The long-anticipated loft is ready for you, friends! It measures only 15’ x 13’ square, and with a ceiling height at the peak of only five feet* (perfect for boys and Hobbits), it is small by any standards, but small designed well can live larger than you might imagine.
In designing this room, I had to consider all that would be required of it. We would need beds for three boys, clothing storage, toys and treasures storage, book storage, a desk space for each boy, a television and a computer, and room for all the electronic gadgets that go with them. I took the empty, open, unfinished room, and devised a plan to include all of this. A skilled carpenter took my ideas and created a closet and three built-in bunks, which naturally created space for everything else.
We wanted the loft to be about the boys and who they are. So, it wasn’t much of a surprise when our active outdoor boys said they wanted to leave the walls and ceilings natural pine. A painted plywood plank floor, in a light gray, brightens the room (details here).
Now. Let’s not dilly-dally one more moment. Let’s climb the ship’s ladder stair straight to the loft, shall we? I’ll show you around the room, clock-wise from the landing.
You may remember, in the entry tour, where I described this closet at the top of the stairs. It’s the boy closet, for coats, hats, shoes, boots, gloves, and dress shirts (what few they have). It also holds an emergency escape ladder. See inside here. The open space in front of the closet gives plenty of room for bundling and unbundling.
The slim space above the closet was put to valuable use as electronic console storage.
It holds the computer, the PS3, the DVR, the router and the modem.
The vintage metal desk to the right of the closet was a garage sale find. Under the cut-to-fit glass on top is a map of the national forest that’s just beyond our little town. The flat screen television doubles as a computer monitor, and is mounted on an extending arm so the t.v. can be pulled out for watching. The small shelf in the desk holds games and the few DVDs that we own. The chair is from Ikea, purchased several years ago (it may be discontinued now?)
The desk fits perfectly into the alcove created between the closet and the built-in bunk.
The bunk partitions were made to specification by a local carpenter out of beaded tongue and groove pine. He attached them to the ceiling and floor by screwing through the top and bottom cleats (the horizontal pieces that look like trim). Standard framed walls or partitions would have taken up too much space.
The flag print was found at an antique fair. It’s a beautiful way to have a flag without having a flag, you know?
The mama-made bedding was influenced by each boy’s interests. A patch-work accent was sewn on the bunk curtains as well. The boys have had fun decorating the inside of their bunk space (or their man caves, as they like to call them). The No Trespassing sign came from grandpa’s Montana ranch.
The bunks were made by attaching angle-iron rails (custom made by a local metal smith) to the wall at one end, and to the partition at the other using lag bolts. The 36” x 72” mattresses were custom made to fit the space (standard size twins were too large). I highly recommend this man and his company – the mattresses were perfectly made to spec and the cost & shipping were very reasonable.
The bunk curtain rods were also custom made from 3/8” wrought iron, bent at a 90 degree angle. Because this particular rod follows the slant of the ceiling, I spaced black rubber bands at intervals along the rod to act as stoppers for the curtain rings, keeping the curtain from sliding open when the boy wants it to be closed.
A bit of a note here on toys. We are suddenly, it seems, out of the toy stage. I suppose this shouldn’t surprise, since our guys are at the ages of 14, 12, and 10. They do still play with Lego on occasion, so a tub of them is kept handy over there beside the guitar. Other than that, the boys are usually playing basketball or football together, or they’re in the pasture, shooting their BB guns or playing in their fort. They get to play the PS3 on Fridays or Saturdays, for 2 hours each.
Beneath each bed are five wooden crates. I purchased these from Michaels craft store long ago, and they’ve served so many different purposes over the years. It was planned that the depth of each bed would be the exact depth of two crates bolted together end to end. They act as drawers for the boys’ clothes. Three crates are for clean clothes, one is for dirty laundry, and the fifth crate holds all manner of boy treasures (oh, what things I find in there!).
There’s room for what matters. Love that.
Six more crates, stacked together, make up the loft bookcase. These hold the books we use every day in our home education (history, nature study, and art books are kept in the bookcase in the living room), as well as fun reading and library books. The vintage metal box on top holds math games and manipulatives.
The treasured signed football has a place of honor beside the football trophies, and the 9” vintage globe (an Etsy find) is always handy.
The two area rugs were custom made by a local flooring retailer. I chose the carpet and the binding, and they made them to my exact measurements for the room. A great way to go when you need non-standard sizes.
This bunk belongs to our football-loving boy. Can you tell? One of the boys’ favorite ways to decorate their man caves is to print out pictures of sports-in-action and tape them to the wall. Perfect.
Tucked in amongst their posters and pictures, I added a few words of my own to each bunk - wall decals by Shauna Murray. Love.
These prints of vintage WPA posters came from a calendar I purchased six years ago. I knew all along that one day I would use these prints in our boys’ room. Specifically these three prints, since we have, over the years, been lucky enough to have lived near each of these national parks.
This table top was custom made to fit this space. I had my trusty metal smith wrap the top in galvanized steel, then I attached Ikea legs that I already had. The table top is tough enough to take some hard use, and it also acts as a great dry-erase board!
The bulb pendant was purchased from Ebay seller d_w vintage.
Curtains closed. They love to have curtains closed.
Here is our running boy’s bunk. He said that by the time he graduates, he’ll have his entire wall filled with photos of his running years. Love how each boy’s space is a picture of him.
The bunk curtains were made from painter’s drop cloth purchased from Sherwin Williams. Though some drop cloth can be quite stiff (it comes in different weights), these have the loveliest drape. The rings were hand-sewn on, and came from Country Curtains.
Each boy has a puck-size reading light in his bunk, perfect for late night Calvin & Hobbes, Roland Smith, or Mike Lupica.
Just to give you a reference, this shot is the view from the guitar boy’s bunk.
With assigned desk areas, each boy has a work space of his own.
Our oldest son’s interests include drawing, cartooning, film making, and graphic design. I was thrilled when I found this small drafting table at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $20. It fits here perfectly.
A clamp lamp lights his table and a cork board keeps sentiments in view.
The wooden drawer chests are from Ikea, purchased several years ago. They hold drawing tools, paper, tape, glue, and such.
To round out the tour, here is the view from the football boy’s bunk.
And, here, the view from the running boy’s bunk.
I’ve so enjoyed finally being able to share with you our loft! Please feel free to ask any questions that you may have in the comments below.
With that, I’ll wish you the loveliest of weekends, friends!
*Because there was an over-all height restriction of 16 feet for over-the-road transport of our cabin.