Full Loft Cottage Bed with stairs and shutters

Submitted by dannymd22 on Sun, 02/23/2020 - 10:11

My wife started off looking for a commercially available bed for my daughter (age 4 when I started), but after not finding a style and size that she wanted (e.g., at Pottery Barn Kids), she convinced me to design and build one. This was the biggest projected I've ever undertaken, so I looked for inspiration on a number of websites including ana-white.com. 

The Sweet Pea Bunk Bed served as major inspiration for this bed, but I also took ideas from many other designs.  However, I made a few changes:

  • I designed it as a single full-size bed with play-area underneath
  • Designed to be cottage-like
  • To get it into the room when complete and if it ever needed to be moved, I designed as 6 separate pieces: the 4 walls, the roof, and the stairs
  • All of the main pieces are held together by 6 bed bolts at each corner
  • I added some cabinets and drawers with raised-panels. these came out nice, but added a lot of time!

In all, it took me 9 months to design build. However, much of this is because this is new territory for me, I'm a bit OCD, and I could only dedicate about 4-8 hours per week on it. Plus, we were hit by Hurricane Harvey during this, so things slowed down for a few weeks. I decided to go with hardwood for most of it for durability and paintability, but this could likely easily be done with less expensive pine.

Note: I did not build the appliances seen in the images. Those were purchased. 

Estimated Time Investment
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Type of Wood
Poplar boards serve as the frame, formaldehyde-free Birch plywood for the walls, 1x4" yellow pine for bed slats
Finish Used
2-3 coats of Semi-gloss Sherwin Williams Paint Latex pain for bed. Shingles are 3 coats of Miniwax water-based poly.
Recommended Skill Level


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