Swapping Rooms in an Apartment – Living Room for Bedroom Swap

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Who says you have to follow the layout plan your landlord, realtor, or even an architect has designated or determined? I’m not talking moving walls or creating an addition, although those are viable options if your time and budget allows for them. Good, old-fashioned (and free!) room swapping is what I have in mind here. There are practical constraints and considerations to this idea, of course. You can’t really pull it off in a studio or with a kitchen, bathroom, or any other area that requires special plumbing. Roommates complicate matters further here, too.

But if you live alone and are looking to shake things up or think you might be better served by making your living room your bedroom for whatever reason—or vice versa, why not do it? That’s exactly what cookbook author, holistic nutritionist, and food stylist Kirsten Buck did at one point in her 700-square-foot Winnipeg rental apartment (see below and compare to the above image), and it was just the tweak she needed to break out of a decorating rut and fall back in love with her current home.

“I found I wasn’t using my living room as much,”says Buck, who just released her first cookbook, “Buck Naked Kitchen.” “I don’t own a TV or anything, so it was more a sitting room for reading. Luckily, everything from my old bedroom flowed right into the new living room/bedroom space. It has a soft boho feel to it.”

By making this decorating move, Buck was then able to convert her former bedroom into a studio and home office to support her blogging business, so there was some practicality behind it, too. You could do this kind of swap just for fun, but maybe you have an aesthetic reason—say you’ve always wanted a fireplace or built-in shelving in your bedroom, for example, and only your living room has these features. Better sleep might be another potential motivator. Is your living room, on the whole, darker, quieter, or cooler?

Personally, I’ve always found it kind of annoying that my only bathroom is right off of my bedroom. This isn’t much of a problem or strange really, especially for a New York City apartment. When I entertained regularly though, this little layout quirk meant guests had to traipse through the bedroom to use the bathroom. I never thought of room swapping before, but as I look around my place and spend almost all of my time at home these days, I’m wondering what it might look and be like if the bedroom and living room were reversed.

Buck herself just went back to a more traditional setup (check out what her space looks now), but I love that she dared to do this in the first place. Sure, making this kind of move is a bit of a hassle, but you can’t argue with free, and you can always change it back. Swap two rooms in your place and you just might start seeing your stuff—and your home—in an entirely new light.

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