The 24/7 living room

A small living space that is currently set up as a living room, including a rollable coffee table and modular grey sofa unit.

The 24/7 living room

Small spaces have a way of bringing family closer together. Especially when a living room also serves as a bedroom. That’s why this room needs to boast maximum flexibility and functionality. Here’s how you can create a living room that converts easily into a bedroom, office space or dining room. (Yup, it can be done!)

A black and white hand-drawn sketch showing the layout of a 24-hour living space.

So you’ve got more family members in your home than bedrooms? And you’re short on office space? Oh, and a dining room? No worries! Your living room has space for all of the above. The key to creating a highly functional spot that serves as a living room, bedroom, work space, and dining room is simple fluidity. Everything should have more than one function, and many items should be easily moved or hidden away.

The sleeping space

Ready for bed? Consider a super convenient sofa bed that’s easy to convert no matter how sleepy you are. A clever footstool with interior storage keeps linens and pillows undercover during the day, while a small coffee table on wheels is easy to roll over and use as a bedside table at night.

A white storage unit being used as a closet, with a clothes rail and four netted drawers to store clothes and accessories.

Storage space

Make your space around the bed cosy and create storage all at once. Tall storage units on either side serve as a wardrobe for clothing and accessories (his on one side and hers on the other), while storage high above the head of the bed is just right for items you use less often, like seasonal decorations, costumes, and more. As a finishing touch, place a shelf directly behind the sofa. This will not only give you a place to add a reading lamp, a few decorative items, and your alarm clock, but the space beneath it is the perfect size for hiding bulky bags and suitcases.

The office

When it’s time to buckle down, make it easy on yourself. A fully-stocked work space may seem impossible in an already tiny living room, but it’s totally doable. From the cabinets to the desk, pick furniture that’s narrow, with just enough space to spread out your papers and set up your laptop. Keep desk lamps on the smaller size, and avoid desktop clutter by giving every single thing a place in the overhead cabinets. Make the storage work for you with the help of interior organizers for your drawers, magazines, notebooks, and an initialled box for each family member.

The dining space

Make a smooth transition to dinnertime by simply moving your two desks to the centre of the room. Add your desk chairs and a couple other fold-ups (that can otherwise be easily hung on the wall when they’re not in use). As for your tableware, cut down on back-and-forth to the kitchen by keeping yours in the storage nearby. Textiles like napkins, runners, and tablecloths stay neatly folded in drawers, while plates, bowls and cutlery live in cabinets.

The entertainment centre

Every living room needs a stellar place to watch your favourite shows and flicks. Again, start with some smart storage; a combination of open and closed storage allows you to hide away bulkier items and clutter, while your DVD player, game consoles, and similar items can remain out. Interior organisers like boxes and baskets help take convenient tidiness to the next level. And you’ll be surprised how much simple and limited decoration, and attention to lighting can play to your advantage. Think soft, indirect lighting around the TV, and think curtains to avoid those annoying glares.

A white cabinet storing cleaning supplies and clothing care items on multiple shelves and baskets, including a vacuum.

Cleaning storage

Living rooms are best known for chilling out, but this is no ordinary living room, of course. Being fully functional, why not add a space devoted to all the cleaning and clothing care items one might need? A hanging organiser keeps items like irons, lint brushes, and spray bottles tidy, while a small ironing board and vacuum cleaner also have plenty of space, and drawers below hold accessories like clothes hangers.

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by
Interior designer: Rita Mestre
Photographer: Sandra Werud
Writer: Vanessa Algotsson