How to Do a Cute Studio Apartment Makeover in a 100sqft Space

Katy | LaughCryDIY
by Katy | LaughCryDIY

This studio apartment makeover is for anybody living in a tiny space. My friend lives in a 100-square-foot studio apartment and hasn't done anything to decorate it. I came over to give him a makeover, and I will show you how you can do a DIY tiny apartment makeover too.

Studio apartment before the makeover

The studio apartment

His simple studio apartment is a simple square box. He has the shelves above, which is very helpful, but we want to bring some functionality and add some coziness and style.

When we asked my friend his style, he said he had none. I know that he loves the Dodgers and US history, so we're going to take those themes, and we're going to do what we can to try to give him a sweet, lovely home studio apartment.

Create defined living spaces

One of the tricks to living in a small space is to create defined living areas. In this room, we can do a renter-friendly hack, and that is to create a faux headboard.

The primary color of our makeover is going to be Dodgers blue. We wanted to incorporate some rich woods, warm terracottas, and some browns, masculine but earthy and grounded.

How to DIY a faux headboard

The DIY faux headboard 

For the headboard, we'll wallpaper it with fabric. You take liquid starch, paint it on the wall, and then put a piece of fabric over it. It dries perfectly to the wall, and you can peel it off like nothing. The fabric we will use for this wall is a twin bed sheet.

We have decided where we want our line to go then I will use my level to ensure the headboard is up on the wall evenly straight.

If you use fabric as wallpaper, make sure that you wash and dry your fabric before you use it as wallpaper because when it gets wet, it will shrink. We are just going to use little thumbtacks to pin it all the way across.

Before we start sticking it, I'm also just going to trim off the bottom. Next, we'll paint on the liquid starch.

Get yourself a paint tray and a bottle of liquid starch to do this. They sell this at drugstores and grocery stores for about $2. You're going to get a paint roller. I also have a little smoothing tool.

So I have this soaked with starch. I'm just painting the liquid onto the wall, smoothing it over, and immediately painting the outside so it's double-drenched. 

After the wall has dried, we will cut the fabric down in the corner. 

Installing a mirror

Installing a mirror

What does every small space need to make it feel bigger and functional? It needs a mirror. We are doing a beautiful, rich wood walnut mirror. Level it before hanging.

Underbed storage

Underbed storage

In a small space, you've got to maximize your storage. We went to Ikea, and we got some under-bed storage. So we're going to fill this up with random items. 

Installing a flip desk


We were determined to get him a desk; somehow, I figured out how to custom-cut down and stain an entire desk for him in this space. We went to Home Depot, where I had them custom cut a piece of plywood, which fits end to end perfectly, stud to stud in between. 

So we will drill this to the wall, then we will drill hinges and the flip-down, flip-up desk to this plywood for extra support. I have drilled four holes in the sides here. I will take a 5/16 bit to get through this drywall and the stud. 

I will make some quick little pilot holes, and then we will mount the hinges on the desk. The desk is attached to the plywood anchored into the center wall stud.

Hanging key hook for the entry area

Entry area

When you're in a small space, you don't necessarily have room for a whole entry table, so we're hanging a key hook in that nice warm wood. 

Nightstand shelf

Nightstand shelf

There's not enough space for a nightstand, but he needs somewhere to charge his phone and have that up and out of the way. We have a 3M Command Hook shelf. We will put it up high, so it's out of the sleeping space.  

We placed a picture right above that shelf. 

Using shelving in the studio apartment


Now we are going to tackle these shelves. These shelves serve a purpose. He's storing many things here, but we want to make it look a bit more aesthetic and intentionally curated.

When you walk into this room, your first focal point is this shelf. It currently has a miscellaneous grouping of Dodgers items, which we will incorporate. I also want to bring in his books because those are a big part of what he likes to do. 

Again, our theme is blues, browns, rust, and terracotta. So I got these two little vases at the Dollar Store. Then we're putting our Dodgers memorabilia in place.

We have this back shelf empty, which is the shelf behind you when you walk into the room. That's why I will use this one for his miscellaneous storage. That is stuff that doesn't need to be seen. I went to the Dollar Store and got simple, decorative, cute little cube storage. 

Closet door storage

When my friend first moved in here, I gave him some suggestions for the layout: putting a freezer and a tiny fridge inside the closet. That way, he would free up outside space.

Since he's not using the closet, we use these clever vertical storage hooks to store his clothes behind the door. They're easy to access, but he can still use the closet for other miscellaneous storage. 

Lighter bedding


We wanted to upgrade the bedding, so we got a lovely duvet from Ikea. We got a little bit lighter, brighter pillowcases for a little tone on tone. We wanted to add a decorative throw pillow element, so we used one long bolster pillow. We finished it off with a throw for style.

Carpet runner

There are tile floors here, so we will warm them up with a runner. Anchor it down, so people don't slip. 

Studio apartment makeover

That's it for our studio apartment makeover. 

Studio apartment makeover

We used affordable items to create a cozy space in what was once a boring tiny studio. What have you done to decorate your small space? Share in the comments below.

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