It’s happening… our oldest is officially a “tween” and has asked for his own room. The timing works out, as baby J and middle brother L are excited to move in together and play all day (hopefully not all night), so K can have the former nursery as his own.
J’s nursery was a small room – you may remember that it was converted from the former master bath – so I put a lot of planning into making a space-efficient layout that would be useful and not feel too claustrophobic. As part of the plan I needed a bed that was “zero clearance” – just the size of the mattress, and when I didn’t find what I was looking for shopping, I decided to get creative! As you know, I’m definitely one of those people who thinks everything is more fun when you make it yourself.
Here’s how we made our compact bed with plenty of storage space below.
- Two (2) Ikea EXPEDIT 1×5 bookshelves. Ours are black-brown
- Ikea SULTAN LADE bed slats
- Mattress (we used the one we already had)
- Optional headboard: Ikea LACK wall shelf in the 43″ length for a twin bed – you could use the longer version for a full or queen bed
- For hanging the headboard, Command Large Adhesive Picture Hanging Strips. I used these black ones to match the shelf.
- Assemble the two EXPEDIT bookshelves, placing the felt pads on the long sides
- Place the two bookshelves next to each other, with a gap in between. (pictured below, left)
- Lay the SULTAN LADE bed slats on top of the shelves. (pictured below, right)
- I moved my slats in 2″ from the edge, so you won’t see the slats when the mattress is in place. If your bed will be exposed on both sides, I would recommend trimming the slats, so the bed base is not too wide. Since our bed is up against the wall, I just shifted the slats over, and they hang off the edge next to the wall. (pictured below, left)
- Since the EXPEDIT is just a couple of inches shorter than the mattress, I also let the slats extend about an inch over the bookcase at the head, for extra support. (pictured below, right)
- You can paint the bed slats before securing, so they blend into the the shelves better, since you do get a little peek of the slats, even when the mattress is on. (pictured below)
- Use four screws, two in each bookcase, to secure the bed slats to the bookshelf at each end and create a stable base. Then then screw down some of the slats in the middle, to keep them from slipping around.
- For the headboard, trim off a few inches from the LACK shelf, so it matches the width of your bed. (pictured below, second picture)
- Add the Command Large Adhesive Picture Hanging Strips to the back of the shelf. I used eight large strips, to make it very secure. (pictured below, third picture)
- Attach the headboard to the wall above your bed. (pictured below, bottom)
I’m planning on this wide stripe bedding from West Elm to complete the big boy bed!
Here’s the finished bed. I’ll put up some more pictures as the rest of the room comes together!
Although the rest of the room is unfinished, our tween boy is very happy hanging out in his new room. This spot for the bed is perfect for our bookworm to read away the afternoons.