Built-in beds with storage?

mama goose_gw zn6OHOctober 28, 2012

I'm slowly trying to finish an upstairs guest room, which will have a full/queen bed, two built-in bunks, a baby crib, and a fainting couch which converts to a twin bed (family heirloom--needs to stay). When finished, the room could accommodate a young family, a group of young adults, or a grandkid's sleepover guests. I recently recessed two small chests of drawers in wall space, and I have plans to add another bank of small drawers, left over from my old kitchen. One of the chests rolls out on casters, to reveal a small under-eaves storage area. There will be two other under-eaves storage areas, probably for things my kids want to store. (Easier for them to crawl around in, lol--I'll store my stuff in full-height closets.) This is the room that has finished bookcases and a folding table on one wall. The full size bed will be in this area:

At this time I have no plans to sell the house, but I'd like to cover all my bases. The house has a master bedroom and bathroom downstairs, but all the other bedrooms are upstairs. In addition to the unfinished guest room, there are three small bedrooms (one with built-in twin bunks), a wide hallway/study area, and a half bath. I will not be adding onto the half bath, nor adding another bath upstairs.

If someone with very young children wanted to buy the house, the guest room could be used as a temporary master bedroom, until the parents felt comfortable moving downstairs to the master BR. Even though there will be plenty of built-in drawer space, the area reserved for the fainting couch/twin bed could be used for a dresser, instead. (Without a mirror--the knee wall is 5'.) I had planned to build the low bunks on one wall, similar to this pic from houzz, but with open storage underneath:

Traditional Kids design by New York Interior Designer Pierce Allen

But then I found a neat idea on a blog, for a fold-up bed that looks like a dresser:

Faux Dresser DIY Murphy bed.

The advantage of the fold-up beds would be more floor space when the beds aren't in use. They would be only about 6" deep when folded against the wall (DIY 4" foam mattresses), so there would be room in front of them for real dressers. They could be easily removed if new owners didn't need the extra beds. OTOH, I had planned to have space under the bunks to store suitcases, shoes, etc. I also had plans to build the bunks in such a way that they could easily be converted to closets, with poles for hanging clothes. Keep in mind that my house is old--there are no walk-in closets, but the downstairs master BR has one wall of full-height closets, added in the early 1980s, and I have 14' of full height closets with shelves, in the play room. Anyone considering buying this house would have to embrace the quirkiness.

So, my question is: If you were buying my house and had a young family, would you consider using the guest room as a temporary master BR? And if you did, which style of built-in bed would your prefer--bunks with potential closet space/less floor space, or folding beds with more floor space, and which could be easily removed?

Here is a pic of the rough space--the built-in bunks (or faux dressers) would be along the 4' knee wall with the blue tarp. The wall with the finished bookcases is opposite the tarp, out of camera range. Thank you very much!

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The closest I ever came was when we bought a house with a split master. Dd#1 was two, and the master was on one side of the house and the other two bedrooms were at the other end, separated by living and kitchen. It did make me nervous at first, but dd did fine.

If I were buying your house, I'd still be in the master downstairs with the kids upstairs. I've known a couple of young families who had just that situation and although I never asked, I assume they kept the baby in the downstairs bedroom for awhile and then moved them to an upstairs bedroom when the baby was big enough. I don't know how they addressed the issue of the stairs though.

Actually, if it were me, and I had kids that young, or was planning on having kids, I wouldn't buy a house that had master on bottom and others upstairs.

I like your original plan for the built in bunks with storage underneath. The ability to change it into closets would be a big plus for a buyer.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Oh, I was going to say too that while the Murphy dresser bed looks really cute, I wouldn't want it because it's hard for people past a certain age to get up from a bed that low.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 12:47PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Thanks, marti, I'm still leaning toward the bunks, too, especially for the extra closet space. I liked the challenge of designing another convertible space, but I also had the idea to make the fronts of the 'dressers' into a chalkboard, a dry-erase board, and/or a magnetic board for displaying kids' art.

When we bought the house our kids were the perfect ages (10, 8, and 4), to be upstairs, and the door to the master BR is only a few steps from the bottom of the stairs. Actually my middle child, now 26, is coveting the guest room for her own. Lol, I'm afraid she would then have no incentive to move out. :[

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 2:18PM
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Elraes Miller

Here is a modern idea, but takes up the room of one bed and offers room for 3. With your creativity I can see you coming up with a design and looks which are more comfortable, but perhaps the same concept.

Here is a link that might be useful: 3 bed option

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 9:07AM
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Mamagoose,I know your feelings on this. I have gone back and forth so many times in our guest room space. I love the storage under the futon in there and would loose that on a Murphy bead. I do sit or even nap on the futon some times. I leave it as a couch. Just some times I want peace and quiet. I suppose I could go to our room for that too but I tend to go into the guest room. I really love that tiny room.

I really would like to make some sort of built in under our master bed. Right now I keep Christmas things,that I never use any more but want to keep, and pictures and some other things in vintage suitcases under the bed. I can pull them out like drawers and things in them stay clean. so maybe this is my storage bed system.

I know many do not like things under their beds because of the dust that can gather. I think the drawer system eliminates that.

You have so many good ideas I say go with your gut feelings on this one.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 9:47PM
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Those are cute technicolor. I wonder how high the ceiling is in that room? There are so many cute bunk ideas I see but I bet they need more than my 8'.

OT, but the Pinterest reminded me. There was a story last night on the news about legal troubles for Pinterest users and copyright law. They likened it to Napster and suggest people protect themselves now by deleting anything pinned that they didn't personally photograph. Have any of you heard that?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 10:38PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH


It's two years later, and my room is finally finished. I'm posting this update in case anyone is searching for ideas for built-in storage for attic rooms. If you have any questions, I'll be happy to help--you can send me an email via my Member page.

Here is a link that might be useful: Finished room on GW

    Bookmark   November 14, 2014 at 10:42AM
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Mamagoose, the fold up bed which becomes a dresser is similar to the ones we saw in Ireland in the castle and museum near Shannon.

It is like the shaker pegs up high that they would hang chairs from, or even small chests hung on the wall from the "chair rail" and the wainscoting rail which was even higher up the wall. The shakers did not waste an inch of space. And it was flexible for use in different ways.

I was thinking of the 4 captain's chairs (Windsor wooden) that my DH wants to keep, but which have no place in the house. I'm planning a high wooden board with good pegs spread on it, in my Teahouse, up high above the cement blocks where the wood framing for the end gables and the roofline begins. I'll hang those four chairs up there to preserve them.

Also, if you think about it, a huge table can host a mattress. My former neighbor had a raised captain's bed built with draw curtains and a huge assortment of drawers beneath. Her grandson now has her house, she lives with his parents. Her home thus is staying in the family. The house was a small post WWII construction that my friend bought for her retirement. But it is back to serving a younger generation.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2014 at 10:25AM
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