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Living in a tiny flat. Help me utilise the space please! Floor plan included

(50 Posts)
Homefront Wed 14-Feb-18 14:38:20

As the title says, we're in a ground floor two bed flat. Been here 10 years now and as much as we've been looking, it doesn't seem like we'll be moving any time soon. Not unless we win the lotto tonight.

Situation is, 2 DC. DS is 9 and has disabilities which mean he requires his own room. He currently has the biggest room. One side of the room has a wall to wall and floor to ceiling built in wardrobe which currently houses the whole families clothes. There is also a storage area which we use for things like Christmas Decs, spare duvets/pillows etc. DD is 5. She has the other bedroom. DH and I sleep on a sofa bed in the living room. We have the sofa bed (ikea friheten), compact dining table, desk with pc and printer etc and an 8 square kallax unit.

Kitchen is tiny but has a fair sized pantry so storage wise we manage well in there.

We have a small garden. Big enough to hang washing out, seating area and the DC have a sand pit and slide.

I feel suffocated here. I longingly look at the lovely big houses on rightmove but I think I need to just deal with where we are for now. So I'm looking for space saving ideas, organising tips and inspiration really. Attached a basic floor plan, what would you do with the space?

Homefront Wed 14-Feb-18 14:42:43

Floor plan didn't show in the living room we have a cupboard housing the immersion heater and water tanks so I've attempted to add where that is as that takes away wall space as well.

Millipedewithherfeetup Wed 14-Feb-18 14:50:30

Have you though about a conservatory? It would obv mean loosing garden space but you could use this for allsorts..dining area/somewhere to dry washing in winter you could build in seating that combines storage etc.

Homefront Wed 14-Feb-18 14:55:03

The entrance to the garden is via the smallest bedroom which is annoying. A conservatory would be great but it would have to be really tiny unless we literally took all the space from the garden (it's very small!) plus we'd have to go through DD's room to access it.

SheepySheepy Wed 14-Feb-18 14:57:06

Could you send floorplan with current furniture set up drawn on?

Are you leasehold or freehold?

Homefront Wed 14-Feb-18 15:21:54

Attempted to add furniture placement! The two circles in the living room are small side tables.

Flat is leasehold and in a block of four.

Location wise this place is absolutely perfect. Literally 30 seconds from the DC's school, close to work, lovely area. Which is one of the reasons we haven't found anywhere else as I really don't want to move out of the area and there's not a lot out there that is much better than what we have now. If I can organise this place better I'd be perfectly happy here until the right place becomes available.

AntiHop Wed 14-Feb-18 15:35:11

You've probably done this already but declutter everything. Be ruthless.
Consider putting some stuff into storage? Folding furniture e.g. tables. Use underbed storage as much as possible. Build bookshelves up to ceiling.

You can get study beds which have beds with desks underneath.

Mosaic123 Wed 14-Feb-18 15:38:39

Could you close off the door from the place marked 'wardrobe' into your son's room, knock down the part of the wall that touches your reception room and therefore enlarge your lounge by that wardrobe amount? Maybe you could then have a screened off sleeping nook for yourselves in the now larger lounge.

You could also buy an Ottoman bed, where the base lifts up, giving tons of storage. You'd need the Freeholder's permission first for the wall removal.

Homefront Wed 14-Feb-18 15:40:48

You've probably done this already but declutter everything. Be ruthless

You'd think so but no! To be fair, it feels like all I do is declutter but being ruthless is obviously where I'm going wrong. I need to stop keeping things "just in case".

Both DC have midsleeper beds, DD has her "big" toys under there (dolls pram, bed, dolls house etc) DS's has his physio equipment and boxes of toys that he's never played with but insists he couldn't possibly depart with hmm

Homefront Wed 14-Feb-18 15:44:36

Could you close off the door from the place marked 'wardrobe' into your son's room, knock down the part of the wall

That is a really good idea! The area is actually the understairs cupboard if you like for upstairs entrance so I'd need to find out if there'd be any structural issues but definitely something to look in to.

