AKA How To
CRAM Fit More Children In One Bedroom
Twin size bunk beds are great for saving space, but they are overkill, size wise, for young children. The size of the bed verses the size of the young child just doesn't make good space saving sense. That is why my wonderful, handy hubby and I came up with our junior bunk bed version (JBB).
To gain some perspective first, a typical bunk bed is approx. 84 inches in length, 44 inches in width and 64 inches high. Our JBB is approx. 64 inches in length, 35 inches wide and 55 inches high. A major space saver! This size allows it to fit on many smaller walls that the normal size bunk beds could not. We have found that this size bed works for a child up to about 8 years old (if your children are on the shorter side, it might work longer). Be sure to click on the pictures to enlarge them.
How we came to deciding on this specific size: I had NO IDEA what size to make this bed, but after a little thinking decided that if each mattress was just slightly smaller than half of a queen size mattress, I would be able to buy queen size sheets and cut them in half to use on this bed. That would save me time making custom sized sheets for the bed. Same for blankets, quilts, etc. Just cut them in half and sew up the cut edge. We found a mattress business in the Yellow Pages that makes custom sized mattress. We shopped around for the best price on high density foam, that had a "ticking" (fabric enclosed like a normal mattress). Most places will just cut the foam your size, but don't do this nice finishing touch to make it look nice and protect the foam. I believe the mattresses cost about $75 each, which was a little spendy, but these mattresses will last 20 years or longer!
Our JBB is also a little lower to the ground than a standard bunk bed, so it works well for little ones learning to sleep in a "big kid" bed. We use a bed rail (fits just fine with this size) when a young child, usually around 2 years old, first starts sleeping on the bottom bunk.
All in all this has been an awesome solution that really works for our family! Right now our JBB is in the "girls" room, that has a standard size bunk along with the JBB. Our four oldest girls are in this room (ages 8,6,5,3). There is not enough space in this room (or any of our bedrooms except the master) for two standard size bunk beds. We could use single level twins, but that would take up all the floor space and leave no space for the girls to play in their room.
Another space saver are drawers for under the bunk beds. My husband made two of these REALLY nice, totally enclosed drawers that are really deep (so as to use almost all the available real estate sitting unused under the bed).
There are some plastic drawers on the market you can find, that might work for under beds too. Be sure to measure first. I have found the nicest and easiest for kids to use are the ones that have an enclosure that they slide into. Keeps dust bunnies and missing toys from getting into the clothes, plus they slide much better.
For more Works For Me Wednesday see Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer!
January 24, 2007
AKA How To