The Triple Bunk Bed

12/16/15, Monday

While in college I found I love organization and clutter free areas. It calms me down and gives me space to think. For me, the kids room has been a cluttered nightmare as we made do with a double size bed for one and a twin size bed for the other in a 10×12 room. I avoided the room as I avoid our also-cluttered office.

Originally I planned on a bunk bed from Ikea that also comes with a trundle bed. This  would create a sleep space for all three. Then one day I came across these plans for a triple bunk bed. The idea looked so good. After some mulling over we decided to go for it. This weekend my husband has been working hard to put it together while I paint here and there with Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Paris Grey. This light neutral color, very similar to the walls, will help this massive furniture item not consume what the eye beholds upon entering.

Today was a wonderful day of work. The sun was out. The air was warm. My mother-in-law came to visit and played with the older kids while we worked. Everything went smoothly for my husband as he progressed along the plans, which he had converted from word to pictorial format. I finished the day with painting all the pieces I could.

IMG_6423

IMG_6422My daughter pumped the clamp while my husband drilled holes. He’s a master at finding ways for the kids to “help.”

Wednesday, 12/18/15

My husband has been working on the beds by himself. With large families or families with little children, to me it seems like if you have a project and the timing is right, you have to go for it. It isn’t always possible to bring in outside help whose schedules will match with the mystical window that occurs when both spouses are home (if both spouses work, as in our case). We only have one day off in common so President’s Day weekend became the choice opportunity. Unfortunately we all were sick, except my husband. Nevertheless, progress still was made!

Reflections: the chalk paint has been amazing! One coat, that’s all it needed. I purchase the Soft Wax (Clear) by Annie Sloan. It will be first time using that but the paint needs to be sealed. How to take the time to cure it…I don’t know, one step at a time. The paint is a little more blue than the wall color, I’m not sure I like how it works with the teal bedsheets. Again, one step at a time.

Two beds are in place, the second still needs to be bolted. The plans we use have the beds close together, so it’s rather awkward fitting if you are using a regular mattress. It will work for our toddler but we’ll have to re-evaluate and re-work in the future either by taking out the bottom supports (the mattress then being on plywood, on the floor) or raising everything else. My daughter was disappointed to have to sleep on the floor again, but I pushed her bed under the bunk. She was happy to feel she had a hiding spot.

IMG_6439

2/19/15, Thursday

Creating good design is intoxicating to me. It might be the fuzziness of my mind with this cold, but I feel awfully excited about what is taking place in the kids’ room, and that is a first. The first two bunks are up with mattresses in place. We pushed the structure as far over as possible but with enough room left so my husband can still bolt in the third bunk. This is the moment when we start to see the finished project in view.

IMG_6445 IMG_6446The teal sheets provide the necessary pop in s space of very soothing color, too soothing, I think, for my personality. The black and white duvet covers keep it calm and in touch with all the gray.

Today, the duvet cover I’ve been hankering after from West Elm is one sale with free shipping so I’m going to make the leap and purchase it. Ultimately my daughter will happier having flowers over having the alphabet on her bedding, although I could go either way.

IMG_644812/20/15, Friday

It’s a small room so it will take some doing to get a decent photo, and until my health returns, I won’t be up for the task.

Updated impressions: We closed the gap from the second level bunk to the wall, so the overlap is much less awkward. I like the heights a lot. It puts both kids easily within reach for comforting (everyone is sick!). Currently my daughter does not use the ladder, which I think is because the wood is so much thicker than her little hands. We might put some handles that she can grip to get up. Currently, she steps on brother’s bed to get to her’s (even during the night!). We’ll see how this changes when the third bunk is installed.

The website refers to this as a weekend project. It very well may be if you don’t have small children or everyone is in good health. Overall, we’re very pleased and excited by this week-long project.

Update on the Chalk Paint: while adjusting the beds, my husband pulled on the second bunk, which scraped hard along the nook/groove in the wood posts (I hope you didn’t come here for technical wood-working terms). The movement did not chip or scratch the paint! To me, requiring only one coat and the -already seen- incredible durability justifies the price. I buy my paint from Vintage Market in Turlock, CA where the ladies are wonderfully helpful and friendly. It’s an amazing store with great prices and awesome diy inspiration.

All that’s needed now is bolting the third bunk, some paint brush-work and waxing. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s time to take rest seriously because this cold has worn out its welcome.

7 comments

  1. […] building the bunk beds (see post: The Triple Bunk Bed), the antique guest bed needed a new home, so she has moved into the nursery. I appreciate having a […]

  2. Amy Eide says:

    Curious to what the cost was on this project? I want to build one for our kid’s room, but not sure how much this will cost us and how much I need to be saving. Would appreciate this info!

    • Unfortunately, it seems I don’t have the totals for the cost of lumber. My dad was able to buy it from a supplier so our costs would not be the same as going to Home Depot. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

      • Amy Eide says:

        Just wanted to say thank you for posting your plans/directions for this bed! I am in the process of building it and am looking forward to moving it into the kids bedroom. It has taken a good week to work on it, and I am thinking that by the end of this week I will have it all finished!

  3. Delmiro Villanueva says:

    what is the total length and width of the bed?

  4. I’m excited for you! Our kids continue to love it. I hope your will as well!

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