Design help for 2 teens sharing a room
January 10, 2013 5:29 AM   Subscribe

I have 2 teen boys who have to share a room but without bunk beds. We are a family of 6 that live in 3 bedroom home(all teen boys). The 2 that are sharing right now have been switched from their previous situation. They are 18 (college freshman) and 13. The problem is they are currently sleeping in a bunk bed (twin over full) but that's not working anymore.They've both complained about one moving too much or if one goes to sleep later the climbing into the bed is waking the other one up. Or vice versa when one has to get up much earlier then the other. Also one likes to read in bed and for some reason that causes a problem too. My thought was to place the beds on opposite sides of the room and create separate spaces.

This is where I need help. I am design challenged and I am having a hard time finding pictures or designs on google that aren't for little kids or tremendously expensive (like hanging a bed from the ceiling type shit) or just a huge room. The room isn't that big - maybe 10x12 ft but with a big closet that's underutilized. I have some Expedit shelves from Ikea that we could use and I could always go back to Ikea for more stuff. I need to find a way to make this work.
posted by lasamana to Home & Garden (29 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Is the closet big enough that you could put a bed in it? Because if one of them could make the closet a little nest for himself, that would be a great way to give them both some privacy. Just make sure they don't sleep with the closet door closed unless the closet has its own window, for fire safety reasons.
posted by decathecting at 5:33 AM on January 10, 2013

Short and sweet answer to look into some loft beds. Hang them in opposite corners, and then the kids can use the space underneath as "their" space.
posted by ish__ at 5:33 AM on January 10, 2013 [7 favorites]

Put the beds in alcoves formed by big bookcases and hang light blocking curtains across the entries. Put reading lights inside the alcoves. You'll double the available storage, create sound separation, and light separation.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:33 AM on January 10, 2013 [5 favorites]

Look into designs for setting up dormitory rooms - college kids have been cramming two people worth of beds and stuff into small areas for years.

How big is the closet? Can you fit a bed (or half of a bed, with the headboard up against the closet's back) in there? That might provide some privacy for the reader who could have a light on in there without disturbing the sleeper. You'd need to remove the closet door.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:33 AM on January 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

Itty bitty book light. Or a kindle.
posted by pearlybob at 5:34 AM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

When I was in college (two teenage boys sharing a small dorm room) lofts were the answer. Get the beds up off the floor and then you also have all that extra room under the bed for desks, or a couch, or whatever.
posted by COD at 5:35 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Get two of the 5x5 IKEA Expedits and put them back-to-back in the middle of the room, to divide it in half. Stack more IKEA storage boxes on top, up to the roof, to create a 'wall'. You can also fill some of the shelves of the Expedit with baskets for holding clothes, etc.

Put a loft bed on each side (ladder to bed on the top, room for desk & chair underneath). Attach a reading light to the side of each bed. IKEA has canopies that attach to the sides: install one of these in each bed, to contain the light even further.

Measure up the room carefully, grab an IKEA catalogue, and plan it all out before you hit the store.
posted by Salamander at 5:53 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you decide to go the loft bed route, I have this one and I love it.
posted by fiercecupcake at 5:57 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Is the closet big enough that you could put a bed in it? No unfortunately it's not - it's maybe 5x5 square. They hadn't been putting any clothes in it - just throwing them on the floor.

Short and sweet answer to look into some loft beds. That might work for one kid (twin bed) - but the other bed is a full and I haven't seen any full size lofts anywhere - do you know any building plans?
posted by lasamana at 6:01 AM on January 10, 2013

Can you downgrade the Full bed to a Twin? Why does a single person need a full bed?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:08 AM on January 10, 2013 [6 favorites]

You might try Ana White who does great stylish building plans including lofts and has detailed instructions.

We have two pairs of teenagers sharing tiny rooms - like 10ft by 8ft. We did massive floor to ceiling cupboards with built in desk cubbies and for one, bunk beds, for the other, two ordinary beds at right angles with storage boxes underneath and lots of wall shelves to hold extra stuff.

Captains beds are very good for small spaces if you can't/don't want a loft. They're possible to retrofit an existing bed by essentially cutting off legs and stacking the bed on top of dressers with a stepstool/ladder-type cupboard on the side.

We also made sure that each bed area has its own fan pointing to it and set of overhead lights and a lamp (which 3 of the kids tossed, so let them pick their own reading lamps!) so that each kid could control the lights and fans on their side of the room without bugging the other so much.

