basic functionality as a desk, bed or coffee table. Studios certainly make you appreciate the space you have!!
Lala538 Lala538 9 years
I love that daybed.
monica117 monica117 9 years
What is wrong with the font on this page? It's practically illegible.
Beauty Beauty 9 years
Thanks for all of these ideas! I love that pendant lamp, and I'll definitely consider getting an ottoman instead of a regular coffee table.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Great tips!
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