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To sleep in the living room?

(65 Posts)
FamilyCircus Fri 17-Jun-11 07:24:02

DP and I live in a smallish 2 bedroom flat with DS (9). We are hopefully moving soon but can only afford another 2 bedroom flat, but in a nicer area and with a private garden.

Space will still be restricted and I want to change the way we live in our new home to give us more options. DP has recently been retired and DS is home educated, so for the foreseeable future we're all at home for most of the day and we get in each others way.

I've suggested that we do away with our bedroom and make it into a study/hobby area/home education zone. I want to buy this bed and put it in the living room for us to sleep on. Clothes storage will be in what would have been our bedroom.

I'm also going to get bunk beds for DS's room so one of us can sleep in with him if we want to go to bed earlier than the other.

Has anyone done this? Is it a stupid idea?

fastweb Fri 17-Jun-11 07:31:21

Not done what you are thinking about, but unending sympathy on the need to corral HE into one room away from the rest of the home.

I tried to have a room for it, but then it leaked all over the rest of the house.

Have given up and the living room is back to being a multi purpose living\education\everything else room.

We are just about to bring in a bed\sofa like that for our living room so I have more stroage space for the books and projects that won't fit on the bookshelves. But it is fecking antique rather than lovely ((((IKEA)))), so I am a bit gutted about it.

FabbyChic Fri 17-Jun-11 07:36:21

You wouldn't fit two people in your living room option!

You need to consider too where you are going to have sex?

FamilyCircus Fri 17-Jun-11 07:41:30

Fastweb, it gives you a headache doesn't it?

Fabby grin, we will probably use the sofa for sex. The daybed from Ikea folds out to become a double.

akaEmmaFrost Fri 17-Jun-11 07:56:45

I do this, one if my dc has SN so they need a room each, but we only have a two bedroom flat. I have a double bed sofa from ikea that I fold out each night. It was quite expensive but IMO you need a decent one if you are sleeping on it every night not just occasionally. The situation works well though I do miss having my own room, I had flu at Christmas but there was no where for me to retreat to. But on the whole it is fine.

FamilyCircus Fri 17-Jun-11 07:59:38

Thanks aka.

Is it a pita to have to set the bed up each night? I thought the daybed looked convenient as you just pull the frame out to convert it to a double, and you can store the bedding in the drawers.

kreecherlivesupstairs Fri 17-Jun-11 08:01:27

Fortunately we aren't in that situation. I would advise you though that while that particular bed is brilliant (dd will be getting it when we move), one of you will have to climb over the wood to get up.
We have an ordinary Ikea sofa bed and while it is comfortable enough to be used as a proper bed, one of us has to climb over the arms.

Catslikehats Fri 17-Jun-11 08:05:24

A friend has that day bed in her spare room - it does not make a comfortable double as the gap between the two singles is too big. If two of you are sharing you might as well be in two singles so TBH I think it'll drive you mad.

Is there no way you could stretch to a three bed in a not so nice area? Given your circumstances I would have thought extra space would give you far better quality of living than being in a nicer area.

FamilyCircus Fri 17-Jun-11 08:06:02

Yep, one person being closed in isn't ideal. DP is going along with this plan as long as it's me that's on the inside and not him!

That sofa bed is lovely but out of my price range unfortunately.

fastweb Fri 17-Jun-11 08:08:00

Fastweb, it gives you a headache doesn't it?

Yes, not helped by my amazon habit. I am going to have to get some underbed storage bins to make room for the new stuff.

I have come down this am half carrying a sick kid, only to discover the huge poster sized roll of paper has been knocked off its perch and used as a jungle gym by the cats during the night and suffered some chewing by the little doggie.

When cleaning that up I discovered son's tidy up efforts the other day meant just making a pile of books, papers, pictures (with pens, protractors and rulers mixed up in the pile) and shoving it all inside a kitchen cabinet because there was no more shove room in the coffee table\storage thingie I hacked from an old IKEA TV stand.

I despair. And our house is stupid big (was bought to house us and my mother with a sense of separation, yet joined, but obviously after six months she decided Italy wasn't for her and just buggered off leaving us stuck in a falling market). With far too many rooms. And still HE just leaks everywhere while at the same time managing to utterly take over the living room.

As soon as he is better and back to summer camp I am going to go through the place like a dose of salts, organize everything and form a cunning plan to keep it that way.

Just like I did last summer.

I'm starting to look at the kindle with interest to at least solve the book problem, maybe I should see how many of the books we need come in that format before going through with the transaction.

What I'd really like, but don't know if exists, is like an electronic writing tablet, that would let him write on it and me store each "page" as you would on a computer, rather than trying to keep on top of various bit of paper.

