When Yoyo entered a competition to design her dream living room, she knew exactly what it would look like. But just how do you turn a cluttered and disorganised 17m2 apartment into a place three people with different habits and tastes can live, sleep and work in?
Meet Yoyo
meet yoyo

‘Hello! my name is Yoyo. I live in a 17m2 apartment in guangzhou, southern China with my parents – and my brother and his wife often stop by for meals! It can be quite a squeeze! I love living with my parents, but it’s hard to find space for us all to work, sleep and relax in such a small area. I enjoy cooking, dancing and photography, but my parents work long hours and prefer the quieter things in life.’
Yoyo and living room

‘When I saw the IKEA China competition for co-workers to win help from an IKEA interiors expert, and IKEA furniture, I knew I had to enter! I was so excited. For the entry, I had to submit a vision of my dream living room. It wasn’t hard because I spent so much time thinking about how I’d like to transform my home and make it work better for us all.’
Dreams come true
Karl He

‘Winning the competition has changed our lives! I couldn’t believe it when IKEA rang to tell me. They really liked my ideas, and we used most of them – with a little bit of help from IKEA interior designer Karl he (pictured left).’
Home office

‘Now my home is clutter free and calming – and we all have our own zones. I even have room to dance!’
overview room

‘I was so happy that I could personalise the BESTÅ cabinets with pictures of my friends and family – they make it really feel like my home.’

A life in clutter

‘We had nowhere near enough storage space! There was clutter everywhere – our clothes were stuffed on to shelves and into bin bags; kitchen items were mixed up with bathroom things; and shoes, coats and umbrellas were just dumped near the door.’
A plan for change
Plan living

Compromised living

‘My parents like to watch TV and go to bed early. Since the living area doubled as their bedroom it was difficult for me to spend my evenings doing the things I enjoy. I had always wanted to create a private entertainment corner where I could surf the internet, listen to music and study without disturbing my parents.’

‘The plans I drew highlighted the problem areas and how I would go about solving them. I was thrilled when the IKEA design team took lots of my ideas on board.’
How it happened

The entrance

‘We transformed the ‘hallway’ by adding closed storage by the front door. it’s great for holding the outdoor items, like shoes, scarves and umbrellas, that used to clutter the area. a high shelf above and around the door makes the most of the ‘dead’ space on the walls. We’ve stored things that we use less often in clear boxes so they are out of the way but easy to find.’
personalised art

A space of my own

‘This extendable table can be used as a computer desk, and provides a space where we can all eat together. A low hanging light makes it feel cosy, like my own little room!’

‘The cupboards above the table provide lots of handy storage for my books. We sorted through my stationery and arranged it in these pots, which keep the tabletop free of clutter and are handily stored where they’re needed.’
table cover

‘Adding curtains has helped zone the room and create privacy. They make my mezzanine sleeping area more private, and I can use the computer at night without disturbing my parents.’

The sleeping and living space

‘A sofa bed that’s easy to move makes changing its use simple for my parents when they want to go to bed at night. The storage space underneath means bed linen can be kept where it’s needed.’
mirror on wardrobe

‘Having a mirror mounted on the wardrobe is a great space-saver as it keeps valuable floor space free. A mirror also reflects light around a small room, giving the area a sense of space.’

‘A clever media unit helps solve some of our storage issues! It gives us space to store CDs and DVDs and hides all the unsightly cables.’