13 best design techniques for decorating a living room-bedroom (when you have to combine)

Marina Sarkisyan, Natalya Zakharova, Ekaterina Malmygina, Tatyana Petrova, and Tatyana Kochetova (Lares Design) shared tips on how to design a room that will serve two functions. In many ways, the opinions of the designers are similar – but this only proves the effectiveness of these techniques! 

1. Choose a rectangular room

Designer Natalya Zakharova recommends thinking about arranging two zones in advance, even at the stage of choosing an apartment. Pay attention to the shape of the room you plan to divide.

Designer Natalya Zakharova: If you are solving this problem at the stage of choosing an apartment, then know that it is easier to zone an elongated room than a square one.

2. Putting up the bed 

All designers agree that a bed is an important attribute, even in a small room. 

“Sleeping on the couch is a bad idea,” says Natalia Zakharova. — Try to place both a living room and a bedroom in the room. Ideally, the sleeping area will have its own window.” 

“A bed is necessary for a good night’s sleep,” I am convinced Ariana Petrova. — Now there are a lot of solutions that allow you to solve this problem even in a minimal area. There are, for example, systems for hiding the bed in a closet or lifting it to the ceiling.”

“You need to give preference to the bed rather than the sofa,” says Tatyana Kochetova. – Usually, the bed has a more comfortable mattress that is good for the back. If possible, then put both.”

“Quality sleep is a priority for me, so I always recommend to customers a full-fledged sleeping place; a bed is a must. If possible, I try to allocate the sleeping area near the window. So more air, more light,” shares Marina Sargsyan.

“For an older couple who needs comfort and convenience, it is worth choosing the option with a bed and a sofa. The task is to properly hide the sleeping area so that the bed and sofa do not “argue” with each other, and each item has its own place and purpose,” says Ekaterina Malmygina.

3. You can limit yourself to a sofa – for young and active people

If you want to spend more time in the living area, perhaps you shouldn’t try to combine two large pieces of furniture and leave just the sofa. But approach the choice so that it is comfortable to sleep on.

Designer Ekaterina Malmygina: Each interior is created for a specific task specified by the customer. Not everyone needs both a bed and a sofa in the living room – it all depends on priorities. If this is a young couple who needs more free space to meet with friends, then a folding sofa with a good mattress will definitely suit them (they also have these).

4. Separate the bedroom area with a partition or curtain

When the living room and bedroom are combined, it is logical to assume that guests will periodically be in the living room area. And the bedroom in this case should be hidden.

“The sleeping area should be designed in such a way that it can be easily and quickly hidden from the eyes of guests,” says Tatiana Petrova. “To do this, you can provide mobile partitions, screens, roller blinds or curtains, for example.”

Marina Sargsyan recommends different options for partitions for different needs: “The partition dividing the space between the bedroom and the living room can be either permanent (solid) or conditional (light). For easy zoning, both curtains on a bracket that is attached to the ceiling and shelving are suitable. A slatted decorative partition is also good for zoning, which will help create a cozy corner in the recreation area. A pair of sliding doors with clear or frosted glass can be built into a solid partition. This sliding door system will add lightness and allow daylight to flow into the living room space.”

5. Focus on the living room 

This is what the designer recommendsTatiana Petrova: “When the living room and bedroom are placed in the same space, it is necessary to visually emphasize the living room and hide the bedroom. You can make a color accent on the sofa, highlight the area with lighting, and hide the bed in a niche or cover it with a shelving unit.”

6. Give the bedroom the most secluded corner

Tatyana Kochetova from Lares Design argues for placing the bedroom in a secluded place – namely, away from the window.

