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How should I arrange my new small 1BR apt?

I am single, and moving into a SMALL 1BR apartment.  550 sq ft.  The living room and Bedroom are basically the same size.  (12x12)  I do not have many people over, so I don't need an "entertainment" living room.

Living room:  I just need to have 1 sofa and a LZboy recliner.  I will forgo a coffee table to avoid getting cramped.

Bedroom:  A double bed, and some kind of dresser.

I have a dual monitor setup, and I would like to have a new corner desk...  The question is, where do I put the "PC desk/office"?

One setup can be living room/small dinette    and  bedroom/office  .....

Or do I forgo the dinette, and put the PC desk with the living room?  Again, people do not come over much, and I don't watch too much TV.    In my apartment, I generally use the PC and the bed. 

I fear that if I put the PC desk in the bedroom, I will always be in that room, and the living room will never be used. 

Reading this, I think I am moving into too small an apartment.  Shit. 

Anon for today
Thursday, May 15, 2003

I think you may be moving into too large an apartment; if you only had one room you wouldn't have this predicament.

And indeed you said you only use the PC and the bed which implies that you only need the one room!

My home office is about 12x12 and I reckon if I got rid of the second desk a sofa and TV would easy fit in. I've also got twin TFTs which helps. My machines are permanently on so I couldn't have them in my bedroom.

Gwyn
Thursday, May 15, 2003

550 ft shouldn't be too small unless they've included the common parts in that 550ft (a common trick in some parts of the world). 40-55 square metres is fine for a single person depending on how it's designed.

You don't really have a choice. Bedroom/office and then, unless the kitchen is large enough to turn into a kitchen diner (which it ought to be since you've only mentioned 288 square feet) you have a dining room cum living room.

I'm in a one bedroom apartment at the moment and that is the setup (though I do have a large living/dining room).

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Well, there is only a narrow alleyway kitchen, so the dinette table (if any) must be part of the living room.  To be honest, living room/dinette/PC desk all in 1 room may not fit......

There is a bit of an entry hallway that is somewhat wasted space.  I think I can keep my bicycle and file cabinets there, (regretfully an unsightly way to enter the apartment.)

The question remains,  Should the computer desk be a part of the living room or the bedroom?

Unless...I split the "office".  PC desk in one room.  File cabinets and "work desk" in another?

Anon for today
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Maybe you should invite people over more often.

Ken Klose
Thursday, May 15, 2003

This is a serious posting.  Does anyone take issue with putting your PC in the bedroom?  I feel this "lack of seperation" could become unhealthy, as one can always be lured to get back onto the PC.  I also have concerns about spending 90% of my time in one tiny room.  Who knows if that has some side-effects.  Again, I'd like tpo hear your experiences.

Anon for today
Thursday, May 15, 2003

As you have no room for the dining table in the kitchen, you will have to place it in the living room, which means there is no room for the PC there so, it goes into the bedroom.Any further argument is moot.

You may find that your sexual partners get annoyed when you break off in mid -climax to check your email. The solution is to always use their flat, or have a convertible sofa in the living room.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Keep the dinette table for eating and writing.  Put this into the corner of the bedroom or living room.  When not in use it can be the "tv chair"

http://www.mypce.com/product/peacemaker/peacemaker.html

Mike Gamerland
Thursday, May 15, 2003


It sounds pretty small to me. I had this problem once while in a studio apartment (1 room + kitchen) in college. The only solution was to make the 1 room an office/dining room and sleep on a mat on the floor. When I got up in the morning, I would put the mat in the closet.

Later, when I hit the big time and was making $6/hr designing high-performance chips for a big name company (Zilog), I upgraded my living space to a two bedroom apartment + good sized living room. I think 700 sq foot total and a nice view of the ocean. I got a real bed for the first time which was quite nice and the 2nd bedroom had the computer and bookcase. I don't think I would feel comfortable having all that you describe in a one bedroom. Could you get a different apartment?

X. J. Scott
Friday, May 16, 2003

Sounds like a prime candidate for Object Oriented Design... Christopher Alexander did write a book on architecture & design, not programming after all.

Here are some questions. Maybe the answers will help you figure out what is you really want.

What kinds of areas appeal to you? Where do you migrate to in public spaces? Do you sit in the corner seat on the subway or the center seat? What about the library or restaurants?

Do you watch a lot of TV? If so, do you like to relax on the couch while you watch TV?

What about when you're in bed, what do you like around you when you're in bed? A radio? A TV? Do you ever watch TV in bed? Do you ever eat or read in bed?

Cloudy day in the mid 60's: Outdoors or Indoors?

What type of sun does your apt get? Morning, Noon, Afternoon? Where do you want to be when you get that sun? What will you be doing? Where do you not want sun?

www.marktaw.com
Friday, May 16, 2003

I didn't actually mention that I think you should reserve the bedroom for bed related activities. If it were me I would want the divide.

