Interior Design for Living: Find more space in a Teen-agers room


Q: My teen-age son's room is very small (9 feet 6 inches by 11 feet), but in it he wants to put a double bed, a desk, storage space for his clothes as well as other things and shelves for his stereo, books and basketball trophies.

Right now we have it arranged as I have shown. Not only is it very crowded and extremely disorganized, but there's no room for changes, but don't know what would be an improvement. Do you have some ideas that might help us solve this dilemma?

A: With the furniture you now have, you have done the best that could be done in arranging it.

The bed should be placed on the wall you have it on. The only other option would be on the wall opposite, where it would be directly in front of the door as you enter the room, and you would be constantly walking around it. It won't fit anywhere else in the room because of doors and windows. Considering that a double bed is large for such a small room, you have chosen the best option. The chest is deeper and higher than the bookcase.

The chest (even though the door to the closet won't open completely) works best exactly where it is. If you put it at the other side of the bed, it would block the window. If you put it at the foot of the bed, where you now have the bookcase, it would be even more crowded than it already is. The chest is deeper and higher than the bookcase.

As it is, you have only 18 inches of walk space between the bed and the bookcase, and as you have already learned, this is not adequate.

You have done the best possible job of arranging what you have, and it's still not aesthetic or functional. I would suggest eliminating all the different pieces of furniture and consolidating their various functions into one basic unit.

Leave the bed on the present wall but center it. Put it on a platform base that has drawers that open from both sides for storage underneath.

Centering the bed will leave you with approximately 39 inches of space to the left and the right of the bed. Build enclosed adjustable shelves for additional storage below on either side.

On the right side of the bed, above the storage cabinet, I would build a fold-down desk that will also serve as a night stand while he is reading in bed. It's close to the window for natural light and also won't be in the way when open and in use. (If it were placed on the left side of the bed, it would be in the way of the closet door when folded down.)

Above the bed, to the right, I would mount a double "bullet" light. One would be directed toward the bed and the other toward the desk top.

Over the bed and in the remaining space on both sides, I would install adjustable shelves. By leaving the opposite wall free of furniture, you now have 36 inches of walk space instead of 18 inches.