Instructables

Kids room remodel

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As I wrote in several other instructables already, our living space is somewhat restricted as we only own a condo.
But never the less, you can increase the space if you put in some brains and max out what you have.

This time we remodeled our daughter's room.

You can see in the first picture that we already had a bunk bed for her which we purchased while living in the US.
She was all crazy about the slide coming down from the bed. Having some space under the bed was great for play first and later, when she was too tall, it was great for storage.
But with every furniture which occupies space right on the floor, there is not much space left for a desk or some kind of living area.

Our little one is now 10 and having switched from elementary to secondary school, it was time for her to get her own real desk so she could work on her homework in her room instead of in the dining area of our living room. Also, with more friends coming over for visits and sleep overs, it was time to give her some "private space".
 
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Step 1: Make a concept

Picture of Make a concept
Projects of this proportion require a lot of front up planning.
These are not projects where you can just start at one end, pull through, and then finish off without having a concept and detailed plans later on. Once I had all parts available, it still took me about 5 days to put everything together, including removing the wallpaper and painting the walls.

The idea of a bunkbed was there first (well, this was obvious as we already had one). We thought about just having one that is higher so that our daughter could use the space beneath the bed better.
Also, by not including a slide any more, we would have some more space for other furniture available, too.
We also had the idea to place the desk space right under the bed, but this would have led to a dimly lit workspace eventually.

To get a good concept, we usually start out using MS PowerPoint to easily create a floor plan of the room we want to remodel.
Remember, you just use this for either an easy project or to get a concept started.
In this case, we wanted to see how furniture could be arranged within our daughter's room so we could maximize the space usage.

Start out by measuring your room and use PowerPoint to have a properly scaled floorplan of the room. You then can start drawing rectangles, circles, basically any shape PowerPoint offers and scale them properly. In this case, I also included the rooms door and window because I knew we had to be careful so we can still open them properly once we were finished.
You could also just cut out the needed shapes from paper, but using the computer is just much more convenient. For example, if you have a design you like, you can easily copy and paste the whole layout as a slide and then rearrange items or modify it with different ideas.

As you can see in the picture, the rectangles used to frame the blue colored mattress (in the middle) are all single rectangles, so I could just add a bigger mattress and adjust the frame parts accordingly. The layout you can see in the picture wasn't in our minds at the beginning, but after moving around a regular bunkbed (basically the shape of the bed including the frame in the picture below) within the rooms confinement, we didn't have enough room to either open the door or the window. And we wouldn't have had enough floor space to place a wardrobe or desk either.

This is where I started thinking about fixing the bed to the walls on either side of the room.
Then we thought about adding some kind of ladder so our daughter could get into the bed, and finally we ended up thinking about a staircase that doubles as cubic shaped shelf units.
As me and my wife think that our daughter will stay with us for at least another 8 years, we thought the desk should be similarly big as the desk I use at work. Once she will get a computer, there still needs to be enough space on it to work for school. So a kiddies desk wasn't an option.

There is plenty that needs to go into consideration what furniture you need to complete a room, whether or not you just go and buy some parts or even diy some of it.
In this case, all furniture is diy.

Once you finish your concept, you'll need to work out the details.
This is something where you have to ask yourself if MS PowerPoint will be up to the task or if you need other tools to get more specific.
For our kitchen remodel 3 years ago, PowerPoint did suffice (well, only drawing the front with the breakfast desk and the storage cupboards in 2D was ok).
For the kids room, PowerPoint was not powerful enough, as we were adding a 3rd dimension. So I started looking around for 3D modeling programs and eventually ended up using google's sketchup.
Using sketchup rather than PowerPoint also added the ability to directly measure parts within the 3D-Model so I didn't have to calculate the proportions of the parts needed via the scale I had used in PowerPoint.

A good point in visualizing your plans is to show it to the people who live with you.
In the beginning, it was hard for my wife to imagine what I had in mind.
She'd rather would have bought furniture to save me some work.
But I really love doing stuff like this, and after I went to the next step (working out the details of the plan), she started to like the idea, too. This was also the case when we remodeled the kitchen ;-)
Can you help me so I used to have a bunkbed but my dad helped me lower it down because there was no bottom bed cause I accidentally broke it now it is a little higher then my waist and I am about 6 ft 5 in so how can I have a desk near my bed so I can sit on my bed and do my homework I can not put it at the end of my bed because there is my ladder and I can not put it next to my bed cause I have my dresser so my bed is like a captains bed please when you can awnser my ? School starts in about a month for me
Mike73 (author)  partypanda23451 year ago
Sorry it took some time for me to reply first.
If I understand what you wrote, you have a lowered bunk bed because you removed the bottom bed and now you want to sit on the edge of your bed and have a space where you can get your homework done, right?
If yes, it would be helpful if you could provide a sketch of your room. But I think, if a wall is right across your bed, you could attach one side of your desk plate to the wall and support it on the other side (close to your bed) with either some wooden studs or you could use some wire cable or tightrope coming from the ceiling. The studs would be sturdier, but they most likely would be positioned right in the middle of your room. Using the tightrope would eliminate the studs and therefore leave more space below the desk. If you would use the rope thingy, you could also add a hinge to the project so you could pull up the desk for the times you don't need it (well, this would only apply if your desk is more or less empty. This wouldn't work for my daughter's desk ;-)
I hope I could help.
If I'm unclear, or if you tried to convey something different, let me know and I'll try to help as good as I can.

Mike
melmomma61 year ago
OMGoodness, I just love this! Going to make this for my son. Thanks so much for posting your creation. <3
Mike73 (author)  melmomma61 year ago
This'll give him all bragging rights at school :-)
My daughter loves it!
This is awesome! Also, that red ball chair is amazing! You did a great job from start to finish, thanks for an excellent 'ible.
Mike73 (author)  audreyobscura1 year ago
Thanks for your nice comment. It was a lot of work but absolutely worth it.