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Part 3: Littles living large

Updated: Mar 27, 2019

Heya friends, thanks for coming back around for Part 3! I've been hoping this first series may be some good baby-making inspiration. Really, I'm just peer-pressuring all my friends to join me if you don't have your fill of kiddos already. And if you do, good for you... I can suggest the cutest places to lay their little heads at night:)


Today I want to keep rolling through adorable kids spaces with bunkbed ideas to keep you dreaming. Kids love nooks and crannies to cozy up in, but lets be honest, don't we all? A place to hideout with a good book and a favorite blanket, where we can imagine, dream, and make-believe we're part of an enchanting fairytale. Sounds luxurious and restful, but maybe that's just my weary pregnant self with two toddlers talking. I'll lay down just about anywhere these days and not necessary with a book in hand...

Bespoke Bunks (custom, one of a kind) bunks come in all all shapes and configurations depending on the theme and budget. Some polished built-in varietals can take on the personality of a luxury yacht interior with finely appointed millwork, complete with private sleeping quarters for each guest. These are typically executed by a finished carpenter with detailed design drawings, conceptual photos, and finish/paint samples. The components are fabricated and painted off-site in a shop and carefully installed to exact specification.

I've even specified humbler "design on a dime" versions built by a handyman with unfinished 2 x 4's and a table-saw. In either scenario, considerations to remember when planning these spaces are sleeping requirements such as head heights for sitting, task light for reading, and electrical outlets for hand-held devices. A clever way to add a nightstand could be as simple as adding a narrow wall-mounted book ledge for night-time reading.




First of all, yay for my favorite Serena & Lily wave flatweave rug! This was my first purchase and nursery inspiration for my oldest son's room while in serious nesting mode, so I feel a special attachment. All in white, this cheery sea-faring space for 3 sets us sailing along clear blue coast-lines dotted with sailboats and sunbathers. Pipe fittings skillfully anchor the rope ladder and make a bold side-rail. Clean and bright, a perfect welcome to thoughts of spring and summer!



What a great color pop in this rockstar's oasis (I can tell from his fancy electric guitar, there's a lot of song-writing happening in this space). A great mix of vintage meets modern in this toddler-friendly sleigh bunk and the coordinating trundle boxes serve perfect under bed storage without a reason to hide.

Although this bed was originally available through Bump, it now holds the "bespoke" title along with the rest of these since it's sadly no longer available. The best ones are never around for long. . but you could recreate this look (either with some DIY elbow grease or by an able carpenter) by re-working two twin sleigh beds with new fabricated corner posts, building a ladder, a painting a bold color!



You can see I'm a big fan of Chango & Co! Understated elegance in the simplicity of color like above, shape and form highlight stunning craftsmanship and design. An almost camouflaged trundle tucks under the lower bunk for maximum flexibility. Even with a seemingly clean and simple end result such as this, design and installation takes time to develop. Working with a skilled millworker to execute meticulous construction is key. Another gorgeous respite for children and adults equally.. I wouldn't mind an overnight invitation myself! Both charming examples above have certainly done their design homework.



Nautical and rustic, Serena & Lily's Newport Beach storefront clever use of utilitarian rope, shiplap, and exterior lights give a nod to all elements sea-faring without breaking the bank. Construction is unadorned and like materials could be purchased from a local hardware store. Wood side rails painted white anchor into adjacent shiplap head & footboard walls perfectly. By keeping everything white, the materials easily blend with the surrounding drywall as well. Extra points for inexpensive under-bed storage: the woven baskets add to the salty air vibe while tastefully hiding clutter.

Can we talk about the linens please? Layers of contrasting cool patterns of graphic crisp blues are a Serena & Lily signature. The timeless yet bold scale consistently feels spot on in both kid and adult-friendly spaces alike. Yet time and again, my inspiration go-to for all things perfectly kid-curated, leads me back here. This bunk idea definitely checks the cozy box thats wards off any sign of coastal chill in my book.



