Dividing a room in half to create a bedroom - privacy?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by cleanup, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. cleanup macrumors 68030

    cleanup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #1
    Has anybody ever done this before? My friend and I are looking to rent, and were looking at a 2 bedroom, but of course one bedroom is a master and one is a small guest bedroom. We are both willing to pay more for the larger bedroom, so there's a bit of confusion as to how we should divide up the space. We could also switch rooms halfway through the lease, but that's inconvenient. Also, I don't have a permanent residence nearby (he does) so I have a boatload of crap with me, and need a lot of space to house it. So I wouldn't really want to settle for a smaller bedroom, even for half a year.

    For the same price as the two bedroom, however, we're looking at a renovated large one-bedroom (the two bedroom is non-renovated). It has separate living/dining areas (as seen below) so we were thinking of cordoning off the living area into a second bedroom, preferably with three of these: http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/20093060

    On the right side of the living room (so that the opening to enter the solarium bedroom would be on the left, beside the jutted-out wall.

    I'm not terribly adverse to living in the living room, as long as I can divide it off with something solid like the wardrobes, but I have been given warning about lack of privacy/regretting it in the future/etc. Another part of me, however, thinks it'll be kind of cool living in that loft sort of environment.

    Of course the plus side is, we'd both have rather large living spaces, and still have space for a couch/TV, and we'd eat at the breakfast bar most likely.

    I've attached the floorplans below, but if anyone has any advice, comments, or suggestions as to a good way to cordon off the living room, I'm all ears. I want to avoid the "just use an accordion room divider" because I feel like that will definitely not give me the minimum amount of privacy I'd like. I'd want something solid, like a bookcase or a large sliding door. Kind of like what this guy has done here: http://ikeahacker.blogspot.com/2006/06/divide-and-conquer.html

    ... except I'm a bit wary of drilling holes into the ceiling/walls/floor.

    Any suggestions are welcome! :) For curiosity's sake, this is the building we're looking at: http://www.vertica.ca/collegeparksuites/

    And floorplans are shown below.

    One bedroom (829 sq. ft.):
    [​IMG]

    Two bedroom (924 sq. ft.):
    [​IMG]
     
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #2
    It might be easier to work with the two bedroom.

    Convert the small bedroom to your media room, and create a "new" bedroom to approximate the position of the Master. More privacy that way, with a room between *cough* sleeping areas.

    I doubt that your landlord would allow "tenant improvement's" to include a new wall, so a free standing bookcase/wardrobe, with a door of sorts fixed to one end could be a solution. Just spit-balling here. Good luck.
     
  3. cleanup thread starter macrumors 68030

    cleanup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #3
    The thing is, if I do that, I'm still living in the living room, except in an unrenovated apartment, with smaller space, and no common area (but instead a small room for our couch/TV). If I vote for the living-room loft style, I'd have to go for the renovated one bedroom. It's just much nicer and larger!
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #4
    This is a no-brainer. Lose some of your stuff and move into the two bedroom.

    Also, that is one ugly building. Of all the beautiful places in Toronto, why pick this? Look for a vintage flat somewhere. I think you'll do better that way.
     
  5. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #5
    Take it from someone who lived in a proper 'loft' environment where only the bathrooms had doors - unless you're living with an SO, don't.

    While you'll have visual privacy with wardrobes up, you'll have no aural privacy which is equally if not more important. Whether it's your buddy watching movies one night when you wanted an early night, or you with a date while he's on the other side, it can end up being very very awkward.

    Either wait til you find a 2-bed with a better mix of space (btw, the two baths are also a darned good idea!) or since you have more stuff and he has other options, agree that you get the bigger room - or that you can store stuff in the living room.
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #6
    ^^^Agreed with the part about the aural privacy. If you're not living with a girlfriend or wife, forget this idea.


    I'd suck it up and live in the 2 bedroom. The chances of both bedrooms in ANY apartment being the same size and shape is slim to none, so someone usually has to make a small sacrifice.

