How to Create the Perfect Small Study Space in a Small Apartment

Portrait of a happy young woman sitting in her kitchen with pen and paper, studying for college examsThe library is packed, the sun at the park is creating a blinding glare off of your computer screen, and those five dollar lattes from the coffee shop are really eating up your budget for, well, eating…so where on earth are you going to study for that Chem test? If you’re one of many college students living in an apartment, chances are that your place is no mansion. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to create your ideal study space amidst your one bedroom or even studio apartment! Check out these tips on how to create a space that’ll guide you straight ahead to straight A’s.

You do you…boo.

Before you start rearranging your apartment, think about what helps you focus the most. Do you prefer natural light or the ambient glow of a lamp? Does your spine demand that you sit in an ergonomic chair or are you cool to sit on something more casual and comfy, like a floor pillow? Knowing yourself and how you study best is one of the most important steps when trying to transform a small space into the ideal study space. Also, where is there literally enough room? Scope out a few potential spots to get started (don’t rule out the closet!) and go from there.

Use what you got.

Do you have an extra dresser that’s not being used? What about a side table that’s just been sitting in the living room holding a decorative plant? Whatever the case may be, there are probably pieces of furniture that you already own that could easily be used for a new purpose. Check out this bookshelf that was turned into a double desk, or this armoire gone A+!

All of the lights, all of the lights.

Lighting is important. You know, for seeing and stuff! But especially for studying. According to a 1999 University of Georgia study on academic achievement in children, lighting was shown to be a major factor in the brain’s ability to focus. The study reports that poor lighting reduces how effectively the brain collects information. If the pattern of learning in poor lighting continues over time, the brain can actually become slower at absorbing new information.

Creating a space with natural lighting is always the best option when you’ve got a lot of windows. Use the space underneath the windows for a small table or desk that you can prop your computer on. Short on windows? Double up with a floor lamp and a task lamp for your desk, and just say “No” to fluorescent light bulbs!

Consider unlikely spaces.

Corners and closets and hallways, oh my! Just because you don’t have a spare office in your apartment doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place to get your good grades on. Got a hallway or even an unused coat closet? (And perhaps a pair of noise cancelling headphones too?) Then you’ve got yourself a place to call a micro “office” or “study.” Browse Pinterest for tiny nooks turned offices and get some inspiration from these small alcoves gone grand.

Choose your finishing touches.

Find a way to personalize your space in a way that you know will help you get the work done! Need calming colors and no clutter? What about patterns and pictures of friends? The perfect decor for your study space is whatever motivates you to get your work done, whether that’s a statue of a banana or a set of embroidered pillows.


That’s right, “Save Our Study Space!” When working with such a small space, furniture, arranging furniture, and rearranging furniture can feel difficult. If you’re looking for a little help in the feng shui department, try renting your furniture as an alternative. Renting is easy on the wallet and the eyes, and allows you the flexibility to control the furniture pieces that come to you, but minus any of the heavy lifting. When your style changes, so can your living room (or bedroom, or any room, really).

Looking to try it out? Rent one or two pieces of “study” furniture, or go all out with an entire room or your entire apartment! Check out‘s student furniture rental options to start creating your ideal study space today. That Chem test will thank you!