Episode No. 314

Small, Multi-Purpose Living Room Ideas


In episode 314 of the IKEA Home Tour Series, the Squad works with Dax and Margaux to make the most of their small, multi-purpose living room. Dax and Margaux live in a small, 500 square foot house in the Pacific Northwest. They have one dog of their own, but look after several others. With a strong passion for sustainability, they love living in a tiny home with an equally tiny environmental footprint, but have a tough time enjoying their small living room when it's cluttered and disorganized. Using sustainable and responsibly sourced materials is important to the couple, so the Squad chose to tackle their storage and organization woes with the SVALNÄS wall mounted shelving system, made of bamboo. Giving them storage as well as a wall-mounted workspace, it's a flexible system made with a highly sustainable material. The HOLMSUND Sleeper Sofa was chosen to create a truly multi-purpose space, converting from sofa to guest bed with ease, while giving space for linen storage within. With these and other creative living room ideas, Dax and Margaux can make the most of their small home, and have a comfortable and sustainable space for themselves and their four-legged friends. For more information on the design, layout and products used, check out our “Behind the Design” blog below!

Behind the Design

Ideas for a Small, Multi-Functional Living Room

To say Margaux and Dax lead busy, interesting lives is an understatement. They both work and go to school full time, enjoy countless hobbies such as gardening and crafting, and own a dog sitting business on the side. In order to live more sustainable lives, the couple decided to rent a small home just outside of Seattle Washington. While they love their space, they were struggling to make their living room work for their growing business and everyday life. It needed to serve as a space for overnight guests, a hub for movie nights, an area for the dogs to play, a room to relax, and a place to study. They had run out of ideas on how to fit so many functions into such a small space.

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Floor Plan

When looking at the layout of this room, it was important for us to break it down into functional areas:
(1) A place for the dogs (2) Storage/Workspace (3) A place for overnight guests (4) Movie nights

Room for dogs

When sharing your living space with a four legged friend, durability is important. This is especially important to Margaux and Dax, who are watching up to five dogs at a time! We selected a part of the room that could be open for the dogs (no risk in knocking down furniture) and placed rugs down to protect the hardwood floors. The KÖGE rugs are great because the rubber on the underside keeps them firmly in place and they’re easy to keep clean - just vacuum, shake or rinse. 


Storage is crucial when living in a small space. The SVALNÄS shelving system was the best option for Margaux and Dax because it mounts to the wall (which saves valuable floor space), it’s completely customizable, and the high-end style gives a great first impression to potential clients. Plus, SVALNÄS is made of bamboo and recyclable metal which sealed the deal for this sustainability focused couple. 

Accommodating guests

Margaux and Dax recently moved from Texas to Seattle. When family and friends come to visit, there needs to be a comfortable place for everyone to sleep. The couple used to keep a mattress in the living room but the dogs kept taking over. We chose to replace the old mattress with the HOLMSUND sleeper sofa. It fits Margaux and Dax’s style, pulls out to be a full sized bed, and even has plenty of hidden storage for extra linens and fresh pillows. Also, the machine washable cover is great for any home with pets.


Margaux and Dax love turning on their projector for movies nights, but they always needed to have a blank wall available to see the picture. We got creative and attached the TUPPLUR blackout roller blind to their ceiling. By doing this, we were able to use the back wall for some much needed storage while still letting movie night be epic.

Now, Margaux and Dax have a stylish space that works for their busy lives. It just goes to show that you can have a tiny space and still be able to feel at home - no matter how many dogs, family members, and friends come to stay. 

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