I’ve always been fascinated by snugness. Part of my delight in bad weather is the comfort I feel when I’m inside looking out at it (though I really don’t mind being out in it, if I’m prepared). One of the reasons I love heating with wood is that it’s so overwhelmingly cozy. You can’t grab a book and snuggle up next to a furnace.
Perhaps that explains my corollary fascination with built-in beds. There is something so– so– nnnnnng* about a bed built in to a wall, complete with a door, lots o’pillows, and maybe even curtains to hide it, that when I was designing the house I made a bed-sized nook in one of the kids’ rooms, thinking that someday I might build a bed into it.
That day came last Saturday. For less than $50 for raw lumber and a sheet of OSB, friend Fred and I built a bed nook in one afternoon.
After a bit of drawing and a lot of measuring, we built a horizontal frame out of 2x4s, hanging it from the walls about 8″ below where the knee wall meets the sloped ceiling. This leaves just enough vertical space for the mattress and blankies. We slid the OSB in on top of the frame and nailed it down; to prevent the mattress from snagging on the rough wood surface, I then stapled an old sheet down along all edges. Now the platform was ready for the mattress.
For the doorway, I cut two 2x10s to fit between floor and ceiling, and secured them with a vertical 2×4 brace nailed to the wall behind each one. The top of the doorway is made from 1×12 boards of pine shelving, about $6 each at Home Depot. We cut a curve in one and tacked them up one below the other.
As you can see, for the kids it was love at first sight. To prevent arguing, hey will take turns sleeping in the bed nook. it’s Abby’s turn for two weeks, and in the meantime Katie spent two nights (and the better part of three days) curled up underneath with a book and a reading light. We’ll use that space for storage eventually, and a door on that opening will complete the nookiness of the bed on top. It still needs to be stained, and I have to concoct some kind of ladder, but there you have it. From notion to drawing to tools to reality in about three days. Love that!
* While making this noise in your throat, cross your arms, grab your shoulders, and shiver as if you’re feeling snug. See? Nnnnng.