A couple of years ago one of my biggest dreams finally came true, and that was to buy a small condo in my hometown, Trieste.
After more than twenty years in the United States, I really wanted to have a small place to call my own in the city where I was born and where my parents and many of my friends still live.
When my two children were younger, it was quite easy to stay all together in my parents’ condo: an 80 square meter space where you could easily squeeze two tiny people in one single bed or on a mattress on the floor.
However, as the kids grew older and taller than me, things started to get a little more complicated.
Finally, in 2016, after checking out for months a cute little condo on the fifth floor of a historic building, the opportunity arrived and I decided to make an offer. What I really liked about it was that, even though not very big (57 square meter, that is 613 square feet total) it offered a spacious living area. Open spaces are not very common in Italy, because usually the kitchen is separate from the dining and the living room. But not in this case, thanks to a major renovation the previous owner did 20+ years earlier.
Playing with the floor plan to find the right design solution
Overall the condo was in very good condition, it just needed to be refreshed a little with a new coat of paint and minor fixes here and there. However, the biggest obstacle for me was to be able to fit four beds into a 20 square meter bedroom, which was long and narrow. I also wanted a wardrobe and a desk. Built-in closets are not common in Italy, you always have to consider that part of the space in the bedroom is going to be taken by a usually very big and tall wardrobe. A desk was also a must for me, because I didn’t want to use the kitchen table every time I had to work on my laptop.
This is how the bedroom looked before:
This layout is pretty typical for an Italian master bedroom: a big wardrobe, a queen size bed, one or two nightstands, one or two chairs in the corner and sometimes a small cabinet or a dresser, for the TV .
With this master bedroom my creative adventure started and… lasted for many weeks. I was desperately looking for small bedroom ideas. In the beginning, I wanted to have four singles beds ready and available all the time. In other words, I didn’t want to have a sofa bed to open each night and to close each morning. However, after many hours of playing around and brainstorming about any possible solution, including building a sort of a loft to accommodate at least two beds or better mattresses, I finally came up with this layout:
As you can see, I eventually gave in and purchased a sofa bed. As everything in life, sometimes you have to compromise. Luckily, two years later, I’m still super-duper happy with my decision.
So, what did I change? Let’s start with the area near the door, actually, let’s start with the door itself. Old swing door: out. New pocket door: in. Problem solved: no more door bumping into the wardrobe (and vice versa) every single time.
Then, I was able to find a nice and tall wardrobe with drawers, shelves and clothes rods. In addition, I also purchased a desk narrow enough to accommodate a chair and to be easily used even when the sofa bed was open.
As for the four beds, two are part of the bunk bed and two are part of the sofa bed. I purposely wanted a bunk bed with side stairs for easy accessibility, since climbing up and down a ladder is not really my thing, especially in the middle of the night. Not to mention making the bed. Eventually the sofa bed was also a smart investment, not only because it is very comfortable, but also because when it is closed it adds a lot of space to the otherwise narrow bedroom.
The final result
This is how the bedroom looks today. Here’s a shot from the window to the modern bunk bed:
I decided to add some curtains to the single beds for privacy and decoration. I really love them because they turn the beds into a cozy nook. As for the sofa bed, I underestimated how comfortable they can be, you just need to make sure you get the right mattress.
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