Yika Wed 14-Feb-18 15:45:43

What about a loft bed? At least then you wouldn't have to make up the sofa every day. Of course, you still need the sofa so not sure it would save that much space.

HorsesCourses Wed 14-Feb-18 15:53:08

The bedrooms are big spaces that may well be least used? Do your DCs hang out in their rooms much- or do they tend to hang out in the living room?
Personally, I think having the living room nice is the priority and you may have to store more in the children's rooms to create some space in the room where you spend most of your waking time.
Think of it like caravan living- high shelves- I have a single high shelf running the length of my tiny terraced house landing. It fits all my paperbacks and loads of shoes stacked in their boxes.
In the bedrooms, small high cupboards painted the same colour as the walls. I have extra cupboards above my kitchen wall units. I need a chair to reach into them but i store less used kitchen equipment and medicines etc in them.
Personally not a fan of high sleeper beds but I guess they do create more storage space....
A small shed or large lockable storage box for your garden?

ginghamstarfish Wed 14-Feb-18 15:55:46

Look on Pinterest, lots of ideas there about this kind of thing, floor plans, photos, etc.

PickleFish Wed 14-Feb-18 16:10:12

What are the biggest problems that you're facing with the space and furniture as you have it now? Is it storage space, moving around easily, feeling cluttered, not wanting to sleep in the sitting room, play space, etc?

I'm in a small one-bed flat, but it's just me, which helps, but I also work from home so have a lot of stuff and other requirements. I've had to do a lot of work to choose furniture that maximises storage but minimises footprint. So slightly smaller sofa - and changing the arms to ones with narrow arms can mean more space for sitting in the same amount of space, so you can still fit three people in a small area, for example. A sofa bed that folds up into a footstool. Moving radiators to allow furniture to fit better - even a few inches can make a difference. Desk with slide out bit for writing/keyboard that pushes away when not being used, makes the room feel more spacious, as not all bits of furniture are being used at the same time. TV on the wall or in a bookshelf, so no need for a separate unit. shelves on the wall rather than just units on the floor, maximising any nooks and crannies, small gaps etc. Bookshelves can be much shallower than you think - often lots of wasted space in those, and the room can feel bigger if they are half the depth. Under sofa boxes. Extensions upwards on cupboards and shelves (e.g. Ikea billy has another extension level on top). Baskets and boxes on top of kitchen cabinets. Bathrooms might have storage space that can be used for things that you wouldn't necessarily store in there out of need, but just because there is room, and it frees up space elsewhere. Getting rid of stuff like stereos and just using small speakers and phones/computers. Putting doors on wardrobes to hide all the clothes/books/toys. Coffee tables/desks that can push in to the sofa or over the sides when not in use (sofa tables I think they're called) instead of tables in the middle of the room. Hooks on backs of doors. Baskets that hang under kitchen cabinets - useful for all sorts of things, and clutter is then cleared from other areas of the house to use for other things. Outdoor storage - lockable waterproof boxes and shelves etc, to store things rarely used.

AppleAndBlackberry Wed 14-Feb-18 16:11:03

Do you need a desk? I'm thinking switch the PC for a laptop which can be used at the kitchen table or on laps. Printer could go on a side table or in a cupboard when not being used. Then I would move the dining table up to that end of the room. All toys in kids' rooms and make the living room a really nice uncluttered space.

Homefront Wed 14-Feb-18 16:18:54

What about a loft bed? At least then you wouldn't have to make up the sofa every day. Of course, you still need the sofa so not sure it would save that much space.

I do like the idea of having a bed that doesn't need to be made up each night but as you say, will still need a sofa so not saving space really. Plus I'm up and down all night peeing so wouldn't fancy navigating a ladder in the dark grin
Do your DCs hang out in their rooms much- or do they tend to hang out in the living room?

DS spends a fair amount of time in his room. DD not so much, she tends to bring her toys in to the living room to play during the day!

What are the biggest problems that you're facing with the space and furniture as you have it now?

