Yin & Yang in a Studio Apartment

Separating the private and public areas of a studio apartment is best viewed as a demarcation of yin and yang spaces. The private bedroom area should be quiet and tranquil (and thus more yin) while the public living area can be vibrant and thus, more yang. It is important to achieve balance and simultaneously create sufficient contrast between the two so the two parts of the home are distinct, yet blend naturally. Here CHRIS YEO discusses the use of partitions, color & lighting to differentiate between living and resting sections. The idea is to ensure that the flow of Chi is smooth, and that it adequately reflects the yin and yang of multi usage space.

The bedroom is always a sanctuary from the helter-skelter of our daily dealings… a place we can kick off our shoes and relax. It is our private abode. But when our bedroom sanctuary is also the living room, kitchen and everything else rolled into one, the aura-intrusive actions of guests and visitors can break the tranquility of the sleeping area. When the two spaces of the room are not distinguishable, one from the other, you will find it hard to get a decent night’s rest or your social life’s the pits. Here are three ways to achieve good balance, while maintaining aesthetics and functionality. The three ways are using partitions, using color and using lighting.

A frosted glass partition effectively separates a room into different sections, while still allowing natural light to permeate the entire space.


Partitions are an excellent way of keeping your bedroom area private. They are also effective for shielding excessive sound coming from the living areas. But solid partitions usually make each space look cramped and small, causing the room to appear claustrophobic. A good solution is to use frosted glass. This allows light to penetrate through the entire space, while maintaining some privacy at the same time. Sleeping areas are ideally placed furthest away from the door, while living and entertainment areas can occupy the outer part of the apartment.

White is most neutral color to use for wall.


Colors create the ambience of living spaces. Harsh colors in the bedroom make sleeping and resting difficult, and excessively sleepy colors in the living areas create a feeling of lethargy. You will find that parties held in a room that is painted in very yin colors usually take a long time to take off; worse, they usually fall flat.

For walls, white is the most neutral color to use as it both yin and yang. It is essentially a yang color, but because it encompasses a total mixture of all the colors in the universe, it has yin properties as well. If you are faced with the dilemma of decorating a bedroom-cum-living room, white walls are always a good choice. To maintain the same color throughout the room is also visually very appealing, and does not create disharmonious breaks.

For the floor, pick a singular design carpet for both sleeping and living areas, or mix colors or materials used. For example, the bedroom can have a plush cream-colored carpet, while the living area can be wood, marble, slate or tile. If your walls are white, your floor can be pretty much any color. If you choose to be bold in your wall colors, other colors se should harmonize. Investing in a rendering of 3D images will help you visualize your space before you start work.

The feel of the two separate areas in your studio apartment should be different, so when the spaces don’t blend, you can tell from the rendering. On the other hand they may blend so well you cannot tell the difference.


Warm lights give this bedroom a cosy ambience.


The feel of any space can vary dramatically depending on the lighting you choose. Yellow lights give a much warmer and more homely feel, while white lights tend to be harsher and colder.

Lighting that brings out the tones of wall paintings usually add a soft touch to any space and it is the same for studio apartments. Lighting can also be effective when installed as wall washers, or when scattered as energy saving down lights and targeted halogen spotlights. Much depends on your personal preferences.

Glass tinting affects the color scheme of the room during the day, which in this case creates a greenish hue against the base white wall. Colors for soft furnishings and fabric chair coverings are great when they complement the mood you wish to create for your interiors.

Recessed wall washers is one way of creating a high tech look for the ceiling. The play of colors and light, reflect yin and yang Chi.

For bedrooms, darker wall colors can be used, but this must be balanced with a light color floor or vice versa. Alternatively, if white is your color of choice, do select lighting which can create a soft feel. Warm lights automatically creates a subdued environment regardless of color.