How To Build a Loft Bed

When my wife and I moved back to NYC last year, our new apartment was still packed to the gills despite some significant downsizing. Since we moved into a turn-of-the-century brownstone in Brooklyn with high ceilings, a loft bed with plenty of storage space seemed ideal. After our wedding, we promised to treat ourselves to a brand new queen-sized tempurpedic mattress.

The hunt was on, but after some local inquiries, we discovered that major furniture stores simply don't carry queen-sized loft beds. They can be special-ordered, but only at great expense. The more I looked at pictures online of loft beds, the more confident I was that I could design and build one myself. Soon I found myself designing what would become the largest and heaviest object I had ever built (and one that had to be sturdy enough to hold two adults and three cats for several hours at a time).

I erred on the safe side, and overbuilt the heck out of it. I planned on using 2x6's and 2x4s for the framing, and plywood for the mattress platform, and put together with bolts, nuts, and washers.

My father and grandfather both spent time as draftsmen at some point in their careers, so I suddenly found myself with a board set up with graph paper, meticulously laying the bed out to scale in three dimensions.
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The construction itself took a lot more time and effort than I anticipated (this is always the case), especially hoisting the heavy bedframe up onto its 5.5 foot tall legs.
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In the end it worked out wonderfully - sturdy, clean, with about 160 cubic feet of storage space!
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This past month we moved yet again, so I broke the bed down into pieces the movers could handle. Since our new place has lower ceilings, and we've downsized even more in the past year, I chopped the legs down to a more reasonable height. It still has plenty of space underneath, but climbing into bed isn't as much of an ordeal.

Enjoy this stop motion video I took of the bed's reconstruction. It was hot as the dickens while I was doing it, and I was a bit reticent about putting a video up of me in shorts and an undershirt. But then I read this article about ITP students vs. MIT Media Lab students and figured f*ck it. Enjoy!


The song accompanying the video above is called "Green Thumb" written by the lovely Ann Courtney (now frontwoman of the band Mother Feather). I helped arrange and engineer this tune in 2005.
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