Photo: Living Quarters Interior Design, private Pocono lakehouse

Don't mind the poor photo quality and unfinished staging... a quick shot of the before- mentioned simple bunkroom built by a local handiman with 2x4's. This client needed a very casual, economical space for their almost adult boys (another brave mom of 3, hooray) at their family lake house.


Since this space would need to accommodate a variety of sleeping needs, we determined two twin and two full sizes were most practical despite the small space. Periodically the room would be shared by the whole family if other guests occupied the remaining bedrooms, and often times the kids' friends would join for a weekend of skiing. With this type of high traffic turn-over, durability and budget were forefront. The platforms are bolted to the wall at the base and supported by the rope above.

As a bonus, the uniform nature of wooden platforms do not require a boxspring. Memory foam Casper mattresses were selected as a comfortable and cost-saving solution for the room. Very rustic and conceptualized with a firm budget in mind, the end result is not fancy, but super functional with a more DIY approach.

*Note: if you decide to take on anything DIY that involves serious weight bearing requirement for humans, take it seriously. Safety is key. Walls need to be properly prepped with blocking behind drywall which may require some demo, but well worth the peace to sleep at night!


Talk about packing 'em in! I think Change & Co. (yes, again) has really hit their stride with these crowd-pleasing bunks for 6! Killing it with this super on-trend black and white monochromatic scheme with just the right dose of color shock, this room is right on. Recently shot in upstate NY and posted on Instagram, I immediately fell in love. I know, I'm kind of a devout aficionado for their work but it certainly fits my criteria.. always the perfect amount of play and great design. Another excellent use of space for a flexible crew or von Tropp size family!




A totally different approach for those on a looser budget, the transforming bunk above from Resource Furniture in NYC is the coolest murphy bed on the block. They are the only company I've seen to successfully conceal quality beds easily and seamlessly. The featured Kali Duo by day is truly a chameleon, showcasing an office space with desk by day and bunkbeds by night. At night, the desk stealthily sneaks under the bottom bunk in a level position for all of its belongings to remain intact for the next day's work. For safety, the top bunk adorns side-rails and the ladder works as both a stair and support for the upper bunk. A terrific space-saving device for those in apartments, who have limited space for kids room/playroom, or need flexible guest options. This option is completely customizable. The colors, dimensions and components are all configured to your needs. This company works with designers, architects (they also have their own design staff) to create drawings of their wall units to integrate with the exact specifications with existing interior conditions. Because this is a fixed custom unit upon installation, elements like ceiling heights, crown molding/baseboards, switches and electrical outlets are crucial to the finished outcome when designing with units like these. Average lead time is 12-16 weeks, so plan ahead.



Ok, I might have found a new 3-boy-mom bff in Jodi-Anne, designer and photographer of these super chill bunks above. She's thinking the way (I'm thinking?) I'll be thinking a few short years from now when all the boys will be big enough to climb ladders. And jumping like crazy daredevils... gulp. Keep them all in one space so we can recapture some other rooms in our house, for say, a master closet and a guest room? Bravo to her for going for the gold with these slick industrial triple bunkbeds for 3. Again with the pipe fittings! They make such an ingenious side rail and perfectly balance the white bed frame boxes and natural ladder.


I actually have to say I reread her blog post on this subject and it brought tears to my eyes. She talks about the need for families to share spaces in tighter quarters in order to learn the tougher lessons of life, how to share toys, how to fight fairly, and how to know and love each other better. She admitted that the triple bunks have been the best parenting decision she could make listening to "the laughter that trickles through the hallways at night is medicine for my overly-tired soul, and I hope that they will learn every lesson there is to be learned from sharing a room with your siblings… the most important one being… to hate their brothers’ freaking guts most of the time, but to be their best friend all of the time." This really got me, probably because I am pregnant and sentimental but also because this is really what I want for my little boy brood. Growing up, my sister and I were too far apart in age for the fierce dynamic of sibling love/hate and I've always wanted to know that special relationship. So... in the end, a perfect bunk for a pack of inseparable brothers. Heart.


Stay tuned for all things charming, whimsical and perfectly unpredictable in next weeks' edition of Littles Living Large with unconventional play surfaces!

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