Good Questions: Should I Give My Daughter My Room? (and move to the living room)

(Note: Include a pic of your problem and your question gets posted first.)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Hello AT,

Last year, I bought my first home, a wonderful one-bedroom, 1 and 1/2 bathroom condo, in the fabulous town of Edgewater, NJ.

The challenge has been to create a bedroom for my daughter that will give her the privacy and personal space she needs within the given limited space. Currently, what I’ve done is placed a floor-to-ceiling curtain to divide the large living room to create a space for her room. The curtain goes across the living room by the wall adjacent to the balcony and gives her a 8′ by 13′ bedroom space. I chose not to build a wall so as not to block out light and heat/ac from the unit under the window.

NOTE: This is a big one….

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

While this arrangement has worked for a year, things are beginning to
change. My daughter (10 years old) has expressed her desire to have a “real room”, so as to have privacy and her own space. When children visit, they naturally gravitate to her area, and she cannot keep them out due to a lack of a wall and door. She has expressed feeling uncomfortable when friends visit and exclaim, “Oh, your bedroom is in the living room?”.

Recently I’ve given serious thought of giving my daughter my large
bedroom (11 X 18), and creating a sleeping space for myself in the living room (13 X 20). This way she has her space and can organize it to her benefit.

But that leaves the challenge of how I can create a sleeping/relaxing area for me that is neat and private when I need it to be. Because my budget is very limited, I have bought very little furniture.

Some considerations I have are: creating a zen-like sleeping space,
divided by use of an open-back storage unit by IKEA (don’t have yet), either by the
window where my daughter’s room is currently located, or using the
dining room as a bedroom . I’ve also considered installing a murphy
bed in the living room, but the costs are too high for me to consider
at this moment. I’ve also thought of getting rid of my bed completely and sleeping on the sofabed.

I did not want to build any permanent wall structures, as I didn’t plan
on staying here for too many years. Eventually, I hope to sell and
move up to a real two-bedroom. This is why I am looking for other

So, is there a way to have it all in one space? Can I make it happen?

Thanks, Helen

Dear Helen,

First of all you really need to clean up both of your rooms! Seriously, this will make a big difference in how the space feels and will allow you to SEE the solution more clearly. As for how to divide the space, hopefully you will get more tips from readers. Here are a few of ours:

  • Keep your bedroom. You are the adult in the house and it is important that you maintain that role, despite your daughter’s needs.
  • For real privacy for your daughter, look into a compression wall (ie The Living Space Company) for a cheap, easy solution.
  • Otherwise, we would work with what you have, paint your daughter’s end of the room a different color and
  • brighten up the whole place with some of the warmer colors you have on the walls. MGR
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