How do you create a bunk room for a family of all boys? A bunk room that sleeps 7? A sleeping quarters boys would love to be in that can stand up to play, but be safe for four brothers plus their friends to camp out in? A space that captures the imagination and spurs hours of play and can stand up to the rough and tumble ways of young boys?
I often say that the true value of design is in the details. Sure, we could have used store bought bunk beds, painted the walls blue, and called it a day. That’s not what our clients wanted, and that is one of the many reasons they hired us to design and build their entire custom home in the hills of Los Angeles–as well as this fun, industrial style bunk room. Working with the clients, we learned that their four boys liked all things industrial and big machine. They enjoyed toys that included heavy equipment, machinery, and tools.
We knew immediately steel would be our primary material for the bunk beds. Over-sized heavy I-beams were used for the main frame of the bed. Metal decking, large bolts, steel L-brackets, gusset plates and a blackened oxidized finish was used throughout. We envisioned a T-shape configuration, where one section of the structure would have three levels of beds and the bisecting wing would have two levels located at the midpoint of the other three levels creating a tiered system of full and twin sized beds.
Two of the upper levels of beds are cantilevered and appear to defy gravity despite the weight of these massive steel beams. To achieve this illusion, we engineered steel tension supports and utilized thin steel ladders as additional support. Steel pipes and valves were also used as railings along the upper levels to provide safety and play. Steel tension rods and cross bracing structurally support the bed but also act as a guardrail. Other whimsical features that the boys love include a fireman’s pole to go from the top bunk to the ground floor as a climbing a rope suspended from the ceiling to climb back up to the top bunk.
Choosing the right bed for your child can be a challenge, but when you want to elevate the design and have a unique solution for your family you turned to a firm like ours–to an architect-led, design-build firm with the in-house skills to dream up this solution and the ability to build it. For many years to come, the boys and their friends will have this bunk room to gather in, but when they want, they can also retreat to the separate bedrooms they have in the home. We’re just not sure they’ll ever want to do that!