6 Ways to Create a Focused Apartment

By Elizabeth Hilfrank on October 10, 2017

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Sometimes you just want to veg out in your apartment, but you also have tons of work to do. So, how do you get the best of both worlds? Create a focused apartment.

To create your best study space will be touch and go, as everyone’s study techniques are a little different, but these six tips serve as a general guide for specific aspects to focus on when designing your personal space. Here’s how:

Zen vibes only  Remain calm by taking the yoga approach and feeling ~zen~ wherever you study. It may sound basic, but it works!


There’s no way to make your space less of a study area than to live in a room that’s the equivalent of the doctor’s office with fluorescent lights, metal, and starkness. Brit + Co offers some great tips as to how to achieve this goal.

1. Furniture – The places you sit will greatly influence how you focus. Pick pieces that are relatively low to ground for the most aesthetic flow. Try out a few chairs to make sure you have the one that is right for you when you work at a desk. For me, I prefer ones that will rock or swivel but others may prefer a more stable choice.

Take the time to sit in a few samples before purchasing. You want to be comfortable, but not too comfortable so that you can study without falling asleep. Speaking of which, try to avoid doing work in your bed. While comfortable, studies have shown that doing work in your bed will negatively affect your sleep, as you then associate bed with work, and you will become overly stimulated.

If you want a comfy space, try out a bean bag in your living room. Or, you may decide that you need to be upright, so pick out a nice desk and chair combo. Consider buying a whiteboard for your study room as well. You can use this to do practice problems, rewrite notes, or “teach” to your apartment.

2. Lighting Natural light is best but sometimes that can be out of your control depending on your apartment space. If you are blessed with a lot of windows, try to rely on the sunlight most. If your apartment comes with fluorescent lighting, cover the overhead lights with a light cloth. The harshness of these lights has been proven to strain eyes.

If window lighting is not enough, or you do most of your studying once the sun goes down, then try out Christmas lights and lamps, and use light bulbs that are high in ”heat.”

3. Colors – Choose neutral colors like yellow, white, green, brown and gray. These choices are known to present positivity, calmness, and focus. Avoid painting your walls brightly because doing so will excite you, and may excite your stress more than calm it.

Low-tone colors are known to be calming and to improve efficiency. Green reminds us of nature, thus relaxing our bodies. If you choose earthy tones, you can feel like you are out in the woods enjoying the scenes instead of stuck inside writing a 10-page paper. I know in the preschool where my mom worked, the director encouraged lighter colors because bright primary colors would excite the students, thus making it harder to focus.

4. Smell – Scent can tell a lot about a space. Consider investing in some air fresheners that will add a flare to your room. Lavender is known to put one in a relaxed state. Jasmine is said to too. Lemon is said to promote concentration and rosemary improves memory.

5. Cleanliness For me, even on my most stressful days, I feel better if my room is organized. So, keep your study space neat and tidy. A disorganized area will only make you feel more all-over-the-place. It is representative of things that need to be done but are yet to be done. Also, it’s a lot easier to find the things you need when your space is clean.

6. Background noise — This is very much a personal choice, but you should test out what works best for you. Are you someone who needs complete silence, or are you someone who likes loud pop music in the background? Or maybe you need to take the instrumental music approach. Also, test out listening to noise via headphones versus out loud. You may work better with one style versus the other.

Also, pick only one part of your apartment to study in. You need to have a designated study space so that you can separate work from play. This could just be a certain part of your bedroom, but make a certain corner your “study corner.” Try to avoid working at the kitchen table if you have a lot of roommates who will always be coming in and out. Find a space with a door that can close.

Happy focusing!

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