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working girl - btc

As an interior designer, my areas of responsibility generally fall under Kitchens and Dining, as well as Children's IKEA. Because the other lovely ladies of on my team were quite busy with the demand of the Living with Textiles Exhibit, my manager approached me about creating a room to coincide with the "Back to College" message for the store. Needless to say, I was pretty stoked for the opportunity!

 Initially, our sales manager wanted to work with a loft bed (a solution that was already well-represented in the showroom) but nevertheless, I created several floor plans with this piece in mind. My manager and I were pretty disappointed by the selection of the loft bed - we preferred a bunk bed to really drive home the reality of college roomate living - so we agreed that I should also present an option with a bunk bed (you know, for good measure). 

The sales manager and especially the Work IKEA manager loved bunk bed floor plan the most, particularly because I was able to incorporate so many functions into one space (working, entertaining, sleeping, dressing) so they gave us their stamp of approval. The funny thing is, a roommate roomsetting (sharing a room with someone who is not your significant other) had never been shown in our store before, so I was pretty excited.

So just a quick break down on the priorities for the room:
  • Micke Desk and drawer unit
  • Algot storage system - the first usage of the product in our store
  • Norddal bunk bed
  • Oh, and the furniture for the entire room had to be under $1,500 as a "Low Price Room" statement

Here's the before!

And here's the after!

My most challenging requirement when I started the space planning process was that Micke had to be on the hot wall (the wall that people see first when strolling along the path). Because I was working with a room that only had two walls, as opposed to the normal three, I was able to design the space so that the Micke product and desk chairs were facing the path, but not actually on the hot wall. Doing so allowed me to decrease the time it normally takes for the point of interaction to occur with the customer. Talk about sales strategies!

Oh, and here's the room all lit up.

Sorry about the super spots of light. This room was pretty hard to photograph. I plan to re-evaluate the lighting a little later. Repositioning the track fixture and adding a third pendant (my mind keeps telling me that there should be three and that they should be staggered) will make a pretty big difference. Oh, and not sure if you noticed, that the walls were painted darker (by happy accident) but I'm more than happy with the outcome!

Another requirement was that Work IKEA product had to be well-represented in the room. I did this by using Ekby shelving from the range on the hot wall. Below is an entertainment center that is concealed by the Micke desk and Klippan sofa pictured below.  Truth be told, I was pretty bummed about having to use the natural cover on the sofa (it's the lowest priced option) but fresh off of the Living with Textiles exhibit, I decided to have fun with it and use two yards of fabric to dress it up. It was a quick fix, and textiles make the natural cover very versatile.

If you swing on around, you'll see the bunk bed. Instead of doing a large print above the top bunk (which would have totally been okay here) I decided to incorporate some display storage with 6 Forholja boxes. I plan to add  a little somethin' somethin' to the bottom bunk wall when I get a chance.

Here's a little closeup

Notice that in the before picture I didn't have an extra wall for the closet. Our awesome carpenter fabricated one for me. Not only did the extra wall create a closet, it also framed out the bunk bed to make the space look more custom, and created a small dressing space of sorts when the curtains are drawn. My inner college girl kept thinking, how awesome would it be to get dressed in here and not have to require that your company or roommate's company leave so that you can get a little bit of privacy?

Here's the other side.

This project was amongst the most challenging I've experienced since I started with Com-In back in January. Designing and implementing a room from scratch is pretty time consuming, and a laundry list of things can and did go wrong. Through everything though, I had such a great experience and learned a ton! I also got some awesome support from my co-workers and my manager.

Everything is totally worth it though when I see customers so excited and how they immediately begin interacting with my design. A little boy walked by with his mom and his little brother while I was working in the room and said, "Mom! This is my DREAM ROOM!" I would have the top bunk!" 

That comment actually made my day - well actually, it made my week. I must admit, it's super cool to hear people talk amongst themselves and know that they get the concept right away. 

I've heard lots of, "It's a dorm room!" and 
"This room would be great for our boys!"

Needless to say, IKEA customers just warm my heart...well, nice ones anyway! :)


  1. This room is fantastic! Can you share what color is on the wall? I am thrilled to have tripped across your page while google'ing the Norddal bunk bed for design ideas. I know you were designing with a dorm room in mind, but it's also a great idea concept for an older teen who wants lounge and study space. I'm planning a room for my tween son who wants something cool with black and the blue you have here, but I really wanted to stay away from a kiddie room. Thanks for the great ideas, my Ikea is missing out by not having you around!

    1. Bobbi,
      Thanks so much for the compliments! You really made me smile. My day to day is all about creating spaces that I hope others will find inspirational, so hearing that you've come away with some useful ideas really makes me feel amazing! The color on the walls is Laguna Blue by Benjamin Moore. Good luck with your son's room, and if you have a place on the web where you like to post pictures, I would love to see it! :)


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