Monday, July 23, 2012

DIY Loft Bed Show Off

Some of you may remember (from my other, sadly infected blog) that while I was adapting to life with little Owen, our other two younger children were taken out of daycare, and Dave was caring for them. During our month of post-partum adjustment, my husband finished our house re-organization by building furniture. Big furniture.

While this may sound like a ridiculous time for him to be doing this, it actually worked well for us. It meant that while he was around to help when things got hairy with the kids or I needed a nap and the older kids taken to the park, he wasn't, shall we say, underfoot. He wasn't bored and loafing. Instead he kept himself happily busy on a project while also generally overseeing Aaron and Emma.

 The result was that we almost doubled the amount of usable space in the boys' room and added a lot of storage for their stuff and a little bit of our own stuff. I would love to report that this means their room is always tidy and organized. But alas, I don't nag them enough to make that happen. Instead, it means there are actual places to put things when we do tidy, and theoretically we shouldn't have anything overflowing out of its proper space.
 These are the boys' clothes drawers, plus the homes to all their softies. The lego and playmobil bins sit on the shelf above the drawers. We've added more bins on the top shelf for our linens, and the boys can reclaim the shelf when they're tall enough to reach it.
 Under the bed, against the wall is this pegboard. We have this lovely idea that the boys will hang things on it, as in the picture above. When Aaron first saw the hooks, he started hanging individual Playmobil bows and belts and horse halters on each hook. While this did fulfill the general purpose of the hooks, we tried to convince him that possibly he could put some of his bigger, more hang-able items on the hooks, like the dress up clothes. That lasted for a few days, until he started making the hooks into metal art installations. Those creative types, I tell you, what can you do with them?
 Up on top, as well as the bed, there is this little reading nook. I put the books that they really like up here, and stored the rest in Emma's closet. I also de-cluttered a box or so of books, that accidentally included a few library books. Whoops.

My husband took these photos, and as he didn't spread the lovely hand-made quilts over the mattress before he took the photo, I don't see the point in just showing you the boys' messy bed.

Because Dave made this out of his head, with only a vague plan, we encountered some problems that needed to be solved. One was light. The regular lights in this room are ceiling florescent pot lights. We didn't realize they gave off heat until we were within arms' reach of them, so a dimmer switch needed to be installed on the lights. Also, the light switch is across the room, which makes reading in bed and then falling asleep almost impossible, as one must climb down the ladder to turn off the lights. This was solved with a little platform to hold one of those clip on reading lights.
 Aaron insisted on trying to climb the ladder with armloads of toys so he could play up in the bed, and he kept falling off the ladder 3 steps up. So Dave installed a pulley system so the boys' could put things in a basket at the bottom of the ladder, climb up, and then haul things up.
 So there you have it, that is the boys' new room. All built with stuff Dave found at Home Depot, a couple of power saws and a drill.
In case you're wondering how we did this with any sanity, he built each piece separately in the back yard, and the gradually assembled them in the boys' room. This meant that all of the sawing and most of the drilling took place in the back yard, and minimal time was spent in their actual room. He didn't put the ladder in place until the bed was well reinforced, so no one could get up there until it was safe. He also put felt pads along the bottom of all the wood, which should hopefully help the hardwood floor not get too badly damaged from all the weight.

And yes, my house was turned upside down for two of three weeks, with bins of toys and books and dressers strewn in odd places all through the living room and Emma's room. But then, we had a newborn, so it would have looked like that in any case. Might as well get the chaos over with all at once.


  1. that is pretty fantastic. it's a little boys dream room basically.

  2. Hey Jill! I found you :). Actually I have been away and not online so much this month. I enjoyed catching up with the new blog!

  3. Do you have plans you could post for this bed, with measurements or any cut lists, steps you all took to assemble or anything else? Looking to build something similar but this bed is wonderfully done and even better than what originally planning to build! Thank you! Blessings!