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May 05, 2020 | By Michael Garrity

DIY Design: Maximizing Space with a Bunk Bed

Utilizing vertical space is a common method for getting the most out of a small room. In a bedroom, guest room, dorm, or short-term accommodation that is going to used by multiple people at the same time, bunk beds provide a simple and straightforward solution for providing more sleep options, while only taking up the “footprint” of a single bed frame.

Saving that extra floor space without sacrificing a safe or comfortable sleep experience for you or your guests is a huge first step toward making a room more practical and efficient. But that doesn’t mean it stops there. If you’re looking at an Adult Bunk Bed as a way to maximize your space, here are some additional ideas to help you create a charmingly effective multipurpose DIY design.

Don’t Forget About Under the Bed

Savvy organizers and crafty minimalists know that no space is too small to find a practical use for. With most beds, the space underneath the frame gives you some space to store infrequently used items out of sight. Our Adult Bunk Beds are built so that you do not need a box spring to support your mattress, which means all the space beneath the bed frame is totally available for storage, and the frame itself is raised high enough to allow you to fit some relatively bulky items.

You can even take it a step further and really put that space to work by adding accessories like matching wooden drawers — which give you an easily accessible way to organize clothing or other items under your bed — or a trundle that gives you an extra place for guests to sleep that won’t disrupt the normal design of the room when it’s not being used.

Accessories Page > Drawers - 800x445

Consider the Climb

A bunk bed isn’t much good if it’s difficult to actually access the bunks, so when you’re choosing a bunk bed to design a room around, the ladder should be one of your primary concerns. Bunk beds with a built-in ladder can limit your design options, because you’ll need to ensure that the ladder is always accessible. A bunk bed with an adjustable ladder means that you are always free to reorient the ladder, or your entire bed. It also means that your room’s design doesn’t have to be fixed because of a single piece of furniture (even if it is the most important piece of furniture), so it can always evolve based on your needs or desires.

Amy Bunk Bed 1

All of our elevated beds come standard with a detachable ladder that securely clips to the aluminum frame. This means it can be placed anywhere around the bed (or on three sides of our mixed-size bunk beds). Upon request, we can even build custom ladders that don’t extend the full 21” off the end of the bed frame if that would work better for your space. Visit our FAQ page to learn more about our ladder options.

Add Complimentary Furniture

Getting a bunk bed is a great first step toward redesigning your room to be more efficient and comfortable, but the bed shouldn’t pull all of the space-saving weight on its own. There are many other pieces of furniture specifically designed to take advantage of vertical space or provide flexible storage options, such as tall and slender bookshelves, floating shelves, multi-use furniture like a futon or an ottoman with hidden storage capabilities, or a desk that you can fold up when you’re not actively using it. Our Adult Bunk Bunk Beds can also be enhanced with accessories like attached bookshelves or staircases, which make climbing in and out of bed easier, but also have open cubbies that can display items for decorative and storage purposes.

Storage Ottoman Image via Pinterest

Try an Unconventional Bunk Bed

If a traditional bunk bed isn’t exactly what you need from a practical or aesthetic perspective, consider a slightly different alternative. For example, places that regularly need to accommodate three or more people at once (such as a hostel, dorm room, or camp cabin) would likely be better off with a Triple Bunk Bed.

A mixed size bunk bed (e.g., a Twin Over Full or Twin Over Queen option) is great for a room that will usually require just one bed, but that could benefit from having a place for the occasional guest or family member to get some rest. From a design perspective, these bunk beds don’t take up as much overhead space as a Queen Over Queen or King Over King, which can provide some versatility when you’re choosing your decor. And if the room is already quite small to begin with, this type of bunk bed might not feel as overwhelming as a traditional bunk bed, while still being a practical solution to your accommodation concerns.

Twin Over Queen Bunk Bed (Pictured above: Twin XL Over Queen Bunk Bed)

Or, you can opt for an “l-shaped” bunk bed where the two sleeping platforms are perpendicular, rather than parallel. These beds provide a roomy sleep experience with the benefits of a traditional or mixed-size bunk bed, but offer a unique design that better compliments some rooms. We can offer these beds by combining one of our Adult Loft Beds with a Standard Bed. Contact us to learn more about this option.

L-Shaped Bunk Bed

If you’re really pressed for space, another alternative would be to put two loft beds in a room instead of one bunk bed. This will provide two quality sleep options, but also leaves most of the floor space in the room available for large or bulky items or to create more space for activities.

2 Charcoal Loft Beds

Section It Off

One of the best ways to make a small space go a long way is to create defined sections in the room that are designated for specific activities. This gives you a focus for your design, making it much easier to plan ahead and optimize those spaces in a way that is efficient and practical. Having a defined purpose for different areas in your room also puts you in a mindset where you can truly acknowledge, appreciate, and reap the benefits of the multi-use functionality of the space.

Create Privacy with Curtains

Finally, you can make your room more attractive as a multi-use space by adding curtains around the bottom bunk. Your roommate or guests will appreciate the opportunity to get some “alone time,” even when they’re sharing the room with someone. This creates a sense of separation and privacy, so that a small space can be used by multiple people doing different activities at the same time.

You can add a curtain to your Adult Bunk Bed order that includes a simple and strong stainless steel cable and your choice of fabric and pattern that we will prepare to perfectly suit the size of your bed. Learn more on our Accessories page.

Accessories Page > Curtain