I want to share photos of our bedroom in Jakarta. I was sort of shy to share it before because it was the last room I finished decorating. For about 2 years it only had a bed, 2 sidetables, and tiniest TV on an old Chinese chest. These last 2 items I had brought from the Philippines in 2009. You can imagine how bare it looked. I slowly added items one by one (like a DIY triptych, teak furniture, etc.) and at the end of our 4 years Jakarta, it looked like this.
MEDIA WALL DRESSER
One of the challenges of our bedroom was space and storage. The closet was so tiny it could only fit my clothes (TD’s had to go in the guest bedroom) and there was definitely no space for a dresser. So I utilized the narrow space in front of a bed for a media wall that also functioned as our dresser and storage for toiletries, medicines, books, etc. I designing bookshelves that combined open and closed storage to keep the space feeling open. Imagine if I had put a rack of closed drawers and shelves with backing? It would have made the room feel smaller and claustrophobic. Open shelving helps to keep the space light and airy, but I had to combine it with some closed storage (like the drawers) so that the space doesn’t look too cluttered either.
The TV table had to do double-duty as an extension of my dresser and storage for knick-knacks I did this with the help of:
- a small KOMPLEMENT container (the item in the link is bigger) for remote controls & 3D glasses
- Umbra Icelet jewellery stand as a catch all for bracelets I wear regularly
- The techie items were also on the table, but I added a bag with the same texture as the iPad sleeve to create a small grouping of stuff
- White KASSETT boxes to hide 1) Labelling pharaphernalia 2) souvenirs & keepsakes 3) photos for organizing 4) old letters
It’s also good to note that the TV Table from KOI is extendable. The top and bottom layer are 2 separate pieces and they can be configured in different ways. This kind of reconfigurable and adjustable furniture is perfect for expats and diplos like us because we don’t know how our room is going to be in our next post. This makes it flexible!
The bookshelves became our dresser, one side had my makeup and skincare (not pictured) and the other side had my accessories and TD’s cufflink box (not pictured). The key to storage and display I think is really creating small vignettes, a term and concept I learned from Kyle Schuneman in his book The First Apartment, Cool Design for Small Spaces.
BED & SIDETABLES
We had no choice in the bed because it was the only piece of furniture that we asked our landlord to provide. We just asked him to provide something modern and simple with a base that went straight to the floor. I dislike beds that have space underneath, because they are dust magnets and DiploDog loves to hide and sleep underneath. He ends up bringing all that dust and dirt to our bed. Space under the bed also makes it tempting to hide all our crap underneath i.e. bags, luggage, old stuff, etc.. I was told that this is not good feng shui.
DiploDog’s toy and bed went beside TD’s side of the bed, while my laptop table and capiz tissue box went on my side.
DARK VS NATURAL WAX FINISH
Do you remember how dark our side tables used to be? I asked Danni to strip the color and give it a wax finish to reveal the beautiful wood grains of the teak and make it less high maintenance. It’s hard to have dark-stained teak furniture because once it is scratched, you see the light color underneath and the scratch is quite obvious. With wax finish, I don’t have to worry so much. I can leave it as is or just sand it a little bit and voilà it’s looks great again.
Our side tables are again a mix between open and closed storage for the same purpose as keeping the space feeling open. Books and magazines usually go on the open space in the bottom while medicines and other unsightly things go inside the drawers. The lamps are from BO CONCEPT, a gorgeous store I’ve always passed by in Shangri-la Mall but never had the guts to go into. When we were married and we started making a little bit more money, we finally went inside that store and bought something small that we could afford – HA! And those were these 2 lamps. They go really well with the modern and minimalist aesthetic I strive for (but never seem to reach LOL!).
bags and accessory storage
There is a narrow space/hallway in the entrance of the bedroom. I took advantage of this space to store my accessories and last-used-bags using the following:
- Washable canvas & clear plastic accessory holder from MakeRoom. I used an over the door hook from True Value to hang it behind the door.
- Umbra Clipper Coat Hooks to hang bags that I use often.
- Cork board with white push pins from Paperclips Gandaria City to store all other accessories. I find that this is the most effective way for me to see everything I have. I can even group my accessories according to color so that it’s easier for me to decide and coordinate. Stud earrings I just push into the the board, nothing else required.
In an empty corner of our room, near the bathroom door, we used to have a stepper exercise machine. It was the only place we could put it in the flat. Right before we left we sold it and bought a bike to bring to Berlin. I know its strange to have a bike in the room, but it was a temporary solution. Here is a picture of it anyway haha!
These pictures aren’t perfect or magazine-like, because I didn’t remove all the other things I wanted to stay hidden. This is actually the way we lived in this room and I am quite happy with how it turned out. What do you think of the ideas? Do you have other tips and suggestions for making the most of small spaces in your home? I would love to hear from you.
Our Berlin Bedroom is still a work in progress, but I would love to write about the awesome bed that we ended up buying. Will take pictures and keep you posted!