One of the projects we get A LOT of questions about are the built in bunk beds we have in our younger boys room.
Bunk beds used to be viewed as…how should I say?…less than desirable.
Then someone came along and made them hip by building a custom version and making them built-in.
Now, everyone wants built-in bunk beds.
I get questions weekly about our bunk beds so I thought I’d revisit them (and also show you how we recently updated them).
We installed the bunks in 2013. I drew up the plans and we started to build them. Then all sorts of considerations and fear set in…
-What if they collapse?
-What if there is an earth quake?
-Do we have enough building experience to know how to builds these properly?
-What if our kids jump on them?
-Will they be durable enough?
Most projects don’t intimidate us but knowing that our most precious possessions would be spending 1/3rd of their lives in these, I didn’t want to take any chances. So I gave the plans to a carpenter and he built within a week.
Fast forward 5 years and their are things we’ve loved about them and things we haven’t loved.
-I LOVE the way they look.
-They are super durable.
-I love that we were able to customize them to fit the boys needs with the drawers, built-in niches, lighting and curtains.
-Making the bed is so difficult so they never get made and look frumpy (Beddys?).
-Climbing the ladder hurts your feet.
-Hard to get in and out of the top bunk (especially in the middle of the night for a potty trip).
-Permanent (what if we outgrown them and want to take them down?)
Being an only child myself, I always thought it would be wonderful to have my kids share a room.
That was before I had kids.
Then reality set in.
And siblings fight.
There are times we’ve thought about giving the boys their own rooms which we mean the oldest would have to move downstairs so one of the youngsters could have take over his room but I’m not quite ready for that. Giving the boys their own room is coming sooner or later and then what do we do with the bunk beds? That will be a major demo and cost to put the room back together (patch walls, re-carpet because there is no carpet under the beds currently, $$$).
If we could rewind the clock would we do it again? I’m really not sure. I tend to go for aesthetics first and will look forward to the day when we take the bunks out and I get to redecorate that room, but that’s me. Majority of people wouldn’t see that as a fun adventure. Long-term, functionally speaking they may not be the best fit for everyone. Are 6 foot teenagers going to fit in them in a just a few short years?
They are great for the stage of life we are in but maybe not so much in a few short years.
Having said that, we did make a few recent modifications to make them more functional…
I love the look of white but it gets dirty SOO fast especially when they belong to two young boys. Also, the swing arm lights we had in each bunk were a terrible idea. They just weren’t durable enough to stand up to two rough and tumble boys. As well, the overhead light just did not give off enough brightness for the room.
First thing was to paint the bunks themselves a darker color. The first year I wiped them down on a weekly basis, then we bought the store and I neglected the entire house. I’ve decided that painting yearly will probably be in my future as long as I am mother. Until then, I decided on Weathervane by Valspar to help hide the dirt between cleanings and paintings.
White keeps you honest but I needed a little give between cleaning so not to see every finger and foot print on the beds.
I also wiped down and painted every wall a fresh coat of white which made a huge difference.
We also replaced the swing-arm lights with these brass sconces from All Modern. The Mr. added a twist switch so they could be turned on and off at the source.
I purchased this rope Chandelier floor sample at West Elm years ago which the Mr. also installed. Makes a world of difference for the brightness in the room.
I’m also super excited that I found these vintage wool Hudson Bay-esque blankets at an estate sale a few months back.
All photos by Allison Bills Photography.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again…paint is one of the least expensive and easiest ways to transform the look of a room. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.
Do you have bunkbeds? Do you love them or hate them?