Saturday, October 7, 2017

holly's bed - the design

There's been some shake up to the household lately, which led to some rearranging of beds. First our grandson came to live with us and he took the room which was already set up for incoming exchange students. It was all ready to be occupied - no effort needed.

Next, we took in a very lovely Chinese exchange student, Ivy, who was in need of a host family.

Our guest room was equipped with a queen size bed and it had to go. It was meant for out of town family. It is lovely in the room, but there was no room for a desk and other things a teenager needs. So, out it came - and we turned my photography room into the new guest room.

So what to do about a bed then for our Ivy? I've been promising Holly a new bed for some time. So we moved Holly's full size bed into the Ivy's room complete with some fix up, a new mattress topper and desk. Room.Done.

Then the search for Holly's bed got under way. She picked out a new mattress, a very nice memory foam type that we got .... and who'd a thunk it - Menards all of places. They had the best price by far.

We began our exhaustive search for a new bed. Anyone who knows my Boo, knows that once she made up her mind, nothing changes it. The bed that even came close to what she wanted was well over $2000 - which was NOT going to happen.

So we settled into designing and building a bed for her. I spent quite a bit of time at Ana White's website, browsing designs and looking at what others have done. We've been going at it for a few weeks now, which has kept me from writing, but I believe we are ready for a semi reveal. 


The new full size storage bed with 4 (not 2) drawers, a bookcase in the head board and foot board, a built in charging station for her widgets and gizmos, and a motion sensor night light.

Honestly, the hardest part of this whole thing was the design. Getting the math right AND figuring out Sketchup is not for the faint heart.

It was an absolute requirement that the bed had 4 drawers and not the 2 you see on many storage beds. She veto'd many beds because of the 4 drawer rule.

Burke and I had the idea to add the USB charging station and night light. We also built in a normal plug outlet for her alarm clock. It's always to hard to reach the power behind these beds, so this time - we built it in.

The drawer cabinet design did take some time as well, calculating efficient use of wood and measurements. We went with 15 3/4 wide because we got the most out of our plywood.

I did look to see if I could buy these cabinets at IKEA or a second hand store, but we found nothing that wow'd us. Not to mention, I wanted the entire bed to be the same material and color. Drawers are not the easiest to build, but we'll manage.

Since her bed pushes up against a wall, the back cabinets really are just holders for the mattress. I took care to make each piece modular so we could easily move them about.

The bookcase was the easiest and gives her plenty of room to store her books and do hickies.

The drawers are never fun for me. We contemplated many different way to give her drawers including bins or just shelves. The girl just wanted some drawers - so that's what she'll have.

I problem is that they just have to be perfect when dealing with drawer slides and that's super hard.

Next week, come back to see the building of the bed. So far, we're done with the foot board, cabinets, and almost all the drawers. I'm hoping we can finish those today and begin work on the head board tomorrow.

The cost you ask? I would say $300-$350. The wood costs were right around $200-$250, but the USB outlet and motion censored light were about $50/piece. Still the cheapest in cost - but when you add in time, it was almost worth buying the $2000 bed and be done with it.

How long is it taking? We get about 1 day and 1/2 a week to work on it, and this will be our 3rd week. I have big dreams of finishing this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed!


  1. You have no idea how much I admire your carpentry skills. Connie

  2. Just saw these, after requesting measurements. Thank you so much! You are phenomenal! Monir

  3. You may want to consider sharing this design page at Ana White's website, rather than just the build. Having design pages might make others feel more confident in starting. I certainly do, now! Monir