    Handle this like adults and.......play Paper, Rock, Scissors for the big room. :p The person who wins will get the big room, but also pay more in rent, and lets the person in the small room use part of the storage/closet space in the master bedroom for his own stuff. There certainly seems to be a lot of closet space in the master bedroom, judging by the floor-plan. Its as fair as it can be amongst friends.
     
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #7
    If the apartment also has a storage unit/closet -- the one with the smaller room can also gets all the storage area.

    Or simply the person with the master pays a premium, and you split the storage area evenly.

    ---

    If there is no storage, master bedroom dweller pays more.
     
  8. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #8
    There is no way I would live in a living room. If it were me, I'd look at the 2 bedroom one, or a one bedroom or loft by myself.
     
  9. MOFS macrumors 65816

    MOFS

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #9
    This is what we do in our house. I have the much larger room of the three, but I pay the cable and phone bill (about £5 a week more). My flatmates use the storage space themselves - my room is just a mess.:p
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #10
    Just £5 p.w.? Dayam, you're getting away with murder!! :p


    In London, the person with the largest room (of 3) in our flat paid £120 p.w., while the room with 2 beds (shared room) was actually the largest room (by far), but the rent was £80 p.w. per person and really should be a shared room. The other single room was very small, and it was around £95 p.w.

    We split the bills evenly, except the phone bills. We wrote all our phone calls down in a notebook and sorted things out later.

    That's just to show you how we sorted out the rather large discrepancies.
     
  11. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #11
    I would have to advise against the dividing of the rooms too. Because what happens if he /she is sick with a cold, your not going to want him / her coughing all over you? Or if they bring a "play mate" home? ( i will leave the rest for your imagination)

    I just bought my house i and i am living with my brother. Not my preferred choice but hey the repayments are being made!

    How we have worked it, he has the master bedroom, and he has a living area in his part of the house and i occupy the back 2 rooms, and i have my living area. The two back rooms, 1 of them is my bedroom, and the other is my computer room.

    Now if you have your separate areas, you still need to hang out in the same room now and a again another wise it doesn't work.

    You need to set rules also, take it in turns cooking / cleaning.
     
  12. Iscariot, Mar 7, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2014

    Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronteazy
    #12
    College Park is a beautifully kept building and a great location. I'd live there. There are some cool vintage lowrises in the area, like The Maitlands (which I am totally in love with), but they're owned by Cap Reit who are not awesome. I keep hoping someone else will buy the property…

    My sister has twice done the cordon-off-a-new-bedroom idea, to varying effectiveness. I wouldn't recommend it.

    While I can't recall off-hand, I'm pretty certain that College Park has storage lockers in it's basement. Depending on what kind of crap you've got, you might be able to put it there. Additionally, have you thought about getting the two bedroom and cordoning off a piece of the living room to make an office for yourself?

    Also: I know someone who just picked up a 2 bedroom condo (1+ converted solarium) at Bay/Dundas for a ridiculous price. If that's in your area, check out The Horizon on Bay.
     
  13. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #13
    No way I'd recommend the 1BR. You lose ~100 square feet and a bathroom.

    Take the small bedroom, allocate a fair portion of the living room as yours (partition that off as you will). You'll end up happier with real walls and a door. And your own bathroom.
     
  14. MOFS macrumors 65816

    MOFS

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #14
    Well I live in Newcastle and you live in London, which does make a bit of a difference!:p I am in charge of all the bills (which we pay evenly) - its just I pay by my own for the Virgin broadband/TV/phone package, which is ~£25 per month.

    Back to topic, there is only one way to go: 2 rooms minimum, with the extras such as "walls" and "doors" included.:p If you or your flatmate snores, or plays loud music, or has a "friend" round, you'll appreciate the privacy. If you can't avoid a nice 2 bedroom place in the area you like, compromise on the quality of the place or the quality of the area - not on the number of bedrooms.
     
  15. cleanup, Mar 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2014

    cleanup thread starter macrumors 68030

    cleanup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #15
    Alright, guys, we didn't need convincing!

