A loft bed can be a bed in a loft, a raised platform bed with activity space under it or a multipurpose furniture unit that creates a two-story room-within-a-room. If you have the ceiling height -- and sometimes even without it -- the clever use of space afforded by loft beds results in an attractive and functional room for playing and dreaming.
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Live large in a small bedroom with a typical loft bed. A built-in custom bed makes the best use of available square footage. Coordinate the bed height with a tall armoire that hides toy and clothing clutter. A staircase at one end provides bookshelves under the treads and easy access to the high bed. There's room beneath the bed for a nice, thick rug and beanbag chair, or interlocking rubber alphabet tiles and even more toys. Or save some money and redesign a bunk bed. Remove the lower bed, keeping the frame, top bunk and ladder. Hang theatre curtains from the top bunk to create a stage beneath the bed and let the show begin.
Some loft beds are small apartments that just slot into a room. The bed is up on a higher level, accessed by a wide-stepped ladder or stairway that defines the lower area. Matching open shelves form part of the bed's support as does a tall dresser in one corner and panels with hooks for hanging clothes in the others. The furniture can include a child's desk and stool in the same wood. Add some bright sheets and an area rug, place a lamp in one corner and some lucky kid has a duplex with a mezzanine "bedroom." With enough space, a mezzanine loft can be double-width, using a twin mattress and providing extra floor space "upstairs."
Mod Teen Living System
Older kids don't want the bunk-bed look to erode their cool image, so think modern and suspend a stark black and white bed in mid-air. The bed platform is actually partly supported by a stack of eclectic cubes that are both stairs to the bed and a dresser with pullout drawers under the steps. The wall side of the construction supports a thin slab of white desk that runs the length of the bed and has slender, unobtrusive legs in front. (See Resources.) Be sure the base is safe, steady and stable. A blackboard behind the desk holds notes and scribbles and, if it is painted with magnetic paint as well, functions as a notice board. Put a simple modern chair at the desk, use black and white bed linens and scatter a flock of blackbirds up the white staircase wall.
Bed in a Loft
The bed doesn't have to be up in the balcony in a loft room. Young children should not use high beds for safety reasons so put a child-height or regular vintage bed in an industrial-style loft and use the air space for whimsical decor Mismatched shabby chic flea market finds, flowered and patterned bed linens, antique toys and a child-sized table and chairs or desk make it feel like home. Clever homemade art projects can climb the painted brick walls but floor-to-ceiling curtains add some dignity to the design. Use strings of white holiday lights and wall-hung wine crates for sparkles and storage. Tuck matching wicker baskets under the bed to keep spare quilts and a stuffed animal collection neatly out of sight.
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