Recently I have been involved with creating a study space in a bedroom. If you are like me and live in a small space, every square centimetre counts. Having a place to create a new project like studying is essential. Creating a designated area draws a visible boundary so the people in your life can see it and then understand and respect what you are doing in that space. It also allows you to know that when you are in that place, you are in ‘study mode’ or whatever mode it is for the space you have created. Having a designated area to study or work I have found, increases my focus and productivity.
In this project there were specific criteria that needed to be considered:
· A very small budget of $300
· Everything needed a place in a room that is 3.5m x 3.5m with a BIR insitu.
· A bedroom feel was to remain including a queen size bed.
· Feminine furnishings with lots of colour.
· To use as many of the items that already existed in the house and shed.
Many ideas were discussed with an aim to create a clear space for working, relaxing and sleeping.
Above is a picture of the room before the change. You can see the BIR in the bottom right of the pic. The room finishes about 80cm from the foot of the bed.
There are so many great things about restrictions with budget and space because it makes you really think outside the box and there is a limit to what you can do. This might sound strange because when I think about the statement, ‘to think outside the box’; I think that the answer is going to be BIG! As if the boundaries of what you already have need to be expanded. However, thinking outside the box is probably more about just stepping outside of the box and looking back into it. One great way to do this for a room redesign is to draw a diagram and move the pieces of furniture around in it before doing it in the actual space. There are now free websites that can help you with this.
For our room, the redesign started with the bed. A second hand Ikea loft bed from ‘Gumtree’ was sourced and collected. The room was only 2.4m high so the loft bed needed to be modified. A handyman removed 1ft from the bottom of the bed legs to bring the height down but to maintain enough space for siting and moving about underneath. The bed was also reinforced and the mattress slats were changed to the ones from the old bed. The old bed was to be kept and so was stored at one end of the stilt legs of the new bed against the wall. A shelf was added to the head of the bed for books and a lamp. The existing desk, draws and chair were moved into the space under the bed. Although the bed was placed at the window more lighting was required with a desk lamp and bed head lamp for reading at night. A new slouching chair with cushions was placed under the bed to the side of the desk for reading and relaxing. A new mat at the door for some more colour and some fabric hung to soften the area and the room was complete. The room was functional and relaxing.
· Desk and drawers
· Cushions and linen
· Washing basket
· Electrical equipment
Additional Furnishings and Costs:
· Second hand loft bed $100
· Bed repairs $60
· Lamps $32.90
· Chair $39
· Laptop riser $6.95
· In/Out Tray $11.95
· Mat $7.95
The room changed completed.
This project shows that a small area can still give you the room to do many things. If a loft bed is not your thing, there are many options to create a space that you feel comfortable in and do all the things you need to. If you can't see a way to do it there are many people who can help with ideas, design and getting the job done. Create a space you love living in. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Do it within your budget and you will probably enjoy it even more.