DECOR & DIY, DIY

The loft bed – any child’s dream!

I love our son’s room and it would seem that a lot of you do too! His room is on the small side and since every little kiddo needs space to play, we decided to maximize the available space by getting him a loft bed. The added benefit was that we were able to get him a bed with storage in the staircase, which means that I have more space to hide things away! Fantastic!

Now, I wish that I could give you a step by step DIY guide to build this bed, however, for once, we didn’t do a DIY. We customized it yes, but we didn’t actually build it. I know, shocking, right?!

Anyhoo, since we received some questions on it, I’ve decided to put a quick post together on how we created this space. This was another one of those projects where I had one picture in my mind and Hubs had another, of course; this is normal in our household!

My initial plan was do to build a bed using a variation of plans from Pinterest, however, Hubs wanted to take it a step further and create the stairs out to include the drawers, for extra storage space, so he drew up some of his plans of his own. By the time he was done and he had worked out what the wood would cost us for the entire thing, we realised that DIYing this beast was not going to be cheap. In fact, if we added the time and mess that it would take to construct it, it was actually going to work out to be very expensive. So, on to Facebook he went, and wouldn’t you know it, found exactly what we were looking for, a good 10 to 20 percent cheaper than the raw material was going to cost us. If that wasn’t a sign, I don’t know what is! So we placed our order.

The makers were initially going to paint or stain it for us, however, I couldn’t decide on a colour, so we asked them to leave it raw wood and I stained it after we had put it together in the space. There is still a way to go in getting the entire room done, but this was quite a major element that we completed and I am so excited that it’s done! Here is what we have finished so far:

  1. I had previously taped off and painted a giant green chalkboard on the wall behind the bed, to give my son a place to (safely) draw on the walls.

    Green chalkboard wall - Sawdust and High Heels
    Such an easy DIY to do in a room – I literally just taped off the area that I wanted to paint and then painted 2 coats of the chalkboard paint (following the directions on the can). When it was done, I simply pulled the tape off and, tadaaa, we had a chalkboard!
  2. I repainted the rest of his room in the same Paint & Decor (custom) paint as the whole of my living areas & kitchen have been painted.
  3. Hubs put the basic bed together against the wall, at which point I realised that I was going to need to do more taping and painting of chalkboard walls because I had not measured correctly (Ugh!)

    Raw loft bed with stair storage - Sawdust and High Heels
    Raw wood loft bed with my mis-measured green chalkboard wall. Oops! Also, here Hubs had already removed the one safety rail, but you can see on the back one how thin and flimsy it looked. Another thing was that the gap between the bottom rail and the top rail was way too big – it was definitely a priority to get those changed out before anyone slept there.
  4. Once I had fixed that mess up, we started to customise the bed itself:
    1. I went with the same favourite Nova stain that I always use, in Antique Oak, and yes, I still need to seal it. In fact, it’s faded a bit because of that, so I actually need to give it another coat of stain and then seal it. Ugh. This seems to be another trend in my projects: I never get around to sealing!

      My favourite stain - Sawdust and High Heels
      This is my favourite stain, at least until Minwax makes it to our shores… We do now have Rustoleum, but I couldn’t find the dark walnut anywhere! So Antique Oak it was.
    2. We weren’t happy with the height and thickness of the standard side rails that the bed came with, so Hubs bought a thicker piece of wood and replaced these, for extra safety.
    3. Hubs then created the rope barrier to prevent accidental rolling out of (or purposeful jumping off of) the bed – he used cheap pieces of wood to create the frame, drilled holes into the frame to thread jute rope through and then created the climbing net pattern. I wish that I could tell you how he did it, but I have no idea! He just did it.

      Jute rope climbing rope safety net - Sawdust and High Heels
      Hubs busy with the jute climbing rope safety net; as you can see, he constructed the frame out of some left over battens, drilled holes for the rope and then started threading the rope through. He watched a few tutorials on YouTube and then made something based on what he had seen, so I can’t give you a step-by-step in this post unfortunately. Oh, and please ignore the dirty floor – we did get around to cleaning it. Eventually 😂!
    4. The barrier was then attached to the posts of the bed and bolted into the beams above the ceiling, to make sure that it doesn’t go anywhere if someone accidentally jumps up against it.

      Jute climbing rope safety net 2 - Sawdust and High Heels
      The jute climbing rope safety net safely installed. Here you can see the size of the new safety rails that we attached on the bed as well – much better!
    5. Hubs also used the jute rope to create a second climbing rope look barrier between the stairs and where they pass the underside of the bed – this was because I was worried that a sleepy little boy would fall between the stairs and the underside of the bed and get stuck.

      Jute climbing net safety net 3 - Sawdust and High Heels
      Hubs created a second safety net with jute rope for me next to the stairs – I was worried about a misstep and having my son fall between the stairs and the bed. It also serves as an extra place for him to grab if he slips. Oh, and yes, he has already used it as an actual climbing net…
    6. Lastly Hubs made a little swing out of the scrap rope and wood, just as an extra place to sit and play.

And that’s basically it! To finish off the play area under the bed, we purchased an artificial grass off-cut to create a rug, because I liked the idea of being in a hideaway under the trees in a forest. What better to create that forest-y feel than a grass rug and a green chalkboard under a wood structure?!

Loft bed - Sawdust and High Heels
The finished product; both my son and my daughter love this room, it’s definitely a room that I would have loved as a kid! Oh, and in case you were wondering, no, it doesn’t usually look like this!

We still have some small projects to tackle in the room, but this was the biggest item that needed to be done, so I’m counting this as a win! Here are a couple more shots that the kids let me take today; they can be so cute when they want to be!

Reading under the loft bed - Sawdust and High Heels
Enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon with a book or two; it didn’t last long, but I have proof that it happened! Decor source: Blanket from Pick ‘n Pay
Fun in the play area under the loft bed - Sawdust and High Heels
See – told you that the reading didn’t last long! Decor sources: Artificial grass rug from Stodels; Pillow case from Mr Price Home
Story time up in the sky (or loft bed) - Sawdust and High Heels
Story time moved to the bed – If only they had actually taken a nap! Decor source: Duvet cover set from Mr Price Home
Look at me mom (loft bed) - Sawdust and High Heels
Look at me mom! Also, he refused to take that sticker off his forehead, we had to wash around it🙈!

And how does my son feel about his room? He loves it! Adores it! and refuses to sleep in it…  So that is our next challenge – moving him from sleeping in our room to sleeping in his. Wish us luck!

What do you think? Do you have any questions that I didn’t answer? Leave me a comment and let me know; I value your feedback!

 

 

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