Tatyana Kochetova, Lares Design: A window is needed during the daytime, when a person is awake, meeting with friends, communicating with family. In the daytime, the light that comes from the window is important to him. At night, during sleep, light is not needed. Therefore, the darkest corner will come in handy. I want to hide the bed from prying eyes: if you put it by the window, then you’ll have to figure out how to fence it off. And then the bed will be fenced off along with the window. The rest of the room will lose light. The light from the window will not interfere with falling asleep, and you will not have to additionally hang blackout curtains. Very often the windows are viewed either from the street or from other apartments. So a private bed away from the window will make you feel more comfortable.

7. Think about ventilation in the sleeping area 

“If you place the bed in a niche or in a part of the room without a window and separate this area with a solid partition (for example, loft partitions are now popular), then at the renovation stage you need to think about ventilation – during sleep, it is very important to have an influx of fresh air,” says Natalia Zakharova. “If the bedroom area is not near the window, and ventilation cannot be done, do not despair – you can zone the room with continuous partitions (for example, slatted) or light curtains.”

“The bed can be hidden in a niche, in this case, remember – the room needs air. It is rarely possible to make a niche next to a window; windows, as a rule, are given to the dining room or living room. If the sleeping place is in a niche behind a glass partition or a gypsum plasterboard partition, you can provide supply and exhaust ventilation. The most budget-friendly option would be to separate the sleeping area from the living room with a curtain or shelving – in this case, air will flow freely into the room. You can also use decorative partitions – wooden beams from floor to ceiling, perforated panels,” – this is the opinion Ekaterina Malmygina.

8. Make a functional partition

Marina Sargsyan cites one of her projects as an example.

Designer Marina Sargsyan: A partition dividing the space can extend to the middle of the room and perform functional tasks. So, in one of my projects, on the bedroom side, the lower part of the partition was used to store bedding, and on the living room side, the upper part of the partition acted as a display case for dishes and books. In a small space, it is important not to forget about functionality, while trying not to overload the space with furniture.

9. Zone with finishing and color

If you don’t want to install partitions, you can resort to another method of zoning – decoration and color.

“For example, the bed area can be highlighted with patterned wallpaper, and the living room area can be painted in soft shades,” says Marina Sargsyan.

“To visually separate the bedroom area from the living room area, use different wall finishes. I love it when the bed niche has a pop of color. Moreover, for the ceiling you can use the same color as for the walls using the color blocking principle,” recommendsNatalia Zakharova.

10. Provide access to the bed from both sides

“Remember that the bed needs access, preferably from two sides, so that it is convenient to make it,” says Ekaterina Malmygina. 

11. Choose a bed with a lifting mechanism

The issue of storage in a small apartment (after all, it is in a small area that you often have to combine two functions in one room) is especially acute. Ekaterina Malmyginare recommends thinking about storage right in the bed: “Provide a mattress with a lifting mechanism – this will increase your ability to store things.”

12. Consider different lighting for the living room and bedroom

“In the living room-bedroom, it is necessary to provide several lighting scenarios: for the bedroom, for the living room area, a sconce for reading, a floor lamp in the recreation area,” recommends Marina Sargsyan.

Tatyana Kochetovasays that lighting can also be used for zoning: “It is necessary to zone the lighting: make different lamps for the sleeping area and for the living room. This will allow you to change the emphasis on the functions of the room depending on which is the main one and which is the secondary one.”

13. Decide on redevelopment

Tatyana Petrova cites her experience as an example – a project for a one-room apartment with an area of ​​42 square meters, where she managed to fit several zones: both a living room and a bedroom. 

Designer Tatyana Petrova: In such cases, when there is only one room, and you need to find space for a living room and a bedroom in it, I prefer a global redevelopment, of course, if the design of the house and legislation allows. As an example, I would like to give my completed interior, where there is a kitchen-living room, a dining room, a dressing room, and a bedroom. The bed is hidden by a partition and textiles. It is located between two walls at the head and foot, it cannot be walked around, but at the same time the approach from both sides is preserved, which significantly increases the comfort of use for a couple. To make such a solution possible, the gas stove was abandoned in favor of an induction stove.

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