Thursday, February 10, 2011

Girls' Room Dilemma

Many of my blogger friends have been talking about having "house love" or being content in the house you have.  I could be seriously depressed if I compared my house to some of the magnificent homes I've seen online.  SERIOUSLY DEPRESSED.  But, the truth is, I do love my house, despite the fact that it is waaaaay to small for my family.  You see, when we bought this house, we only had two kids.  My house has 1500 square feet with three bedrooms and two baths, which means everyone shares a bedroom at my house.  This works fine for the boys because they are close in age.  The girls, however, are 8 1/2 years apart.  This, and the fact that their room is so small, poses a few problems for us. 

This is my oldest daughter's bed.  You can see E's bed over in the corner.  She is four and still sleeping in her toddler bed.  It's time for a change.  This is where my problems start.  The girls' room is 10 x 12.  We thought about bunk beds, but have decided this is not a good idea for their room.  You see, my oldest daughter is not one of those spindley legs, size 0 teenagers.  She's built like me, only a few inches shorter.  I'm thinking she's a little too big for the top bunk.  E is not allowed on her brother's top bunk anymore after falling and breaking her arm last summer.  So, bunk beds won't work for us.  Where does that leave us?  I've been researching some options.

Photo courtesy of Oohdeedoh

My oldest thought these beds were really cool, but it looks like an emergency room visit waiting to happen to me. 

Photo courtesy of Better Homes & Garden

My oldest loved these beds and the additional storage they provide.  We might could fit their desk in between to be used as a nightstand.  Hmmmm.  The problem is, we would have to buy two beds and two twin mattresses, which could get very expensive, very quickly. 

Photo courtesy of Oohdeedoh

I love these beds too.  This reminds me of what my MIL used to tell me, "Have lots of kids and just line the room with beds or stack them up".  That's easier said than done in a 10x12 space. 

Another option is to use to use the plans for the Farmhouse Bed and Trundle Option from Ana-White.  You've seen her plans around blogland, right?  Lots of gorgeous Pottery Barn knockoff plans. 

Photo courtesy of Ana-White

The good thing about this is that according to her website, this could be made for around $350-$400 and we could make it in full size and eliminate the cost of two mattresses.  Problem is, Hubby doesn't have a lot of woodworking experience.  I'm just not sure how it would work out.  Sounds a little scary to me.  And me using a circular saw, NOT a good idea.  Nope.  A trip to the E/R would eliminate any $$ we saved by making the bed ourselves. 

This is the layout of their room.  One wall is all window.  Another wall is all closet doors which have to have clearance to open the doors.  It's a 10 x 12 room.  We also have to fit in an armoire and a desk.  So, my brilliant bloggy friends, any suggestions? 



  1. I would go with doing two twin beds with a chest in between like one of your inspiration photos.

    My brother had a trundle bed under his twin bed (similar to one of your photos) for friends to use when they stayed over. I can still remember my mom fussing over what a pain that bed was to pull out when it needed to be used. Plus, if one girl had to get out of her bed before the other, how would she do it? Would she hop over the other one or would she have to hop over the end of her bed.

    I think both girls would be happier with beds that were separate.

  2. Amen on having house love. If you aren't able to be content with your home chances are you will never be content with your home no matter how much you work and spend on it. Ah, small spaces:-) I love small spaces, weird right? I think the trundle bed could work. Try Land of Nod's website if there's a chance you might consider buying. I'd have to say I've never heard of the trundle itself being full size but why not, right? You can also just go with a twin under the full size bed. Have you ever considered trying out a corner configuration? Where the beds go into a corner. It looks like you have a full so that might not work out as well as two twins. Though if you back the twin into the full... Here's a link, it's a boys room but same idea:-)

  3. Have you thought about putting the beds in a L shape with one slightly elevated? (not quite a loft bed, but high enough so the other bed fits under with some head room) That's what we used to do in our tiny college dorm rooms to give extra space. We used cinder blocks to elevate one bed (you could come up with a better, more permanent solution) and then slid the other bed in under it.