Those solutions wouldn't magic the problem a way because all the other HE stuff, the foot maiming beyblades, my teaching books and DH's novel consumption, but they would be a massive help. Probably.

FamilyCircus Fri 17-Jun-11 08:09:01

Sorry Queen, x-posted.

It's a no to the 3 bed. We're actually HA so we're swapping with another tenant. I wouldn't be entitled to a 3 bed even if I could find someone willing to swap. We wouldn't be moving at all if it weren't for DP's disability' we're in a 2nd floor and need to move to a ground floor. I will be so disappointed if this swap doesn't go ahead.

That's a shame about the Hemnes bed not being very comfortable.

Does anyone have any other recommendations or ideas on how we could make it work?

euphrosyne Fri 17-Jun-11 08:13:41

My aunt and uncle used to do this for years, till their eldest DS moved out.

They had a single sofa bed each. More often than not they ended up sleeping on the sofa, because they were sick of putting up the bed day and night...

Privacy was a big issue too, mind you the main entrance of their flat was straight into the living room.

FamilyCircus Fri 17-Jun-11 08:17:00

fastweb, we are like-minded. I have the Kindle and it has meant that I can clear out a lot of my own books, but it hasn't really worked for slim-lining HE materials. We get most HE stuff from the library, charity shops and relatives pick bits up for him. We've got a massive storage cupboard in our hall which DP shelved out, and we use that for storing arts and craft/study books, stationery etc. Then we have a paper storage chest for all DS's current work, kept in the living room.

So far I've tried not to use his bedroom as study space as it's not fair on him.

Our loft is absolutely chocka-block with stuff and we're going to have to get rid of it all as the new flat is ground floor.

Ha ha at going through the house and organising everything. I do this very often and it takes just a few weeks for it to overtake us again. It is overwhelming!

EricNorthmansMistress Fri 17-Jun-11 08:17:30

I would work on storage solutions and keep your bedroom as a bedroom, TBH. If you try to keep all storage/bookshelves etc in the bedrooms, you might be able to partition off half the living room as a study area for schooling. DP will be able to go in the bedroom or kitchen during the day if you want him out of the way. I think it's very important to have a proper bedroom - I've known lots of families where the mum/parents sleep in the living room for one reason and another, and they are never ideal.

FamilyCircus Fri 17-Jun-11 08:20:39

Euphrosyne, I don't know if the lack of privacy will bother me much. DP and I rarely sleep together anymore because he snores really loudly, so I expect I'll end up on DS's bottom bunk most nights anyway. That way DP can sleep on the daybed without having to make it into a double, but it will still be a bed if you see what I mean. That will only work for a couple of years as DS won't want me in there when he's a teenager (and I won't want to be in there either shock)

It's not great for intimacy though, I know.

Catslikehats Fri 17-Jun-11 08:23:13

Ok since the three bed is a definite no I would keep your bedroom as your room and concentrate on making both teh sitting room and your bedrrom multifunctional.

Maybe have the TV in your bedroom so that can be used as a living area during the day and the actual living room can be used as the HE room during "school time" and a family room in the evening.

I think you will find sleeping in the living area tedious beyond belief and many of the issues you have can be solved by some good storage solutions.

FamilyCircus Fri 17-Jun-11 08:24:13

That's true EricNorth...

It may work with storage being in the bedroom, however getting DP to leave the living room during the day is the biggest problem. I'm not moaning about him as he is depressed due to being retired so young, but having the television on all day is getting on my tits and isn't how we used to live when he was working. That's why I want another living room to go to during the day. I actually feel like our relationship would improve if we lost our bedroom but had another room to go to during the day.

FamilyCircus Fri 17-Jun-11 08:27:26

Queen, I like the idea of putting the TV in our bedroom. DP would be more comfortable lying on a bed during the day anyway. I hope it doesn't make him feel like I'm treating him like an old person though; you know, bed-bound.

I will suggest it to DP.

happy2bhomely Fri 17-Jun-11 08:28:30

I know this would be some peoples idea of hell but this is what we do......We live in a very large 2 bed flat. We have 4 children. DS1,(10) DD1(7) DD2(3) AND DS2(16M). The girls share a large double bedroom, own beds, desk etc. The boys share the other double room. We put a Ikea room divider between them so that DS1 has some privacy from DS2 because of the age gap. DS1 has a double bed on his side with desk. DS2 has a cot bed and they share the storage in the divider. We sleep on a clic clac sofa bed in the living room. There is space to store bedding underneath. We all respect each others privacy and it works for us! We are super organised though because we just don't have the room for clutter! It is by no means ideal, and we are saving to move to a larger home because this will not work when they are all teens of course.