Are you sure you need a dining table? Despite 3 eating tables in my house I normally end up eating on my lap or sitting at my desk.

Gwyn
Friday, May 16, 2003

How about getting a notebook and a wireless network, then you can move between your two rooms as you like....

Frank
Friday, May 16, 2003

People who consider this apartment small must have been pretty lucky. I lived in various apartments in Spain over 15 years and reckoned that 550ft was fine. I did have two apartments that were 400 and 450ft but they were exceptionally well-designed.

Stephen Jones
Friday, May 16, 2003

Move all "activities" in to the dinign/living room/office. Keep the bedroom reserved for sleeping/sex. If arrangements become to cramped in the "activity" room, move storage space out to the bedroom as much as possible.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, May 16, 2003

Why should he reserve the bedroom for sex? You can have at least as much fun in the other rooms you know (though lino is hard on the knees).


Friday, May 16, 2003

This thread is rapidly approaching fantasy land for an old married guy like me.

550 sq ft... all for me?

Simon Lucy
Friday, May 16, 2003

I've lived in two different one bedroom apartments and had both setups.  I definitely prefer having a computer in the living room over a computer in the bedroom.    For one it lets me have the TV on while i'm on the computer, or look something up quickly (IMDB) while I'm watching TV.   

Also today's computers get kind of loud with all of the fans in them, so you wouldn't want that in the bedroom (unless you turn off your computer at night anyway).   

Having a computer desk with a hutch lets you organize yourself vertically without taking up as much floor space.

anon
Friday, May 16, 2003

Allowing for sex in the bedroom does not imply prohibiting it anywhere else.
I hope you are not a developer.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, May 16, 2003

A couple ideas:

Get rid of the dining table.  Try tv trays that you can stow away if you need a surface to eat on. 

If you want to really optimize your bedroom space (for other activities such as excercise, yoga, whatever), try bed alternatives, such as a murphy bed (which folds up against the wall), a day bed, a futon, etc.

I highly recommend keeping your sleeping space separate from your working/computer space.  The bedroom should be a place you associate with rest/relaxation.

Also, depending on closet space, you may be able to stick dressers / storage bins for your clothing in the closet... to have some extra space.

You may want to get a big mirror to make the place feel bigger.

That's it from me.

Seeker
Friday, May 16, 2003

When I moved into a 1 bed flat, I managed to buy a solid wood gate-leg dining table for about 50 pounds. When fully folded this went down to about 5ft x 10 in (and pretended to be a sideboard). When fully unfolded it was 5ft x 7ft, easily big enough for four or six people to eat. Even though I'm now in a three bed house with an enormous dining room, I still have it as a backup table.

David Clayworth
Friday, May 16, 2003

> Christopher Alexander did write a book on architecture
> & design, not programming after all.

*A* book? On architecture? Keep reading.

http://www.patternlanguage.com/bookstore/bookstore.htm
http://www.patternlanguage.com/archive/archive.htm

Steven E. Harris
Friday, May 16, 2003

I used to live in a similar sized apartment. I put the office/computer stuff in my living room.

I had a heavy duty desk that could support a lot of weight. Don't go for those wimpy $200 particle-board things from OfficeMax. I'd try a used office furniture store myself to find one (I got mine for $25 from an office liquidation sale).

On top of the desk I put a set of wire shelves that hold about 1400 lbs. You can get them at Target/Elements and other places.

So anyway, I basically put my computer/desk/stereo/TV
against one wall and stacked them all. It worked out pretty good.

NathanJ
Friday, May 16, 2003

I find distraction wastes space. If you have a friend watching the TV while you are trying to catch a nap or do some reading. Or if your computer is humming away near by while you are trying to watch a quiet movie. If you can design partitions or snip the noise/distraction at its source you'll find your living space much more bearable. I recommend passive techniques like distancing the computer from the living room or sleeping space and washable silicon ear plugs. A pair of nice $50 head phone with extra long cord will do more for you than you can imagine. It cuts sound as well as replacing that silence with something gentle and pleasant (Metalica or Enya or Tibetian chants or NORAD signal relays???).

Li-fan Chen
Friday, May 16, 2003

Thanks for all the replies.  I am leaning towards putting the desk/office with the living room.  I like the idea of seperating work and sleep. The idea of always being in the bedroom doesn't appeal to me.      I do not watch TV, and I spend a decent amount of time on the computer.    And yea, I doubt I'll use a dinette table very often.  I will forgo that for now, until I see how the essentials are spaced out.

Anon for today
Friday, May 16, 2003

http://www.furniture.com/Common/RoomPlanner/

Anon for today
Friday, May 16, 2003


I am currently living in a 15 x 25 foot studio.  I have no problems with additional rooms and didn't realize how much extra trouble they could be.  Thanks for making me happier ;-) 

Joe AA
Monday, May 19, 2003

You need a Murphy Bed!

Norrick
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

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