So you’ve just got into the college you aimed for / your dream job. (light, soft, happy music begins) You’ve left home for the first time with stars in your eyes, sure of your bright future, till (music ends!)… you see where you will be living for the next few years. The small bedroom is supposed to double up as your study, triple up as the place you hang out with friends and friple up (is there such a word?) into a mini kitchenette with a fridge and a micro. One room living was not part of the big plan.
If you’re feeling frustrated with your PG or hostel room and don’t know what to do with it, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s try to figure out all the things we need for comfortable one room living and how best we can fit them all in… and make it look great too!
Organise Your One Room Living Space:
Here’s how I plan out any room when I start the design process. First I figure out what the essentials are.. what I need in the room. Then I figure out the most beautiful way to put them in. I often hear ‘function first’, and I agree with that. But it must follow with ‘aesthetics second’. It means that I will fill in the aesthetics around the function, and not vice versa. It does not mean I will ignore the aesthetics!
So the first thing we need in a bedroom…
(1) Use A Daybed
You’re unlikely to have a large enough room to fit in a bed and a sofa. So why not use a daybed instead? It serves as a sofa when you have friends over, or even if you want to lounge around in the day, and is a bed at night.
If you already have a single bed, just style it like a daybed. Push it against a wall (this actually saves you more space!) Then, instead of putting the pillows towards the head side, line up cushions along it’s length like you would style a sofa. You’re ready to entertain friends!
(2) Storage Under Your Bed:
A lot of daybeds and single beds come with storage built in. But in case yours is without storage, don’t waste that space. Fill up suitcases or trunks with things you use less often and line them up under the bed.
From vintage and leather to shiny pinks and blues, you get them in all types and colours. So choose your cases to go with the rest of your decor.
In fact, we have more suitcase decor ideas on this blog, here. Check them out!
(3) Bedside Table:
You definitely need space near your bed to keep your phone / book / a glass of water. But do you need a bedside table in particular? Place other furniture next to your bed which can then double up as a side table too. For instance, the study table next to your bed can serve both purposes easily.
Need a small refrigerator? Place it near your bed. Cold water right at hand and a great place to keep your things.
Need a microwave too? Get a small unit which can fit both.. and double as your side table!
Don’t want heavy furniture? Use a metal rack instead. If I was using this as a side table, I would put the micro on the topmost shelf and use the middle shelf as my nightstand.
Now wardrobes are essential. Nothing like having an actual wardrobe in your room. So if you have one, or can buy one, just skip this part and go on to the next point. But suppose you don’t have enough space to fit in a wardrobe, or want something temporary, these ideas will make a great substitute.
You can start with a simple rod. Either on a stand like this one, or fix it wall to wall like for a curtain, or just suspend it with a chain or rope from the ceiling. Make sure it’s away from the wall to be able to fit hangars.
You get so many type of wardrobe organisers online now. Pick and choose what suits you best and get them all on the rod too.
If you have some drawers or shelves you can line them up below the rods to give a complete wardrobe feel.
You could leave it open like this.. sort of like a walk in wardrobe. But if you are worried about it looking messy and catching dust, add a curtain in front of it. In fact if you have any other storage racks (like the one above for the microwave) you can line them all up on one side and draw a curtain along that wall. All the mess disappears behind the curtains and your room looks neater and lighter.
Curtains are especially useful if the room is small. In the room below, there isn’t enough space between the wardrobe and bed for shutters to open. So they just removed the shutters of the built-in wardrobe and put a curtain instead.
(5) Study / Dressing Table:
A folding table is a great spacing saving option for one room living.
Use it with a mirror and it becomes a dresser.
Even if you have a regular study table, add a mirror on the wall above and it will double up as a dressing table too.
(6) Functional Decor:
To make one room living comfortable you have to maximise the use of every possible space. If you can make your decor serve some purpose too, nothing like it. This bookshelf, for example. You don’t realise you’re looking at so much shelf space… you only see a decorative piece.
These wall racks are a simpler example of the same.
You can lay out wall box shelves of different sizes in any pattern that suits your space to make a pretty wall with lots of storage too.
Wire baskets are very useful too. Put plants in some and your belongings in others and you have a decorative, useful wall right there.
Cane baskets are great for one room living too. They are beautiful in themselves, and can store loads of stuff inside, out of sight.
Line them up against a wall or your bed, and they make a style statement of their own.
Lay down planks on ladder steps to make simple shelving for storage and decor.
Here’s another great idea from our post on girly room ideas, to make your decor work for you.
There are so many ways in which you can combine form and function once you start thinking along those lines. I hope these ideas above can get you started.
Yes, I know, plants don’t serve any purpose other than decor (unless you count providing oxygen!) But plants can single handedly make the smallest and saddest of rooms into fresh, happy and happening spaces. Floor space is at a premium when you’re trying to put everything into one room, so use little plants in shelves, baskets or on your tables. And whether you hang them from curtain rods…
Or the ceiling itself..
… you must add some plants to complete your room!
One Room Living in Grand Style:
I can hear the music start again! Hope you have a new perspective to one room living now. You can make your PG or hostel room into your dream space and totally enjoy the few years that you have to spend there. Your ‘home’ can be as cozy, comfortably and cool as you want it to be. So get decorating!
Until next time,