Projects & Improvements

Before & After: Create a ‘Bedroom’ in a Studio Apartment with Ikea Panels

updated May 5, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

What do you do when you’re living in a small studio apartment, but don’t want people to be able to see your bed immediately upon walking in the door? Apartment Therapy reader Christina was faced with this particular dilemma when designing her friend Ann’s apartment and decided to get creative. Here are all the details…

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The new sleeping area with the panels open. (Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Faced with the difficulty of creating a separate sleeping area in Ann’s 475 square foot East Village studio apartment, Christina turned to IKEA for a solution.

We installed six semi-translucent IKEA panels on IKEA ceiling tracks, thereby creating a sleeping area that was now distinctly separate from the rest of the space. The panels can be completely closed for privacy, partially opened or completely stacked upon each other and open — providing a lot of flexibility for pretty much any situation. It gives the space a light, airy feel, almost sail-like, especially when the panels sway a little to and fro on a breezy day. They also allowed for a separate living area to be created, now located over by the windows where the bed had once been. The total cost: under $200.

Of course, putting up the panels wasn’t without its challenges:

There was definitely a learning curve we experienced in putting up these panels. They can fortunately be custom cut to accommodate different ceiling heights. However, after getting the ceiling tracks aligned, the really tricky part was figuring out exactly where to cut the panels for a prewar space with very uneven floors and ceilings. We wanted to avoid them look like flood water pants (!) but not have them dragging on the floor, either! We also learned from experience that these panels stretch after they’ve been hung, so they need to be cut slightly shorter than you’d initially think, but not too much.
As a bonus, we ended up using an extra panel and track to replace the closet door adjacent to the bed; this allowed us to gain the room the door swing previously used up and install a little “night-shelf” there instead.

The Ikea products used in this project can be found here, here, and here.

Thanks for sharing, Christina! You can see more of Christina’s projects on her website, Love_Design.

Re-edited from a post originally published 11.12.12 – JL