I feel like everything is so tightly packed in. Ideally I'd like more floor space, mainly to give the illusion of a bigger space plus as mentioned above, when DD brings all her toys in to the living room it's a little cramped! I'd really love another seat in the living room, a comfy arm chair but really can't see how we'd fit it in. I've been looking at the poang chairs in IKEA, not sure how comfy they are though.

ACurlyWurly Wed 14-Feb-18 16:30:06

can you make a new bedroom / sleeping space for one of DCs and then use one of the bedrooms? Screened off with stud wall that can be removed if needed when you move? my smallest bedroom is 1.9m x 2.6m and i can fit a small single bed in it and a small wardrobe....however i am no good with perspectives and measurements so you would have to see where it would come out to.

Millipedewithherfeetup Wed 14-Feb-18 16:30:46

Look out for a folding dining table and chairs... this will Def free up room in your living room. Also as suggested above get rid of the TV stand and put it on the wall.

minniemoll Wed 14-Feb-18 16:37:22

If you can get to Ikea they have lots of room sets for small living spaces which have some really good ideas - it's worth going just for inspiration.

FluffyWuffy100 Wed 14-Feb-18 16:43:50

I would split the large bedroom into two, one accessed through the other. The two small rooms woudl be perfectly adequate to each have a single cabin bed type thing with desk space underneath.

Appreciate the inner room wouldn't have a window so you would need to have glass door or something.

Then you and have the smaller bedroom as yours. Or you could have the inner partitioned bedroom since all you would use if for is sleeping so the lack of window isn't such an issue.

Like PP says a folding table and chair set like this would save floor space.

TV on the wall is another good space saver.

Can you put a 2x4 ikea cube unit on top of the existing 4x4 to max storage space without loosing any more floor space?

Get rid of the computer desk and use a laptop at the dining table instead.

RandomMess Wed 14-Feb-18 17:04:46

On my phone but will come back later!!

Floor to ceiling shallow shelves/storage is your friend. Plus as already said utterly ruthless de utter. The feeling is space is priceless even if you do have to rebuy the odd thing.

TattyFrench Wed 14-Feb-18 17:08:38

I would create a bedroom for you utilising wardrobe, take down kitchen wall and put a narrow table with benches that tuck under. Get rid of extraneous furniture and then utilise all wall space with floor to ceiling shelving.

TefalTester123 Wed 14-Feb-18 18:02:18

How about swapping your children's bedrooms round then putting a partition through the bigger room, without a door might be cheaper. Can light the new room using lights powered from sockets. Then you have a new sleeping area and can yourselves a proper bed but make it one of the 'lift up' type. Perhaps give yourselves the room with the proper windows.

MacaroniPenguin Wed 14-Feb-18 18:55:11

I'm not suggesting you take toys away from your children now but when we lived in a small place I was very careful to choose toys that gave good "play value" for the space. If DD plays with the dolls house then great, but if not, don't hang onto it in case she grows into it. We had ELC collapsible toy pushchairs instead of prams, nothing big like toy vacuum cleaners, lawnmowers, big baby doll apparatus like high chair/beds. Our babies slept in squishy baskets or shoeboxes and bathed in washing up bowls. Toys were in a kallax unit and each category were kept pruned down to fit into a kallax box.

The idea of knocking into the understairs cupboard is good. I wonder if you could use that space to build in storage and a desk (if you need that as well as dining table and other desk) to clear the other furniture out of the dining area.

Does DS need a desk in his room? He has a midsleeper already. If he does need a desk (my 9 year old never uses his),could it be one that slides out from under his mid sleeper? This may not actually help if it's always covered in stuff and therefore never gets tidied away though. If you could grab back that desk area of his room, you might possibly be able to cobble back the bottom edge of his bedroom (now cupboards) into living space somehow, but I expect that is not economic.

Honestly it looks like you have designed things well already. I think it's difficult not having your own private space, and it might be that that's getting to you rather than the design.

DonaldWeasley Wed 14-Feb-18 19:49:17

How tall are your ceilings?

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