Step 1: Remove Wooden Boards.
First, we unscrewed the slats that held the mattress, then we placed them side by side at the foot of the bed and screwed them back in to create a bench/desk area. This also helps stabilize the corner where he climbs onto the bed.
Next, we sawed straight through the bottom front facing beam. We made our cut right beside the ladder so it could still be used. Then we removed the screws that connected the front beam to the backboard.
That's it! That's all we had to do for the furniture reconstruction part. Next comes the fun part of decorating the space...
Step 2: Decorate!
Because it was rather dark, we attached LED track lighting to the 2 middle wooden slats that hold the top bunk mattress. (2 LEDBERG sets from Ikea, $14.99 each).
In the head board corner I attached his oldskool Game Boy Halloween costume I made last October. In the corner, I put a bean bag chair I got a thrift store ($5.99) and added some throw pillows on either side of it (the Mario pillow is a reconstructed t-shirt).
Along the wall we attached a shelf (thrift store, $6.99) so he could finally have a place to display his collection of Mario figures. We attached another shelf to hold his jumbo Mario, globe, and a Design Your Own Lamp with a picture of Toad my son made on the computer.
We left the back connecting beam on the bed to ensure stability and it makes for a nice place to display his Mario plush figures, lunchbox full of Mario trading cards, and commemorative tin full of stickers.
By the ladder/foot board is the desk and storage area. The brown storage boxes were $9.99 each at Ikea (MOTORP) and the middle plastic drawers were $12.99 (LEKMAN).
The rug is 2 square Ikea rugs attached together on the underside with duct tape (HAMPEN, $9.99 each).
That's all it took to transform a once disregarded space into a fun and inviting hangout spot.