    If you need two beds that match, look on Craigslist for cute bunk beds - they sell for cheaper than two twin beds and you don't have to bunk them! Funny that you mentioned the farmhouse bed on Ana's site - I have that plan printed out and ready for the first nice weekend we have. We don't have lots of woodworking experience, but I figure we can make it work and it will certainly be better than what my four year old is currently sleeping on: mattresses stacked on the floor. :)

  4. What about a sturdy loft?? That would leave room for a twin underneath. I had a trundle under my daybed, and they really aren't practical for every day use b/c of the reasons Paula mentioned.

  5. When Miss Whimsy moved out of her nursery, her first move was to the trundle under her sister's daybed. It worked as a stop gap until we could get another plan going. We were in your same situation in that we needed the nursery for a home office in that house so she needed to move out and in with sis.

    BUT... it was a pain to pull it in and pull it out. I will grant that.

    I will be thinking about this today as I putter about. My first choice right now would be to go with the twin beds with the drawers under them as in one photo. If you didn't have to worry about dressers, that would really free up space.

    Hmmm...I wonder where dorms get their furniture? The dorm room concept would work really well in there. You could even buy the lifts (cheap at BBB)

    So that's where I am at this moment: Think dorm room.

  6. I've never had any experience with a trundle bed, but my first thought was what everybody else is saying "what a pain!"
    I think a loft or bunkbed is the way to go. I can't imagine that your daughter is too big for the top bunk. I've know plenty of teenagers of all sizes to sleep on bunks (high school dorm rooms, yes I went to boarding school) including my husband and his brother (not at boarding school). In fact, we've had bunk beds and my husband thinks nothing of climbing up there with the kids.
    I do like the loft at right angles idea, too.

  7. I just had a great idea! Why don't you try to get on the Nate Berkus show? He can design the room for you...he might like the challenge of small shared room and wide age span.
    Not only would you get his input, but he usually gives them all the stuff he used!

  8. I like the separate beds. I have the same issue with my youngest teens each with very different taste. But they have made it work. lol

  9. Oh I can so relate to the space issue WHen my girls we little we lived in a 3 bedroom 1 bath home ( 6 of us) it was crazy but when we added a bathe it was much better. We did do the bunk bed thing It was a twin over full with a desk on the end and we bought it used at the time really cheap. Good luck in the search for a solution, I know it can be difficult

  10. I'd vote for a loft or for two twins. You know, you don't have to buy nice beds--you could just buy mattresses and inexpensive metal frames. You could easily make upholstered headboards out of plywood (and with your sewing skills, you could make them look beautiful!). That's what I have in my guest room, and they work great. I could tell you exactly how I did it if you like. The good thing is that they take up less floor space than wooden bed frames, which would be great in your space. You'd need dust ruffles to cover up the mattress and the cheap metal frames, but once again--you've got mad skilz!

    Let me know if you want to know more about my guest room beds. :)

  11. Hello, Tanya :)
    I agree with the all the ladies that recommend the two twin beds or a bunk of some sort, a pull out trundle gets old real quickly-I know, my girls had one in our first house-the room was 8X10!
    As I tell my clients, you cannot add to the floor space, it remains the same, but you can go vertical- meaning--use the wall space. (Under the bed space included).
    How could the closet be modified to house what the armoire does? Add that space to your storage square footage. Could some shelves go on the short/side walls of the closet?
    Could a tiny desk go between twin beds (should you go this route) instead of an additional nightstand?
    The goal in a small room is to have as few pieces that take up floor space (again, because it cannot be expanded) as possible.
    Although not cheap, I found this step (ladder-less) bunk bed, saw it in person a few weeks ago- it is beautiful--wonder if, with the right search words, you could get it or something similar someplace else online or Craigslist?
    Here's the link:
    I feel your pain.
    Been there!
    Another way that the girls can feel a bit separate in a small space is to use a net canopy, so they each have their personal hide-away-type space.
    I pray you can creatively find a solution.
    So glad for blogland, aren't you?
    You can get all this wonderful input from others!

  12. Same bed with desk:

    (Gheesh, I wrote a lot!)

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