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.
Wow, this looks great! I remember having a bed with slats and when I jumped on the mattress, I broke the wooden slats.
I was thinking this would be great for a dorm room, then read Nicola’s comment. Industrial-strength wooden slats, maybe!
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does this hold 100kg? 😛
This is the product I used, and it doesn’t specify an exact weight limit: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/25844409/
However, I would say it is very sturdy. There is very little space that is open between the bookshelves, so there is a lot of support for the mattress. I have sat on the bed with my son, for a total of about 100kg, and there were no problems.
Good luck with your project!
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how long is the bookshelf?
Ikea is discontinuing the Expedit line. If you find one used, they are about 72.5″ long, so a little shorter than a standard mattress. Our mattress hangs over an inch or two on either end, and it’s not noticeable.
I work at IKEA, and even though EXPEDIT is discontinued, it has been replaced with KALLAX. Same dimensions, etc, just from a new manufacturer.
Kallax doe snot have the 5×1, only see the 4×1. Any ideas on other shelfs?
I don’t know if this will work on its side, but here is an option (I searched for 5×1 cubby bookcase): https://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Element-Tall-Narrow-5-shelf-Bookcase/9999176/product.html
Or this one: https://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/South-Shore-Axess-Pure-White-5-shelf-Narrow-Bookcase/10191152/product.html
One more: https://www.overstock.com/Office-Supplies/Alera-Narrow-Profile-Bookcase/4239011/product.html
Hi, Do you remember what color paint you used to match the bookcases? Thanks!
I didn’t use a specific paint color. I just randomly mixed some paints I had – mostly black with a touch of yellow and red. You only see a little bit of it. Good luck with your project!
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How long ago did you buy those shelves? because I would like to do this project but i can not find those expedite shelves @ ikea
Hi, it was a few years ago, and they don’t make Expedit anymore. You could try finding the shelves second-hand or use their replacement Kallax, but it is not as long, so it would take some extra work to support the end. Good luck!
I work at IKEA and they’ve replaced the EXPEDIT with KALLAX. Same dimensions, etc, just new manufacturer, with new product name. 🙂
What size is the madras??
Hi, It is a standard twin mattress which is 38″x75″.
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