A stylish and natural room for children, that is not too childish and will last a long time.
My daughter was really keen to have a little house bed in her room. She wished the bed to be in a forest ! She also wanted to have an extra bed, where her friends and her older brother could sleep over easily without compromising on space, in a relatively small bedroom.
I wanted a room that could last, avoiding her growing out of it too soon. The bed house that I had found in shops were all very expensive, so I decided to hack the IKEA Kura bed.
The initial idea was to clad the entire bed in birch plywood, see mood board, (mood board photo) but after some research, I realised it was very difficult to find budget or readily available formaldehyde free plywood /MDF. I have learned that both materials release toxic fumes when they are cut. While the toxic fumes will apparently subside after cutting and painting, I decided I did not want to take any risks and wrap my daughter in formaldehyde, while she sleeps. I decided to go for a simpler version of the bed and use pine battens instead. We found these in a builders’ merchant shop for few pounds each. After setting up the bed, using the high sleeper version ( the bed can be set as a high sleeper OR as a normal eight bed see photo of the KURA bed before being hacked|).
What we used:
A) 4 pine battens 45mm x 3000mm (technically you need 3 but we bought one extra just in case we made some mistakes ).
B) Strong glue and wooden pegs or pencils
C) Sand paper
How we did it:
1) Shaved the battens to 44 mm width to match the same diameter of the Kura bed’s parts. Tip. We did it ourselves, but you could also get the building merchant to shave and cut the battens for you. It’s inexpensive and safer!
2) Cut 5 280mm high battens to increase the height of the bed for comfortable sleeping, drill a hole in it, insert a pencil OR a wood peg, glue and screw it on.
3) Cut 4 more battens at a slant, to be able to create the pitched roof. Better check they fit before cutting, Two were roughly 240 mm and the other two c.ca 270 mm. We screwed and glued them together. (see sketch n.1 and photo ).
4) We then cut the top bar 2000 mm long and screwed and glued from back to front. (see sketch n.2 and photo of detail). Note what is the angle of the batten at the top. It should be placed as a diamond. It fits snuggly in the pitched 45 degrees angle.
5) We have added a mattress on the floor too, so the space is used both as a reading nook /den and extra bed for sleepovers.
6). Finally I lightly sanded the whole bed down by hand, a bit of a dusty job, but not too difficult and painted all the bed ( including the white plastic panels) without using any primer, with some left over paint I had from Farrow and Ball in a very dark nearly black green called Studio Green.
7|) The bed was then nestled between two (one for clothes, the other for toys) in built and re-purposed wardrobes, which I painted the same colour as the rest of the walls in Greenback from Paint and Paper Library. Given that the idea was for house to be in the forest, I wallpapered
the wall opposite the bed in Cole and Son wood wall paper with antique gold pears.
While the room is fun and the perfect magical place to play, it will remain a very nice bedroom for a teenager, by just replacing the bed. We used forest animals for the wardrobes door handles.(Etsy|) The accent colour is a lovely antique gold/saffron. I also used a la Reroute beautiful linen curtain on the bed. It is pulled back during the day and close at night to avoid to much light in the morning -will probably set it up as proper curtains at some point! ‘
This article was first out on the brilliant stylesqueeze website. Check it for more brilliant ideas Pati Robins is great.