Friday, March 30, 2012

The bed conundrum

Apartment Therapy recently posted an article about ways to place furniture in small apartments.

Okay, "article" is a bit generous. It's ten pictures, a blurb describing the problem you want an answer to and an assertion that the answer is contained within those photos.

It isn't.

And that's not really their fault. The problem of furniture placement in a small apartment is that there are so many variations of the ways even a teensy apartment can be arranged. Is the kitchen a separate room? Are there weird nooks or built-ins? Where are the windows? Each possible permutation comes with unique challenges. And today, very general ideas for solving the bed conundrum.

Unless you're one of those crazy people who can stand sleeping on a twin mattress, a bed is going to occupy a lot of space in an apartment. In a small apartment, this is even more a concern; a queen size mattress is about 33 square feet, not including the space needed to get in and out.

Even though it can be close to 10% of your itty bitty apartment, having a bed is good. You're going to get a much better mattress than if you have a sleeper sofa or futon. You can even get one of those Swedish mattresses that's made out of astronauts.

With a studio apartment, you've got the immediate problem that your bed is going into the same room that you're having company over for. Arranging the furniture so you can both have a little privacy and fit everything in is important. Let's look at some ways to solve both of these dilemmas.

1. If there isn't a bedroom, make one.

The bed goes in the bedroom; hence the name. But in a studio, if the main room has generous enough dimensions, you can section off the area you want for your bed in a number of ways.

Melissa used hanging woven mats; they take up almost no floor space, they're cheap and they're hard to see through.

This solution is a mix of curtains and the good ol' expedit. Solves a lack of storage AND is a nifty room divider. Honestly one of my favorite pieces of ikea furniture out there.

2. No peeking!
An easy way to create a little bit of privacy that requires no DIY skill at all is to arrange your furniture so it isn't facing the bed. Yes, your guests can see there's a bed, but you've laid out the room in a way that discourages looking at it, so the message is the same.

In Jay's apartment, the sofa and chairs are perpendicular to the bed. Combined with the shelf "wall" there's a clear bed area that still is separate from the seating: Keeping your bed in a little nook like this can still keep it feeling private, even if it's open to the rest of the room.

Rae put her bed behind a folding screen, and the sofa faces away from it. Even without the screen, the bed still gets a little privacy.

3. Loft it!

Wanted the top bunk as a child? Of course you did, otherwise it's just like sleeping on a normal bed and where's the fun in that? Well, just like you can have cookies for dinner if you want, you can also put that bed over everything else. Here's a really creative DIY route, bed plus storage plus a nifty little overhang for the dressing table
I admit, I'm jealous

Jason made a version that's a little less extreme. A good choice if you don't quite have the ceiling height, and it still keeps things separate.

Tune in next time when I deal with a lack of storage.
All images via Apartment Therapy, linked accordingly.

1 comment:

  1. They're such clever solutions. The loft is very cool if you have no ceiling fans...xx