Introduction: Bunk-bed-desk

This bunk-bed-desk design grew from a need for large amounts of desktop space in a tiny 12m squared student garden flat.
As an architectural student, productive space was given priority over sleeping space and the result is this piece of furniture.
Raising the bed over the desk creates a cosy work environment and the stairs up to the bed double as bookshelves, maximizing on spatial economy.

The sketchup model and cutting schedule are included, however dimensions can easily be changed or adjusted according to one's specific spatial needs. For example; we could only raise the bed a certain height above the desk, as the ceiling height in the garden flat was very low.

This project was initially designed and assembled in 2014, specifically for the tiny garden flat's dimensions. The steps here demonstrate the reassembling of the bunk-bed-desk, in a new space, however original pictures of the bunk-bed-desk are a also included.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Tools and Materials You Will Need


_1 timber frame bed (ours was an existing pine frame)

_2 x 2400x1200x24mm sheets of ply wood

_4 x pine wood posts for legs (these will need t be the same size as the existing bed legs)

_4 x stainless steel L-brackets

_35mm dowel rod

_Self tapping screws

_wood glue



_screw driver

Step 2: Design and Cutting

The bunk-bed-desk was 3D modeled in design stage, which allowed me to created a very accurate cutting schedule. We bought the timber from a local building materials supply store, who generously cut large sheets for free.
We had the timber cut by them and labelled pieces for easy assembly later.

You can cut the pieces yourself at home, just remember to leave cutting allowances when working to such accurate dimensions.

The sketchup model is provided for your use and adaptation!

Step 3: Legs and Desktop

The leg posts that support the desk and hold up the bed, were determined by the size of the existing bed legs and their height was determined by the height of the ceiling.
In an ideal case, if I had more ceiling height to play with, I would have lifted the bed (increased the post height) by a further 250-500 mm to avoid bumping my bed on the bed when standing up from my desk...

Cut your pine posts to size then screw the brackets onto each leg at 600mm from the bottom of the post. This will be the height of your desktop.

To ensure stability of the desk and bed, screw the bracing onto the legs before fitting the desk top.

In this image you can also see we have already assembled the side bookshelf which will double up as the stair case up to the bed! Assembling the bookshelf stairs is easy enough- we added a line of glue at each join in addition to the screws, just for added strength.

Step 4: Securing the Desk

The desktop itself is a large surface area- anything bigger would have needed additional supports.
To ensure best stability, screw the desktop to the brackets.

Step 5: Attaching the Bed

To secure the bed to the desk, drill 35mm holes into both the pine desk legs, as well as the underside of the bed legs. Then fit the dowel stick, about 100mm in length, into each hole. The bed frame should slide onto the dowels easily and be secure.

Step 6: Additional Desk and Crate Storage

In addition to my timber bed and desk, I used crates to create a set of shelves, onto which I added a left over piece of timber to complete my desk!
These are ordinary dairy crates I picked up from a second hand store and spray painted turquoise!

Step 7: Fill With Books and Stuff

You're now ready to make your bed, full it up with books and make your space cozy!
I lived in this garden flat for a year and really loved working at my desk! Climbing up from bed was always an adventure! And getting out of bed in the morning, even more so!!

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and its inspired you to use your small space in the best way possible!

A huge thank you to my wonderful fiancé for making this with me!!

Small Spaces Contest

Participated in the
Small Spaces Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest
    • Silly Hats Speed Challenge

      Silly Hats Speed Challenge
    • First Time Author Contest

      First Time Author Contest

    2 Discussions


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    They are rather great aren't they? I think it's their ability to make one feel like a child that enchants me!