Monday, January 10, 2011

WANTED: Bunk Bed Inspiration

My girls have been in dire need of bunk beds since a while ago. Our bedrooms are small and getting side by side twin beds are out of the question. I decided with the new year, Ethan's bedroom in the basement being finished soon, and a new baby coming in less than three months- it was high time to get serious about re-doing their room.

The set I would REALLY like costs about $700, so that is out of the question. We need new beds now and don't have time to save up. After much shopping around and doing a lot of research, I found these beds at IKEA. Like all things from IKEA, they are inexpensive. But often times you get what you pay for, so I was sceptical.

Today while Ethan was at school, the younger three and I made the thirty minute jaunt out to Draper to the only IKEA store in the state. I wanted to "test them out" and see first hand how they were constructed and how well they were made. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they are solid wood, no laminate finishing anywhere. The wood is pine and although it's the cheapest real wood that furniture is made out of, the beds were very solid and every piece felt very safe and secure. I sat there for a long time while the girls climbed all over the floor model, which mind you, has likely been climbed on by hundreds (or even thousands) of other kids. I tested and re-tested to see what would happen if they shook this way or that. Durability is one of my main criteria, and these suckers seemed to pass the test.

My biggest qualm is how they look. They have a very thin natural finish on them and they are easily paintable given the propper sanding, primer, and paint. In my head I imagine this very feminie and pretty antique white all over all the furniture in their room (they currently have a beautiful dresser that I've been putting off refinishing until we had beds to match). But the style is well....boring to say the least. No accent, no character, no dimension; just a bunch of simple 1x3 pieces of lumber bolted and screwed together.

My delima is how to transform them into something special. Right now I am thinking it would be cool to hang the entire bottom of the top bed with a drape that I can tie back at the corners, and let loose when they want to be enclosed into the bottom bed. When I was little, my sister and I used to always hang blankets from the top bunk, over the bottom bunk, as to make a fort. I could do something REALLY pretty with some sort of chiffon fabric. And the underside of the top bunk has the perfect area to attach something like that. I can see it in my mind and I love it.

But what else? I can always fancy them up with lots of fluffy throw pillows and linens. But I want to do something else. Maybe attach some strips of molding somewhere before they are painted? I am really at a loss. My goal is to make them look very different than they currently do.

By the way, if you have ever purchased these exact beds, let me know what you think of them. Two years ago we bought some IKEA silver metal bunk beds for my son's room and they have held up beautifully. Not once has a screw, nut, or bolt ever had to be tightened. They might be standing even after the house is destroyed in an earthquake!


bethany said...

We have an IKEA loft bed and I've always been really impressed with its durability. Anyway, you might want to look at the IKEA Hacker blog for more ideas, but here are a couple that could be revamped for this bed.

Alicia Jane said...

We had those exact same beds and they lasted with the crazy high energy boys for a few years. We painted them a dark brown/black and they looked great! They wouldn't fit in the boys new room because it's a basement room and the ceiling isn't high enough, so I am now reusing the wood for other projects!