Raise the roof (but make it cool, please)
October 4, 2012 7:44 PM   Subscribe

My 10' by 10' bedroom has HUGE 14ft ceilings. Most of my floor space is taken up by my queen-sized bed. What interesting things can I do with the extra head space?

I cant afford to get a custom made loft bed frame for a bed as large as a queen, so what else can I do? I'm all for hanging stuff, weird lighting ideas, pulley systems, large artwork - anything that will either add to the practicality of the space or will make people say "wow." I'm pretty handy, have access to basic tools, and am willing to spend up to $500 to make/buy something really cool.

I'm a mid-twenties male in NYC, if it helps.

Some notes:
- Anything involving the storage of books or clothes would be neat.
- Also in the room: one large window, a closet, and a sealed off fireplace with a mantel that I can't move.
- Hardwood floors
- Half of one wall is exposed brick
- I have a single overhead light fixture
- There are 4 outlets in this room. Access to power shouldn't be an issue.

Any ideas? Is there anything you wish you would have done with higher ceilings? The crazier, the better.
posted by Blandanomics to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Something like this would be pretty awesome. It's raised or lowered via a pulley system.

A floor-to-ceiling bookshelf with a ladder would be amazing, but probably kind of dangerous...
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:49 PM on October 4, 2012

Best answer: Oh, or suspend hundreds and hundreds of sparkly trickets from 4-foot strings attacked to the ceiling and then point a fan up at them
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:51 PM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

You say you can't afford to get a custom-made loft bed frame, but you also say you're handy with tools. I'm willing to bet you could build yourself a sturdy frame for ~$200, if not less. Lumber's not that expensive, and the hardware won't be, either. There are plenty of instructions available on the internet on how to do exactly this.

Just food for thought.
posted by InsanePenguin at 7:53 PM on October 4, 2012 [8 favorites]

You can definitely build a loft for less than $500, if you're so inclined.

I've seen lofted beds with stairs leading up to it. The stairs were also drawers - each step pulled out for storage. This isn't it, but you get the idea. If you search Houzz for loft beds you'll get tons of inspiration. Apartment Therapy has loft bed ideas too. This is a great design. If you search Ana White's site, I'm sure she has plans for lofted beds too.
posted by barnone at 8:33 PM on October 4, 2012

- make a clothes rack (steel pipe) that you can raise and lower with a pulley
- store a bike with one of these
- my workroom is in the attic of my 1908 house, so the ceiling follows the lines of the roof. there was no native lighting up there, so I bought ten extremely long fabric-covered lamp cords with classy sockets and some cool 30w marconi-style bulbs and hung them at various heights with no shades. visitors love it
posted by par court at 8:36 PM on October 4, 2012

Best answer: Without building anything you could build a library space under you bed. Your average queen bed is 5x6 feet. Build a U shape out solid wood shelving units with the open part of the U at the head of the bed which you place against the wall. Screw the shelving units all together and then place your box spring and mattress on top. Add ladder. Or leave the open space exposed and the resulting space can make a cozy reading area.

Even if you don't go with full on loft bed height 3' of additional height for your bed would get you a large amount of storage and make your space much less intimidating. For a 3' rise kitchen cabinet base units (drawer units especially) work well.
posted by Mitheral at 9:17 PM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

Studies have shown that high ceilings promote abstract creative thinking, so if I were you I would just leave it empty and enjoy it, and not turn your bedroom into a storage unit (unless that's your thing)
posted by Mai2k3 at 11:36 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I made a perfectly serviceable loft bed platform in a previous flat for under $200, including the cost of the timber and all the hand tools. That, to me, would be the no-brainer design improvement for a small tall bedroom.

The key thing was making it big enough so that instead of needing lots of diagonal bracing built into the frame, it got stability from contact with the walls. I used little pads of scrap carpet at the points of contact to stop the walls getting damaged.
posted by flabdablet at 12:31 AM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

IKEA has loft beds, including one with a desk under the bed. They also has this library-style ladder, to use with higher shelves.
Some suggestions from IKEA: "a tiny shared bedroom", "small bedroom with walk in closet".

Regarding the fireplace: is it possible to put a some kind of lamp or candles inside the fireplace, for mood lightning?
posted by iviken at 4:13 AM on October 5, 2012

You can make a really tall, padded headboard.

I have a regular sized one for our king bed and what's cool about it is that I can change it up just by stapling new fabric on it.

I get the fabric at Ikea because I like their patterns and it's CHEAP!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:24 AM on October 5, 2012

Best answer: Tall ceiling in a small room with a single overhead light fixture?
It's screaming out to install some kind of Mexican, Moroccan or other
type of tin work hanging sconce or lantern, one with lots of little holes in it
that will cast interesting light play all over the box that is your high




DIY from a huge coffee can if'n yer' handy.
posted by No Shmoobles at 9:09 AM on October 5, 2012

Speaking of IKEA, get a bunch of cheap Regolit lamps and hang them in a group from the ceiling, all at different heights, as many as will fit.
posted by Kabanos at 9:57 AM on October 5, 2012

My advice would be to think twice about lofting your bed. A former boyfriend of mine lived in a loft in which his "bedroom" was on a platform above the bathroom (everywhere else in the loft, the ceiling was about 14 feet). It was neat looking, but impractical for many reasons, including:

1. Heat rises. If you like sleeping in the warmest place in the house both summer and winter, fine. Otherwise prepare to sweat/run the AC until the rest of the room/house is a deep freeze.

2. You have to negotiate a ladder in the middle of the night, while you're half awake, if you ever have to get up to pee.

3. You have to negotiate a ladder if you go to bed when you are less than sober.

4. If you are ever sick, going up and down that damn ladder to the bathroom/kitchen is a real PITA.

5. You can never stand up in your "bedroom." You will make the bed, strip the bed, go to bed and get up every day in a crouch.
posted by caryatid at 10:34 AM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

Get two Expedits of this size and turn them on their sides. Put your bed on top of those. If you're really brave, get the taller Expedits and do the same with appropriate hardware. Hint: you can't use the shelves of the Expedit as a ladder up to the bed - they aren't strong enough.
posted by bendy at 11:45 AM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all. I decided to not loft the bed and instead play with some lighting.
posted by Blandanomics at 10:08 PM on October 5, 2012

« Older Is there such a thing as minor appendicitis...   |   How to tell if you're allergic to medicine without... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.