Shared Kids Room: Our Choice Wall Bunk Beds
We finally made a decision for our small kids bedroom. It wasn't a decision we made lightly as you may have noticed from my 8 posts (haha) about options to share a room with kids of our age gap (3 years) (previous posts here). We decided on the Resource Furniture Clei Transforming Bunk Beds . It has only been a week but we are really happy with the decision. But, I would like to reiterate the quote from my previous post... "Good for her, not for me" (Amy Poehler). 600 square feet with 2 kids is not for everyone. And where filling our small space with wall beds is the best decision for us, doesn't mean it's the right thing for you. This blog is to share how we live small with kids and sometimes how others do too. There are a million ways to live small and with less. This is our way. We have chosen to invest in quality high end convertible furniture to make an otherwise small space comfortable for a growing family of four. I love the community I have found here and learning how others find their way to live small and with fewer things. So with that said, below are the details of our new wall bunk beds. And I will continue to share how we live with these beds as the kids grown and change!
Why We Chose Bunk Wall Beds:
Well to start with we are dealing with a 8' x 9' room which is small by most standards. On the west wall, our Master Closet takes the entire wall with Trevor and mine's clothes as well as some seasonal storage up high (and our two file boxes that hold all the paperwork in our entire home). The east wall has two sliding doors. What I'm getting at is the room is small and there is basically one spot that bunk beds can fit without blocking a doorway or a closet. I measured out twin bunk beds on the floor and about half of the play space of the room would be gone. While that doesn't seem like much, in 600 square feet it is. I am often worried about the kids having enough space for free play.
Beyond the physical space that bunk beds take up, as I have mentioned before, Theo is a monkey and a bit of a sleepwalker. As a great example of his monkey-ness, it took him about 5 mins to skip the ladder to the top bunk and instead climb on top of the mini crib and into the top bunk (impressive, but not safe!!!). We don't feel confident having him sleep on a high bunkbed for at least another 6 months to a year. That combined with Mae needing to be in a crib for at least another 6 months to a year the wall beds became extra appealing. Alternatively, we could have done a transitional low loft bed with the crib or bunk beds with a crib, but all of these options took away the majority of play space in the room.
The wall beds can both be out at the same time with a ladder attached. Or just the bottom bunk can pull down and the top remains closed. When the beds are closed they only take up just over a foot of space in the bedroom, allowing for the most space for play we've had in the room since Mae was born. Furthermore, we have been so happy with our Penelope wall bed and all it adds to our life that this was a much easier decision than the initial choice to add our wall bed to our space.
We did try temporary solutions like a mattress on the floor for Theo and a crib for Mae. While this worked fine for a few months, I didn't see it as a long term solution. Theo's mattress blocked access to the closet and limited play space. I didn't want to replace this temporary solution with another temporary solution. This big investment in our space at this moment in time should allow us to get maximum impact for our decision rather than spending time and money on many temporary fixes.
We used the professional installers recommended by Resource Furniture and couldn't be happier with them. I make sure they have as much room as possible and they work efficiently and are experts at their job. In fact one of the guys installed our first wall bed too! The wall bunk bed was attached to three separate wall studs so we know it is safe. It only took them 2 hours, I expected at least an hour more and had budgeted accordingly. They lay their tools on a blanket and brought their own vacuum (always the sign of a good trade in my books).
What We Chose:
We chose the Resource Furniture Kali Duo in white (obviously). There are so many customizable options for the bed. I went with the basic fabric in the sturdiest grey I could find. I also chose the metal guard rail on the top bunk only. It's available on the bottom bunk as well but we decided against it (Correction: Bottom Rail is not available as an option). There is also a padded fabric covered option for the guardrails but we chose the most economical option as the bed was already a big investment for us (but if you have the spare cash go for the padded sides, they're pretty great). The metal guardrails are powdercoated and nicer than I expected. I'll make a video soon to show how they fold away but the guardrail and headboards add an extra step to our usual fold-away steps with our wall bed.
The beds are European singles so slightly more narrow than a twin. The bunks can also hold the weight of an adult which is helpful for Grandma sleepovers (or hopefully in my dreams a mama nap).
Because this wasn't our first Murphy Bed (I wonder how many people have actually written that sentence before, haha?) we knew to expect high quality and we weren't disappointed. They are a bit cold for a kids bedroom when folded away so I will be working on the room to warm it up and keep it fun. I'm happy with the patterned flatweave rug I chose in anticipation of the wall beds. And a hanging plant by the tiny window helps too. I hope to add shelving or cabinets on the righthand side, either Ikea or custom but we will wait until the crib is no longer in the corner before moving forward. I've seen some inspiration images where the wall beds blend in better with the surroundings when cabinetry is built around them. So that is a longer term goal for us.
We tried to fit our Ikea Sniglar crib into the room with the bunk beds but it was just too big. We had to ask our friends who borrowed our original mini crib that Theo slept in until he was over 2 to give it back to us. The Babyletto Grayson (discontinued now) fits perfectly between the bunks and our closet. Mae has been sleeping fine in it since the switch. We hope to move her into the bottom bunk as soon as it's safe to do so. I'm guessing somewhere between 1.5 to 2 years old.
I hoped Theo would be excited for the beds and he was. But unexpectedly he took to the top bunk immediately as a place to play quietly by himself without Mae shuffling through his toys or wrecking his carefully lined up cars and trains. With Mae walking now the most often heard phrase in our home is "Mae Mae Don't!!" or "Mama, I don't want Mae Mae to play here!" . While I know that my job as a parent is to teach my kids to share and play well together it really made my night to see Theo so happy to have some private space to play by himself. This is something we've never been able to offer to him before. Now maybe I can hide out on that top bunk and no one will find me..... hmmmm.....
[This post is in collaboration with Resource Furniture. I am pleased to be a brand ambassador for them this year. As I have done in the past, I will continue to share my honest thoughts and experiences with their products. If you have any specific questions about wall beds or my experience please let me know in the comments and I'll be happy to respond! If you are visiting Resource Furniture in Vancouver be sure to ask for Louise, she helped us with both our purchases, she's the best!]