If you have space for an Expedit as a room divider, that's great too.
posted by viggorlijah at 6:15 AM on January 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

There's also this sort of "bunk bed" option, where the bottom bed is not actually connected to the loft holding up the top bunk (and uses a full/twin option), which might help with the moving-around-waking-up problem.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:19 AM on January 10, 2013

I had two boys in a small room like that. Bunk beds are bullshit, they don't work for teenagers. what you need to build is a loft bed for one of the kids with a ladder that doesn't encroach physically on anything under it except the floor. My kids and I built it in a few hours. the fact that we were in a house that had sheetrock over 2x4 studs made it easy to attach the lumber to the walls. If you have no skills, hire a local handyperson. Oh and get those boys some extended length single mattresses if you can. Standard ones are too short for a lot of people.
posted by mareli at 6:23 AM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've never used these guys but College Bed Lofts has full loft beds. Sears sells this one. There are also assorted plans (that can be purchased) online.
posted by oceano at 6:25 AM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

When I was their age I shared my room with two sisters, and it snowed every day. In other words, they're old enough to accept that there are tradeoffs, and they need to suck it up. I would offer them the following options:

1. Status quo, rotation on a monthly basis (so one is not always in the bottom)

2. Downgrade to two twins

If the latter, lofts or one bed is partially in the closet make the most sense to me; I wouldn't invest in building alcoves, etc. since the 18 year old will presumably launch someday soon. Regardless, they should have a hand in crafting the solution.
posted by snickerdoodle at 6:28 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ikea makes full size loft beds. I've slept in them, and they're pretty sturdy and comfortable. They also often have rails and stuff underneath for which you can buy desks and shelves and such that hook directly onto the bed itself, if you want to get fancy about it.
posted by decathecting at 6:33 AM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

oceano: "I've never used these guys but College Bed Lofts has full loft beds. Sears sells this one. There are also assorted plans (that can be purchased) online."

I know of three college age students who ordered from them and are quite happy with the product.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:34 AM on January 10, 2013

How about this with a makeshift wall in between the bed made of a bookcase?

The room is not tall is it?

How about a cubby like bed or this? (next to a window of course)

You may have better luck just browsing Pinterest for more ideas.
posted by xicana63 at 6:38 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

If there's room, push each bed into the corner. Use under the beds for storage.

Get matching bedding for each bed.

Make bed curtains for each bed, so each person can have some privacy. It's a pretty simple DIY project and you can get what you need at IKEA.

Apartment Therapy has instructions.

Here's the Ikea hackers website with more instructions.

I too recommend two twin beds, with matching linens. If you can get sconces for light for reading in bed, that would be good too.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:03 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

My kids have a bunk bed and a loft from designs by oploftbeds. They are incredibly sturdy--I weigh almost 300 pounds and they barely wiggle when I climb them. The top bunk and the loft both have shelves built in, which makes them very nice private spaces for a shared room. They do have full-size building plans.
posted by not that girl at 7:11 AM on January 10, 2013

Ikea definitely has full-size loft beds. Both of my kids have them and both of them have twin beds underneath , which they use as couches during the day and beds when a friend sleeps over.
posted by cooker girl at 7:22 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I should say, the twin beds are not attached to the loft beds. They are twin-sized box springs with mattresses on the top.
posted by cooker girl at 7:22 AM on January 10, 2013

That one I posted above from IKEA comes in a full!
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:35 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding IKEA. They have all kinds of loft beds.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:44 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Two loft beds would increase space in the room, but might not help with light spillover and privacy if they are at the same level.

Alternatively, if privacy is more of an issue, perhaps you could construct a kind of enclosed bed like the traditional box beds? Obviously, these are only suitable for people who don't mind/like sleeping in a small enclosed space -- I like the idea of them because they make me think of train berths and ship bunks, and when I was a teenager I would really have valued the privacy and the ability to close the world out.

A similar, cheaper and less box-like effect could also be achieved with dividing the room with bookshelves. You could use Expedit, but they do tend to be deeper than other shelves and you have the problem where you can see right through them. Regular bookshelves (less deep, with back panel) might look less finished from the back but they will be stable if they are braced against something (like a bedframe). I've had even the cheapest Ikea bookshelves out in the middle of a room without them toppling, so long as I braced them with a bookshelf or bedframe or something.
posted by jb at 8:25 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you have the same twin-over-full bed we do, you can turn it into a loft. Simply remove the bottom bunk frame and tie the legs together along the back with a piece of wood (to replace the removed bunk frame). We also added a little height to it by standing it on 4 x 4s, pushing the bed part up a few inches, allowing placement of a desk underneath it.
posted by Doohickie at 8:37 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thanks - these are great ideas - have been sending them to my 18 yr who's home today. I think we can do it this weekend.
posted by lasamana at 9:02 AM on January 10, 2013

Worry less about "style" and "design" and focus on functionality. A lot of the organizational/storage stuff at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Ikea, etc that is geared towards college dorms is going to help you.
posted by radioamy at 9:17 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Some design ideas on Houzz.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:25 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

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