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Family life, made flexible

Three adults and two kids sharing a small apartment can be a challenge, but with a bit of ingenuity it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Interior designers Kristina Pospelova and Kristin Perez show us how.

A family of five, all smiles from couple with a baby, a young daughter and a grandmother standing close together.
A family of five, all smiles from couple with a baby, a young daughter and a grandmother standing close together.
Black-and-white, face-focused sketch of the two interior designers featured in the text, Kristin Perez and Kristina Pospelova.

Meet the designers

Two parents, two kids – and a grandmother who stays a few days a week to help out. How can this quintet make two bedrooms, one living room and one bathroom work great for all? “A key is to make sure that everyone has their own nest. The parents have their bedroom, the kids their room, and the grandmother has a part of the living room that is only hers when it’s time for bed”, says Kristina Pospelova.

A key is to make sure that everyone has their own nest. The parents have their bedroom, the kids their room, and the grandmother has a part of the living room that is only hers when it’s time for bed.

Kristina Pospelova, IKEA interior designer

A room in the room for grandma

Lush, soft curtains (double, so that the fronts face out on both sides) separate the dining area from the sofa corner – creating a private space for the grandmother. A layered window solution block out light and absorb sound. “She has everything she needs here. The sofa bed is not considered a guest bed. It’s her special place, and in the wardrobe next to it she can keep everything for when she comes to stay”, says Kristin.

More than a bedroom

In the daytime, the living room and dining area is the busy family hot spot. That means the bedroom becomes a place for more than rest. This is where the parents work, keep up with social media and watch their favourite series. “The PAX wardrobe has sliding doors which is great when space is sparse. Together with the cabinets above the bed it takes care of the storage need. The curtain solution is also clever, it doesn’t only cover the window but the wall too, and hides more storage. Above all it drowns out the city noise and turns the room into a cosy cocoon”, says Kristina.

Freeing up the bathroom

Sharing only one bathroom on busy mornings can be stressful, to say the least. Dual wash-basins speed things up, just like the drawers in the unit underneath that make it easier to find all bits and bobs. “To free up the bathroom, we also created a small makeup station in the bedroom and placed a big mirror in the hallway”, Kristina says.

Corner of a larger room serving as a hallway. Next to the front door is a shelving unit with various open storage.

Closed storage – and the find ’em and grab ’em kind

Storage is always a challenge, however big or small a home is, but it takes a bit more creativity when you don’t have much space. In this apartment nearly all storage is closed, to keep the rooms as free from clutter as possible. “The hallway is the only place with open storage. It’s the smallest area in the home, but it’s the busiest. Here, you must be able to find things right away, grab them, and run out the door”, says Kristin.

Furniture that grows on you

Even if children go from tiny to teens quicker than most of us can wrap our heads around, their rooms can still be designed to last for years. “In this family the 5-year old and her baby brother share a room. Thanks to choosing furniture that grows with the children, like an extendable bed and a desk that can be set to several heights, it’s much more than a temporary solution”, Kristina says.

Schematic illustration, like a blueprint, of the apartment acting backdrop and props for the other images in this piece.

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: Kristina Pospelova and Kristin Perez
Photographer: Karl-Johan Hjertström

Check out the new IKEA Catalogue here for more inspirational ideas.