You’ve seen the soothing sage green bedroom and the open-plan living space of this minimalist, industrial style home in east London, now it’s time for the guest room. It’s probably one of my favourite rooms in the apartment as it’s the space that we had to work the hardest on to get right and function well. Maximising every inch of this small spare room, we created a clever, dual-purpose storage solution that combines both a bespoke wall bed and a fold-out workspace. Functioning as a home office and creative yoga studio during the day, and an extra place for friends and family to sleep at night, this truly is a work horse of a room.
It was a real puzzle to fit everything in neatly (it gave me a fair few sleepless nights!), but the result now slots seamlessly into the compact space, creating two rooms for the price of one. I think it’s the perfect example of how it sometimes pays to think outside the box when it comes to compact, contemporary living. Designing a bespoke solution allowed us to completely tailor the design to the homeowner and make the space entirely adaptable to their needs.
When a bespoke wall bed was first raised in our initial talks, I knew it was going to be a fun project that would test the ingenuity of what you can do in a small space.
Interior design, styling and photography: Cate St Hill
A multi-functional creative space
The homeowner is a movement coach and yoga teacher, so the primary function of the room was going to be as his creative studio. We therefore wanted to keep the space fairly light, airy and clutter free. A calming ombre wallpaper would provide an inspiring backdrop for video classes and help give the space a tranquil, zen-like feel. I love how the mountain-like lines of the wallpaper mimic the flow and movement of yoga practice. The design is finished in an abstract style, so it doesn’t feel too cliched or trite.
There was also the matter of fitting in a bed for guests and a desk space for more formal working. There was no possibility that the homeowner was going to be able to practice yoga or host classes with a standard double bed in the room, or even a sofa bed. A bespoke wall bed was the most practical solution, taking up the most minimal of footprints.
I suggested embracing the room’s tall ceilings with a floor-to-ceiling design that would offer much needed storage as well as concealing a bed. Concealed cupboards could be used to store yoga equipment and mats, while open slots could store books and items for guests.
The desk could then fold out from the flat base of the bed when it was held upright. We ended up cladding the desk in cork so that it could become a surface for pinning inspiration and ideas.
Below you can see the original mood board and visualisations that I created for the project.
Pale plywood seemed like a natural material choice for the property. It feels clean and contemporary, but the grain still gives a bit of character to the minimalist space. I love how you can see the edge profile of the plywood – it gives an honest, slightly utilitarian look that’s perfect for the industrial feel of the apartment.
It took a bit of work to get the mechanism of the bespoke wall bed right and a lot of refinement from the joiners. It’s definitely not a quick weekend DIY job! But we managed to tick all the boxes and fit all the functions in without having to sacrifice one need over the other.
Not only does the bespoke wall bed function well, it also looks the part too. Whether used as a bed, desk or completely folded away, the room has an instantly calming feel for rest, relaxation and play. I can’t think of any other way that we would have fitted all the functions and needs in the room. Bespoke joinery helps get around those tricky situations and create a space that’s completely made for you!