    We had some more viewings lined up for today, including one of the one-bedroom suites at College Park, but we ended up not going, because beforehand we walked into a condo near Bay & Bloor. It's a two bedroom, with a more fair division of space. One bedroom is still larger but the smaller bedroom is now closer in size as well. The place is renovated, and is smaller than College Park and a less convenient location, but overall the apartment is nicer than the two bedrooms down there. In addition, it's cheaper! They gave us a $100 discount (bringing it to about $50 cheaper per month than College); more utilities included, plus a $200 voucher for a cheque after we move in. Also, it's actually right down the street from where we live now so it would be ridiculously easy to move in!

    It also helped that I ran into several young, gorgeous tenants on my way in and out.

    Overall we had to make some sacrifices (the location isn't nearly as convenient as College Park; it's still an excellent location but basically just as convenient as where we live now and no more, no less). But what we got in return was a lower price, while maintaining a very nice place with a good mix of space.

    We'll be switching rooms halfway through the year in order to split rent evenly. I'll be living in the small room for now, so that when I switch, it'll seem like a move up. :p

    I can't find an online version of the floorplan, so here's a poor photo. Haven't got a scanner yet.

    Question: is it proper etiquette to let any other potential places know that we won't be renting there? They do have our information from the renter's visitor forms after all.

    Cheers! Thanks for all the advice, folks.
     
  16. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #16
    I suggest you read you contract on notices. Typically you require 30 day written notice when your last day will be but it could easily be as high as 90 days.

    The place you are leaving has the legal write to require rent from you from the x days after you give the notices.

    Also remember renting laws are very in favor of the owners and not the renters.
     
  17. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Location:
    having a drink at Milliways
    #17
    why don't you propose that whoever gets the small room also gets the storage room across, and call it even?
    switching every 6 months seems awful.
     
  18. cleanup thread starter macrumors 68030

    cleanup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #18
    It's a campus residence.

    It's a one-year lease, so we'll switch once. And it's not a problem of storage. We have a storage room here as well. It's a problem of space for things that you immediately have in your bedroom (clothing, instruments, bedding, computers, etc.).
     
  19. charlesbronsen macrumors 6502a

    charlesbronsen

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    Toronto, Ont
  20. barr08 macrumors 65816

    barr08

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #20
    My roomates and I were in the same situation. 3 people wanted the beautiful master bedroom, complete with walk-in closet, private full bath, secondary closet, patio, etc. We were all trying to make offers to one another to try to get the other ones to back down.

    Eventually, I came up with the offer that ended the war. I offered to pay for the entire cable and Internet bill. That way my roomates, who don't make the salaray that I do, and don't neccesarily have the money to throw around, get to hold on to some of it. It is better than just offering more money for rent because it eliminates the need to give each other checks, split up the bill, etc. All in all, this method pleased everyone, and we just renewed the lease for another year under the same agreement!

    An added bonus here is that I can fill the DVR up with whatever I want, and it always gets priority! mwahahahaha, say goodbye to my roomate's girlfriend's recording of "The L Word", and say hello to this week's LOST recap!!
     
  21. MarkCollette macrumors 68000

    MarkCollette

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #21
    This is why new condos have two equal master bedrooms.
     
  22. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #22
    I don't see any dimensions, but you could probably get a computer station in there. ;)
     
  23. Dros macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #23
    One way to allocate space is to hold an auction for the larger room. Whoever wins should feel good because they bid what having that larger room was worth to them, and the other person gets a deal on the smaller space. Just a more formal approach to the 'kicks in cable' others have written about.
     
  24. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    New York, Baby!
    #24
    Another way would be a series of challenges, each more zany and dangerous than the one before, culminating in a game of chicken at the nearest highway intersection, or maybe a flamboyant fight sequence with one of you in a chicken suit...

    Eugh sorry about that. Too much time off this week.

    It's really just down to whoever has more stuff with them I think, and then who pays more...
     

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