Friday, January 15, 2010

Storage tips: Room dividers

In a tiny-ass apartment, your furniture often has to pull double-duty. You don't have enough room for two separate items for two different functions, so you're always out to kill two birds with one stone. Finding pieces that can do two things at once saves you space, money, and makes you look damn clever. CasaSugar has an article with ideas for storage in the bedroom. Take a look at the picture below; the headboard of the bed has drawers on the back side. Not only is this headboard-cum-dresser so big that it gives you tons of storage, but it's large enough to act as a room divider. When you're in a studio, you don't have the luxury of fancy-schmancy walls to give yourself some privacy, so you have to create "walls" in different ways. (There's a longer article about dividing up your studio coming soon to TAA!)
In the example above, the headboard/dresser is big enough to hide the bed when viewed from the other side, but it's not so big that it dominates the room. It doesn't go to the ceiling, therefore you can still get light through the whole room. Also, the white color makes it feel lighter -- if it were black it would remind me too much of the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey! But take a look at the EXPEDIT bookshelf from IKEA below. Even though it's taller than the headboard/dresser, and painted black to boot, it still doesn't feel overwhelming because of the empty space in each of the shelves. When used as a room divider, you can still see through to the other side while marking off different areas of your home. If you need more privacy, you can glue fabric over one side of the shelf. A lightweight, gauzy fabric will block the view to the other side of the bookshelf, but still allow light to pass through.
I myself am the proud owner of a 5 x 5 black EXPEDIT, and at least two of my friends have it as well (one of 'em, Megan, already uses hers as a room divider in her fab-fab-fab downtown loft). It really suits the needs of people like me and my friends: tons of storage, affordable, and great looking! Via CasaSugar and IKEA.


  1. I want to know how sturdy that headboard is before buying it. Don't want to start rocking and have your knickers fall out of the drawers.

    Same problem if using the bookcase standing alone. Would an earthquake knock that thing over? Or how about a clumsy gal like me?

    Also, isn't the bed a bit short? I think I prefer my bed more at hip height.

    I like the concept of dividing with storage units, but I'm not sure I like these particular units.

  2. I like it, I love it, I want some more of it. How expensive is the 2001 bad boy? It's fabush!

  3. I think every city dweller has owned an expedit at some point.

  4. Queerie: I know that the EXPEDIT can be mounted to the wall, so even a klutz like yourself won't be able to knock it down. Also, having had to move mine recently into my new place, those mo-fos are HEAVY. If it was filled with books, I'd imagine it'd take a LOT to tip it.

    Anonymous: Are you referring to the white headboard/dresser or the EXPEDIT? Unfortunately, I wasn't about to find the exact white headboard available for sale. CasaSugar found it on Living Etc. (, but it appears to be just a gallery of pictures.

    Jordan: I know! I think everyone's had the $99 JOKMOKK table and chairs set, too. Oh, IKEA. Where would we young urban apartment dwellers be without you?

  5. A Expedit is on the list for my new place! I want to decide the eating area from the sitting area to create a little reading nook! I am trying to decide between black or white!

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  7. The Expedit is a great unit.. If you don't have an IKEA store near you and need it shipped - BEWARE - the shipping cost is almost 3 times the the actual cost of the unit. Makes it cost prohibitive for alot of folks..........


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