perrinelli Fri 17-Jun-11 08:35:50

Know it's not the key point here but just a word of caution about that particular ikea day bed - we had the same one in our spare room and it didn't last too well (could have been partly down to the way DH assembled it....) but I'm not sure how much of a good investment it would be for every day use. We used it occassionally and it collapsed when we were on it in it's pulled out position! Also, the picture shows it with one normal depth mattress on or two half-depth mattresses. If you use the two foam half depth ones they are thin and not very comfortable when you pull it out and use as a double, but having two full depth mattresses on it in it's sofa mode makes it too high and it looks a bit silly (we ended up storing a second full time mattress behind the bed but you may not want this in your living room). Also in single bed mode be aware it is only a small single (80cm rather than the usual 90) which can feel a bit narrow when sleeping on it! It does look nice though and have good storage, and was comfortable when pulled out and used with two proper mattresses. I would think though that maybe a proper sofa bed would be a better idea and a better long term investment as you could always just use it as a normal sofa in future if you try this and it doesn't work out.

fastweb Fri 17-Jun-11 08:35:56

We get most HE stuff from the library, charity shops and relatives pick bits up for him

I am so jealous !!! Our library is so rubbish that I even have to buy the Italian version of the book as well as having to get all the English versions.

Even the restricted number of library books that are relatively new and relevant to the curriculum are out of reach, cos they take them off the shelves and keep them permanently in a side room for the monthly "lets visit the library" school session and won't let me borrow them.

I tried to go about it by shifting my timings so for example we would be "doing the Romans" either well before or well after the school would be covering it. No dice. All the books for all the subject stay in the side room permanently and I can't get at them.

Charity shops here appear to be slightly confused as to how pricing should work and if i am lucky enough to find something under a decade old it costs more than it would in the shop.

I initially tried to keep at lest the fiction and his toys in his bedroom, but he doesn't seem to do anything other than sleep in that room and while the ones that has some strange attraction to being scattered on the floor stay up there, the rest find their way downstairs to decorate the living room.

But Bert the triop is going to have to go back upstairs like it or lump it. Smallest cat tried to eat him the other day and in the process knocked a huge (and much loved) terracotta chicken off the mantle piece.

Maybe I need to have another go at creating a single room and just be a lot more pro active about making sure stuff goes back in there even if the actual HE doesn't take place in the room where everything is. Its just last time it was a real faff running up and down stairs to get stuff that i hadn't anticipated needing so everything migrated down again within a month.

Going to watch the thread with interest to see what good ideas I can snaffle, but have a horrible feeling the problem is actually me and my lack of an organised\tidy gene.

FamilyCircus Fri 17-Jun-11 08:57:37

Happy and Perrinelli, thank you. It sounds like that particular bed isn't suitable. It's a shame because I love it. I'll look into the clic clac sofa

fastweb, that's spectacularly crap! I really don't go out of my way at all to locate good materials, but then we don't really follow any plan so just do whatever DS shows an interest in.

Just in case DS decides to go back to school I try to keep up with what he would have covered had he been there. We use the CGP books for this as they are fairly lightweight and quick to complete. That takes up about one day per week depending on whether DS is 'getting it' or not.

At the moment we're learning about the history of the Royal Family. It's easy because it's a hot topic what with the recent wedding so resources are readily available. I make each interest cover as many topics as possible - so a bit of geography (looking at the locations of the palaces), history (obviously), art (portraits) for example. Then we visit museums or a treat. We live in London so that part is easy.

Organisation is not my strong point either. I regularly buy new storage units but I just buy more clutter to fill them up. I need an interior designer.

YaMaYaMa Fri 17-Jun-11 09:00:05

If your new place has a garden, could you look at fitting out a shed or summer house as storage/HE/hobbie. You could get one on freecycle or ebay etc. Take your time getting it set up and organised. Do it really well and it'd be excellent for lessons or just as extra space for chilling out.

FamilyCircus Fri 17-Jun-11 09:05:33

I don't think so YaMa as it's only a front garden and is overlooked by the flat upstairs, plus it's quite small. I doubt if the housing association would allow us to erect anything like that. We're not even allowed to put up a fence above 1 metre in height so will have to grow hedges instead (that's what the neighbours have done) so it will take a while before it's a usable garden.

There is a good sized shed at the back of the property but it's probably only big enough for bikes and garden equipment.

happy2bhomely Fri 17-Jun-11 09:08:05

Just to let you know, the clic clac sofa bed is no where near as pretty as the one you picked but it is completely practical and comfortable! When the time comes that we have to buy a bed, we are going to treat ourselves to a beautiful one. I sometimes go and lay on my son's bed when he's at school, and I'm secretly jealous of the fact that he gets to sleep on a comfy double mattress all to himself!

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