When space is limited, you will likely be forced to make some tough choices about the activities you wish to pursue in the space.  For each room, you will want to be clear on what you will spend time on, and then select furniture, storage pieces and accessories to support you while respecting limits of the space.


Ikea Bekant sit stand desk

Working at the Ikea Bekant sit/stand desk

The office / guest room

Since I work from home, I needed to make sure I had could combine the office with guest space.

There are often a variety of ways to achieve the same objectives.  I skipped past the idea of a Murphy bed (one that folds up against the wall) because I wanted my kids to feel that their room was always available.  I chose the Hemnes twin bed from Ikea* which can pull out for sleepovers when necessary and also provides additional storage in three deep drawers underneath.  A Murphy bed would have required additional storage space for bedding and pillows, which would have consumed a lot of the closet space.

Hemnes bed

At the time, I hadn’t anticipate the extra benefit of being able to use the bed as an extra work surface at the time, but it’s coming in very handy!

Choosing a twin bed allowed me to put my much loved large surface sit-stand desk in the room (Ikea Bekant).  I was thrilled not to have to sacrifice this powerful productivity tool. Best of all, it’s sits in the corner with two windows. I have my corner office!

Also in the room are a bookcase and matching filing/storage cabinet, the first Ikea furniture I purchased when I began to work from home in 2000.

*I was sponsored or provided product by Ikea. All opinions are my own after testing and working with the product.


ikea gjora queen bed small bedroom

Queen Gjora bed with loads of space underneath for storage

The Master Bedroom

Let’s start with a dose of reality! Condo bedrooms are teeny tiny.  With a 5 foot closet, I knew I would need some sort of dresser to accommodate folded clothes, but with a queen size bed, space was seriously limited.  There was only one place in my room it could go. Right in front of the window. Being that every room has floor to ceiling windows, I could sacrifice a bit of view in favour of storage.


organized Pliio folded clothes on Ikea Besta shelves

Pliio Clothing Organizing System in Ikea Besta

There was no depth however to allow for a traditional dresser. No room to open drawers. Thankfully, with Pliio®, the clothing organizing system I developed, no drawers are needed. I still had to find shallow shelving and turned to the Ikea media line, Besta. At 16” deep, I could just make it fit.  The Pliio Storage Boxes are 9” x 11” so while all I really needed was 9”, the Besta units with their glass tops provided affordable storage capacity with a polished feel. The legs came in silver or white. I chose the white and sprayed them gold to match my theme.  Voila! Room for 24 Pliio boxes. The box stores on average 7 garments, so tons of capacity – that’s 168 items! (There was a kid’s line only 12″ deep but the legs were quite juvenile and didn’t complement the theme. I’m thinking of a line of Pliio furniture for condos! What do you think?)

I looked at numerous beds – most of them low profile, and some with storage built in. Since opening drawers was out of the question, I decided to go for the higher Gjora bed which would allow bins to slide right under providing extra capacity should I need it.  It gave a feeling of presence without visually swallowing up the space.


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