Turn your studio apartment into a 1 bedroom with IKEA PAX

studio apartment divided into 1 bedroom

My girlfriend and I bought and moved into our first apartment, with a tight budget we couldn’t afford anything bigger than a studio apartment.

I can’t imagine anyone wanting to have their bed in their living room, so we brainstormed. We discussed every type of foldaway bed and room divider.

Then we found the IKEA PAX sliding wardrobe doors.

studio to one bedroom room divider


How we created a bedroom in a studio apartment

We bought the biggest we could find in light aluminum and frosted glass.

We measured the size of our IKEA beds and marked off the new room so it would fit our bed and some clothing space tightly in order to save as much space in the living room as possible.

I whipped up 2 wooden frames and mounted them to the ceiling, walls, and floor. Then, I mounted the PAX doors and tidied up the frame.

studio before

I installed four IKEA LED (color-changing) spots in the frame to light up the frosted glass.

We finished up our new bedroom with some LACK shelves and a little artwork.

studio to one bedroom room divider

In the meantime, we mounted 6 IKEA kitchen cabinets over the TV in the living room and integrated the TV and PC cables into the wall so we could tidily hide the Stereo and PC in the cupboards without exposed wires. We then mounted the surround sound speakers underneath the cupboard.

studio to one bedroom room divider

This was my first ever renovation at the age of 22, by myself. So if you have a small apartment and a lot of tolerance it’s not that hard or expensive to turn your studio apartment into a 1 bedroom apartment.

~ thedesignguy

Update: 25 Oct 2010

By popular demand, thedesignguy sent me more photos. Some work-in-progress pics and 2 more finished views. Hope they give you a bit more of an understanding of how it all came together. ~ Jules

studio before
studio before

How we made IKEA PAX sliding doors into a room divider


Step 1: Get the right pair of PAX sliding doors for your space

After clearing out the space and measuring what we needed for the bed, I decided to go with the largest pair of IKEA PAX sliding doors with frost glass. Depending on the size of your space, you may be able to use smaller doors.

Step 2: Construct a frame for the sliding doors

I began constructing a wooden frame from 2″x3″ lumber to hang the PAX wardrobe sliding doors. In designing this frame, I centered the sliding doors with a foot margin on both sides. Cut the wood and build the frames. Use wall anchors to secure the wooden frame to the wall. Make sure the frame is sturdy enough to hold the weight of the sliding doors.


Step 3: Install the top and bottom sliding rails

Assemble the sliding door frame according to IKEA instructions. I attached the top and bottom sliding rails to the wooden frame I made using IKEA’s instructions as a guide.

frame for sliding door

Step 4: Hang the IKEA PAX sliding doors

Then I hung the pair of IKEA sliding doors to the rails. Check that the doors are level, stable, and guide smoothly.

frame for pax sliding door
studio to one bedroom room divider

Step 5: Close up and paint the frame

Next was to close up the frame with drywall. After caulking and touching up any imperfections, I painted the drywall. Lastly, I wired up the color-changing LED spots, and the IKEA PAX sliding door room dividers are done.

studio to one bedroom room divider
View of the IKEA sliding room divider in relation to the living room and dining room
studio to one bedroom room divider

Testing the color-changing LED lights on our studio apartment room dividers.

studio to one bedroom room divider

The room dividers close off the bedroom from the living room in our studio apartment. The temporary walls gave us a lot more privacy when we have friends over.

living room
Jules Yap