Tuesday, February 9, 2010
When I was a kid, I wanted a bunk bed SO BAD. The idea of having a secret lair, high above the floor (and at the perfect height for dropping things on my younger brother’s head) was intensely alluring. Our family friends even had three-story bunk beds in their Lake Tahoe cabin. I got the top bunk because I was the oldest. It was heaven – until I fell from the top of the ladder one day. That kinda sucked. As I grew up, I rethought the bunk bed idea. I couldn’t think of a worse romance-killer than having to climb up a ladder to the top of a bed that would undoubtedly sway with the, ah, activities going on. Plus there’s the risk of hitting your head on the ceiling, or falling off the side – no, it’s not worth the risk. Or is it? I’ve come across quite a few stylish loft beds lately; most of them appear quite sturdy, and some are owned by couples, so you know they’ve been “road-tested.” There are two kinds of loft beds: those that are standalone pieces of furniture, and those that are built into the architecture of the room. Standalone:
Hacked IKEA bed from Apartment Therapy: Chicago
Tisha's entry in Apartment Therapy's 2008 Smallest, Coolest contest
Charlie Brown's home tour on Apartment Therapy: NY
Making room for a new baby by building up, from FresHome
An enclosed built-in featured on Dornob
An incredible built-in featured on Apartment Therapy: NY; the London loft incorporates sleeping area, kitchen, closet, and bathroom
Even though this loft bed is incomplete, I love how the window goes up and over to bring a view and light to the sleeping area. (There are also great suggestions for loft bed ladders if you click on the linked pic.)
There are also several options for getting up into your loft bed. You could employ a ladder, stairs, or something a lil’ different like a Tansu step chest.
A Seattle apartment shown on Apartment Therapy: SF for their Smallest, Coolest
Images from Furniture for Small Spaces and Jeri's Organizing & Decluttering
Tansu step-chests (a little redundant, since "tansu" means "chest" in Japanese) are traditional wooden Japanese storage chests. According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, they "were often designed in several modular pieces. This was used to avoid taxation on other areas of a home when taxes were levied based on the size of ones home. When the tax collectors were coming around the chest that functioned as stairs up to a separate level could be moved so that their function could be hidden." You may not have a secret level that you hide from the taxman, but a tansu chest could still make for a clever way to get up to your sleeping area, while providing storage to boot.
The whole point of a loft bed is to increase the useable space below it, of course. Two popular uses are to convert the underside of your loft into a home office or closet area.
Another Smallest Coolest entry, from Victor and Soeuns
Domino staffer Robin Sillau converted her tiny apartment into a loft, as featured on Decor8
And this bed, another Smallest Coolest 2008 entrant, appears to have both closet and office space underneath
And how about including your office space in the loft? (Apparently, when you include another living space along with your lofted bed -- like an office -- it makes it more a "mezzanine" bed.)
A bed/office combo, as shown on Dornob
And, just ‘cause I want to: the owners of Katamari, one of my favorite internet kitties and the cutest Scottish fold EVAR, have a loft bed that Katamari’s taken to quite nicely: