build bunk beds in a kids' room
Photo: Tria Giovani
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Build One on Top of the Other in a Kids' Room

Fit slumber spots for two kids in the space of one with built-in bunk beds. Here, Amagansett, New York, architect Darren J. Helgesen had extra room to work with at the foot of the beds, so in place of a standard ladder he designed a staircase with V-grooves cut into the treads to give little feet traction for climbing; the angled stair wall serves as a handrail. To eliminate the need for a freestanding dresser, clothes drawers are hidden in the risers. A built-in book cubby provides more storage space in the corner beneath the stairs. And just in case a little one wiggles out from behind the top safety rail, Helgesen created a crash pad by taking advantage of the 20 inches between the built-in and an existing window to use a full-size mattress for the bottom bunk—which also makes a nice comfy spot for parent-child story time.

TOH Tip: To take full advantage of the space under freestanding beds, nix built-in storage in favor of open-top bins on casters. Because the area is often just 8 to 12 inches high, the framing for a cabinet, drawers, and glides leaves little room for all your gear. Build the bins yourself, or simply purchase rolling wire baskets (Stacks and Stacks offers baskets that are 2 feet long by 2 feet wide for about $43 each).
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