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Help! Converting small study into In-Law Bedroom

6 years ago

My in-laws will be wrapping up their lives overseas and moving in with me
and my family in the next two months. Due to health conditions, they want to
avoid having to take stairs as much as possible. We have a small office on the
ground floor - off of our family room that we would like to convert into a
bedroom for them. The problem is that the space is quite small (11' x 10'
11"). The room also does not include a closet. They have not
expressed many preferences at all but, as they are on the heavier side, they
have asked for a king size bed if at all possible. I need some help to think of
ways I can make this small room comfortable and functional as possible. This is
a hard move for them and was a difficult decision but circumstances require
this arrangement. I want to make things as nice for them as I can manage. That
being said, my initial thoughts were:

King bed - just mattress on bed frame with a nice headboard to save space.
Does that work? Any issues you can think of? Or would it be better to get
something that has some kind of underbed storage (not that there will be a lot
of space to open drawers). I know my MIL loves white furniture.

Since there will be no space for a dressing table or vanity, I'm
thinking of having a night table with drawers on either side of the bed. Above
the end table, maybe a floating shelf for overflow things (Makeup/perfume?) and
then a mirror above the shelf. To make up for the lack of vanity

Or should I look into pieces that combine drawers, night
table and cabinetry (vertical piece) on either side of bed? Ceilings are

I was also thinking of getting a sliding door wardrobe on
the opposite end of the bed for their clothes and things.

The room will be carpeted.

The window will mostly likely have white faux wood blinds and I'll try to
find some nice neutral sheer curtains?

No room for floor lamps and the room doesn't get a ton of
sunlight due to being on the side of the house. I was thinking of getting a
center flushmount for lighting and may be little lamps on the night

I drew up a rough blueprint of what I was thinking. See attached.

Any thoughts you could give me about making this a pretty, comfortable, and functional sanctuary would be much appreciated.


Comments (13)

  • 6 years ago
    Maybe an arrangement like this??
    neelofurw thanked Casandra383 Dean
  • 6 years ago
    Oops wrong second photo.
    neelofurw thanked Casandra383 Dean
  • 6 years ago

    Just a few quick thoughts:

    I'd put sconces (and if there are outlets you can do pin-up sconces above the nightstands. Instead of nightstands you could do built-in drawers. This will use up every inch of width and you won't have stuff falling behind the nightstand.

    I would consider a platform style bed with no footboard. It would be good if the legs were a little recessed from the edge of the frame to avoid stubbed toes in the small space. You could 'paint' , or frame some fabric or wallpaper in lieu of a headboard. This will save a couple inches.

    The wardrobe could also be a built in, to use every available inch. If it went to the ceiling, you could store off season clothing on the top.

    Have you addressed what will happen if one of them develops mobility issues? This is not a wheelchair friendly room? The minimum width for a wheelchair passage is 32 inches.

    Ditto the bathroom they will use. In there I would definitely add grab bars by the toilet and shower.

    I think they will need more storage, but maybe you can work that into the family room?

    neelofurw thanked P Banos
  • 6 years ago

    Instead of tables beside the bed, consider small dressers. A few drawers will be welcome for such things as underwear and stockings.

    Consider wall-mounted sconces above the bed for reading lights instead of lamps on the end tables/dressers.

    Be sure that the bed is a height for sitting (for putting on shoes, etc.) because you don't have room for a chair.

    Will they need a desk area? Is there another place in the house that you can devote to this? They will need to write checks, send letters to friends, and probably use a computer. Will they bring books or other things that need a place for storage?

    neelofurw thanked yvonnecmartin
  • 6 years ago

    P Banos - can you send me an example of a platform bed with no footboard?

    The reason i was thinking of getting a headboard at least (like maybe an upholstered one) was so if they want to sit up in bed and read it would be more comfortable?

    If one of them develops mobility issues - I'll have a whole host of other problems to deal with in the future. Currently our house only has a powder room on the ground floor. They would still need to go upstairs to shower. But, we need to work with what we have at this time. In the future, depending on finances, I can look into getting a shower put in downstairs. Regarding the storage - I am looking to expand my laundry room into my garage workshop area and basically turning it into a huge walk-in closet for their things.

  • 6 years ago


    There is plenty of room throughout the house where they can sit and relax and write. Their bedroom is connected to the big family room with fireplace and tv and leads out to the backyard. On the same floor is the kitchen including large eat-in area, dining, and living room :) I also have a walk-in attic upstairs and a partial basement where they can store things they don't need on a daily basis.

  • 6 years ago

    Modern Gray Linen Fabric Platform Bed, Queen · More Info

    First one has no headboard. This is the basic style I have at home, though mine is all wooden. It takes up the least space.

    Float King Bed in Walnut · More Info
    The second is 'float' so you can't stub toes on the leg (which I do all the time on mine!) It has a headboard though.

  • 6 years ago

    @P Banos

    do you think a platform bed would be too low to the ground? I'd like for them to be able to sit on the bed with feet touching the ground - like a comfortable sitting position for putting on shoes or anything of that sort.

  • 6 years ago

    Mine is normal height for a bed, but I use a boxspring + mattress. Not just a mattress.

    neelofurw thanked P Banos
  • 6 years ago

    Your idea for their bedroom is very good...Now a you have any part of your house that they could have a bedroom with a sitting room and a close bathroom to themselves? Maybe in the basement or maybe up stairs? I know you mentioned they didn't want to do stairs but I have seen small elevators put in houses (sort of expensive) but if your home is built so that is possible, that is a solution. A friend of mine built their house with an elevator in it. I know having them live with you is really great but will be a big change for both of you. I wish you much happiness with your kind gesture.

    neelofurw thanked erinsean
  • 6 years ago
    We have a platform bed with just a mattress and no box springs. It is the perfect height to sit on bed . It is a thick mattress however . I would suggest getting the platform first , then get your mattress in the thickness that would work best with it .
  • 6 years ago
    erinsean - I dont think its practical to suggest a jump from designing this bedroom to adding a bathroom + sitting room & installing an elevator : )