Starting Fresh! Help me plan out my space! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 04-16-2014, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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After 5 months of being pseudo-homeless, I'm signing the lease for my new rental on Friday! It's a pretty blank slate at this point. I have a storage unit full of stuff, much of which I plan to sell, but I want to figure out what I do want to keep and use first! 


About the space: It's a one bedroom apartment, about 500 square feet. There's a tiny 3/4 bath off the bedroom, a tiny closet in the bedroom, and a small laundry room. It was converted from a garage space and actually has a functional garage door which they built the front wall of the apartment in front of (zombie proofing anyone?) The bedroom is actually a good size, about 13' by 15'. The living area isn't too much bigger than it, 14' by 15' I think? and is just one big space with the kitchen sink, stove, and counters against the bedroom wall and fridge adjacent. There's no storage space, so I'll probably end up keeping my storage unit most likely unless I get really creative. The floors are all tile. 


My kids are 18 months and 9 years and will be with my part-time. The 18 month old can't be outside at all during the day due to his medical condition. For the time being we'll have curtains on all the windows, but eventually I'd like to get tints so that we can have some natural light, sans UV, in the house. 


Bedroom- I'm looking at having the kids in the bedroom with a loft bed for my daughter and pack and play for my son, and to basically have most 'stuff' in there other than kitchen stuff. There are approx enough books to occupy a 5x5 expedit bookshelf, a dozen or two boardgames, crafting stuff (4 expedit cubes plus felting wool which I might use for decor), clothes for all of us, and lots of toys.  


Living area- I'll be sleeping in the living area. I need to figure out the best option for a 'bed' for me, as well as hangout space. I really like the idea of not having couches, but instead having tons of awesome floor seating, but am open to options. Little man will likely join me in bed cosleeping some of the time, so a loft isn't ideal. I'd also like to have company stay over occasionally, so it needs to be able to fit two people. Any ideas for doing this where I can have people over and it not look like a bed? Futon may be my best option, but I'd like to hear others. The apartment has a queen bed in it for the moment from the landlord, but I don't want to stick with that. 


Kitchen and dining (in same space as living area)- I'll definitely need additional kitchen storage as I have way too many appliances. I have a big wire shelving unit (like 5'x6') that I could use for that, or put in my storage unit and get something smaller for the apartment. I also have a huge wooden table. I was considering taking the legs off of it and setting it on the floor with cushions. Not sure if doing that with a toddler in the house is asking for trouble though. Additional counter space would also be helpful.


Any thoughts, suggestions?  I'm returning my king size mattress to Costco so that will give me a chunk of change to use on some furniture. A few other items I plan to sell as well to find things that will work better with the space. 

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#2 of 8 Old 04-18-2014, 05:19 AM
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You can do it! I'd probably either do a sofa bed or futon.
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#3 of 8 Old 04-21-2014, 06:20 AM
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I would say simplify, simplify, simplify!!! Sounds like a great plan already. Truly only keep what you need or use. The rest is just stuff. Enjoy your time with you kiddos.

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#4 of 8 Old 06-14-2014, 01:00 PM
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Yep I definitely say futon bed/couch. This is what we have had for years and enjoy it... so much that even in our last rental (a 3 bedroom) we gave each kid their own room and stayed in the living room. Now in our current 2 bed we still are staying in the living room even though we could have a bedroom since all three kids beds are in one room. I love having the futon/daybed style bed and couch plus lots of floor pillows and such for extra seating space. Works great for us. Decluttering is helpful in small spaces and get creative with organization and storage. You'd be surprised what you can do. We lived as a family of 5 in a 40' camper for a couple of years traveling and I still had a full size two door pantry cabinet and depp freeze in there!!! It can be done. Enjoy your new place!
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#5 of 8 Old 07-14-2014, 10:42 AM
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I'm in a similar situation and was looking into DIY twin bed couches.
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#6 of 8 Old 10-29-2014, 10:48 PM
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That is a great idea FreeThink, We live in a small space house and we need to add some bed. I am thinking to buy a day bed on Christmas but I read your post maybe a twin bed couch is a great idea and I will put this in our living room.
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#7 of 8 Old 10-30-2014, 07:00 PM
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I have a very small cottage, although somewhat larger than the space you described. I had to trade out my nice big kitchen table for a smaller one with leaves that fold down, when the kids are not with me I drop them and my space is suddenly so much bigger lol. After living in the space for a couple years, I find myself wishing I had gone even smaller with the table since it takes so much room AND becomes a catch-all surface when things get hectic.

The main things living in a small space has taught me are: First, everything has to be something I love and use. Multifunctional if possible, like a storage ottoman that keeps linens inside, is a foot rest, and and extra seat for company. Second, everything must have a designated home. Things without homes breed in the night and fill your tiny home with clutter while you sleep.
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#8 of 8 Old 11-07-2014, 06:15 PM
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For bed options, have you considered a Murphy bed? I think you can get (or build yourself) ones that are not permanent to the apartment. You might also consider a twin bed with a pop-up twin trundle. That way it can be a king when you want to have that and then put away and convert to a day bed/sofa.

Good luck in your new space! May you fill it only with joy and happy memories.
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