Monday, October 4, 2010

Decorating Daydreams: One Room Wonders

It's no secret that the apartment I'll be moving into in LA will be a one room studio apartment. I've actually lived like this before, or close to it; when I first moved in with my sister, I was living in her livingroom, with a couch and entertainment unit smashed up against my work area with sewing machines on one side, and my queen-sized bed on the other. There was a narrow L-shaped foot path in the room, but that was about it.
Naturally, I want to set up my space a little smarter this time around; the space I lived in for the first five years with my sister was inefficient, cramped, and felt stressful. Since I'm starting from scratch, I'm trying to get ideas on what will work better.

Naturally if I can build a loft or find a place with a loft for my bed, this will be the most efficient use of space. Lofts get one of the biggest furniture pieces, namely the bed, off the floor and give you room to put things under it. I am not much of a capenter, so the likelihood of my building a loft space is pretty minimal. If I manage to find an apartment that has one already, that would be pretty sweet.

 Otherwise, it will be all about how well I can divide the space. The secret, as far as I can tell, to studio decorating is figuring out how to create the illusion of different rooms without actual walls. It's important to me to have an actual bedroom space; I lived without this for a long time, so it is a crucially important feature now.

Using bookshelves with pass-though, curtains, or some other open divider will create the illusion of having a private bedroom. I don't love the blinds they used here, but I like the idea of them.

These curtains are definitely more like it. Color can also be used to divide a single space; I kinda hope I'm allowed to paint so that I can use a bold color on one wall or find an artful technique to further delineate the spaces. I will have the added difficulty of needing three spaces out of one, as it will need to also be a workspace, but I hope that I can find ways to work with my tiny studio to make it liveable.

Obviously, I'm looking forward to decorating and setting up shop. Now all I need is a job and an actual apartment! Cross your fingers for me . . . .

What about you, dear readers? Any ideas or suggestions for one room wonders?


Love Lulu Mae said...

matt and i lived in a tiny studio for 3 years! we had a loft bed (craigslist/ikea!) ikea is fabulous!!! and they deliver!

now we live in a tiny 1 bedroom. the bed is in the living room with curtains around to divide the space (as LLM took over the "bedroom").

the good thing is - you can sew!~ curtains, pillows, dividers! this will save you tons of money in decorating! i wish i was going with you for a week to help! i love decorating small spaces.


Anonymous said...

As a former studio apartment dweller, I can honestly say IKEA will be your friend. Affordable furniture you can assemble yourself (and in many cases, move by yourself) is invaluable to those on a tight space and money budget. IKEA has some fantastic curtain rails and rods right now that actually go around corners so you can create your own temporary rooms with fabric panels, sheers, mosquito netting, or whatever your heart desires. The new line is called KVARTEL and it hangs from the ceiling - check it out!

In my case, the space dividers in my studio weren't all that obvious (you could definitely still see the bed from the "living room" space) but I knew they were there and that's what counted. How you divide the space will depend on how big a studio you manage to get. I chose to divide the space with shorter pieces - bookcases, mostly - because the overall size of the room was so small and I wanted it to feel expansive; if I'd walled off my bedroom area, I would have felt like I was living in an apartment full of closets.