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IKEA Home Tour - Behind the Design: Creating Room to Live and Play

Pamela and Allen lead a very active and busy lifestyle.  Their three young girls, Maddie, Pepper and Avery, ensure there is never a dull moment.  While their living room is a great size and serves so many functions, it has become overrun with the girls’ toys, art supplies, books and school materials.  

Behind the design - after picture

The goal here was to reclaim the living room but still make sure it was kid friendly and that everything and everyone had a place.   

Behind the design - room layout


When you have a space that has to do double duty (or in this case triple or even quadruple duty) it’s important to think in zones.  This will enable multiple activities to be going on at the same time seamlessly.  In this instance we created spaces for art (1), reading (2), study (3), and television and lounging (4).  

Behind the design - art space

Art Space (1):  Creativity is encouraged in this household!  However, this was also the primary source of the clutter and mess.  Instead of squashing their creative juices we carved out a dedicated space where the girls felt free to create but that also made it easy for them to clean up. They key is simplicity: if you want kids to help out you have to keep the solution simple.  In this case, the interchangeable TROFAST bins provided an easy way to organize toys and supplies that is still simple enough for them to do on their own.

Behind the design - reading space

Reading Nook (2):  This family reads! So having a space for them to read together was a priority.  EKET provided a unique twist to the classic bookcase and allowed us to create a clever configuration while still providing plenty of storage for books.  As the family’s library grows, so too can this solution.  Not only is it easy to add additional pieces, the multiple colors and free form combinations let you really personalize your solution.  The addition of bean bags kept the area casual and fun for the girls.  

Behind the design - study space

Study (3):  Homework is a part of life but it can sometimes be a drag, and having to do it in isolation is one sure fire way to make it worse.  Here we decided to use an otherwise wasted corner of the room to create a study zone using the MICKE desk.  This space is removed enough from the action to allow the girls to concentrate but not so far that they feel sequestered from the family.  This way mom and dad can keep an eye on productivity without having to hover and the kiddos don’t feel left out.  Even better, when they need a snack break, they are just steps from the kitchen!  

Behind the design - TV and lounge area

TV/Lounge (4):  The sofa really needed to be the anchor that tied the whole space together so choosing the right one was paramount.  Not only was it going to serve as ground zero for movie nights, it needed to be flexible and durable enough to hold up to this active family.  VALLENTUNA was the perfect fit: the modular construction allowed us to create a custom configuration just right for the room and the hidden storage and sleeper section provided an additional layer of functionality.  Bonus: the removable covers are machine washable and make those little accidents nothing to stress about.  

To see this makeover come to life, check out the video here!

Discover the full shopping list here.

For more inspiration, visit

~ IKEA Home Tour Squad

#home tour #living room

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