With the cost of rental housing climbing all the time, the combination living/dining/bedroom has become an accepted fact of life. I designed a studio apartment for a woman who had recently been divorced and wanted a small and simple space. The sleeping space was easily incorporated into a handsome modular seating system. At night, one of the sections with an attached arm converts into a roomy double bed.
I used a J-shape arrangement of seating, to create a warm and cozy environment. Small cylindrical tables on casters instead of a conventional coffee table provide easier access for the group and move easily when the bed is opened.
On one wall, where a corner column created an alcove in the wall, I built simple oak shelves for books and magazines. The lowest shelf also acts as a backup for the seating section, providing extra space for glasses or coffee cups. The second shelf is the perfect place for a pair of architect’s lamps clamped securely to the wood surface. One lamp reaches far enough for a night light for the opened bed. The other lamp stretches for reading and to illuminate the surface of the table.
This 3-foot-square table has a slip-top system that makes it double its surface in a flash, seating eight people comfortably for dinner. The top is oak, in the same finish as the wall shelves and the oak backs of the seating group.
You can use any upholstered system and simply back it up yourself with a wood finished “wall,” plywood covered frame built of 2-by-4s the appropriate height of the backs of the seating system.
Two comfortable chairs complete the table group, a perfect place for backgammon. These are supplemented by six slender stacking chairs, easily stored in the corner, ready for instant partying.
I chose charcoal-gray linen (paperbacked for easier installation) for the alcove wall, to make a dramatic background for a collection of beautiful Japanese woodblock prints. Recessed wall washer lighting fixtures in the ceiling above the alcove illuminate the art with a glow that spreads to the seating system. A flat velvet carpet on the floor and the paint on the ceiling are both the same charcoal-gray.
Off-white Haitian cotton upholstery on the seating combines with the oak wood table, frames and shelves and plants in tubs and on shelves to make this studio apartment a gracious background.