Building a Custom Boy's Bedroom

By Jared Patchin | Posted: 10/22/2013 1:47PM

 

About six months ago, we completed two huge custom bedroom commissions for the same client…one for their son’s room, which we will showcase today, and one for their daughter’s bedroom, which we will look at next.

The overall design would incorporate a wall of bookcases and cabinetry on the left, which would transition into a double platform bed. The lower area would have bookcases along the back and right walls and the bed would sit atop a platform with pull-out drawers in the front. Another queen mattress would be on the upper platform, and a rope fence would help keep overly energetic children from tumbling down. Accessing the upper bed area was to accomplished using a rolling ladder, which could be stored in the vertical position when not in use, and pulled out at an angle when the kids want to climb to the top.

After a few hours of hauling all the parts and tools up a flight of stairs and down a long hallway, we were finally able to begin the installation. The first step, and quite possibly the easiest of the entire process, was to remove the existing baseboards.

The left wall of the bed assembly was made up of two 3″ thick torsion box walls. The torsion boxes were aligned using dominos and screwed to the studs in the wall. We then began adding the bookcases along the back wall.

Since code required all the electrical outlets to be accessible, we cut openings which would allow an electrician to access them in the future. These holes would be unseen, since they were below the level of the mattress platform. The back wall of bookcases was also sitting directly above two of the heat registers, so we cut open the bottom of the bookcases to allow access by a HVAC tech, who later added ducting from the registers all the way to the front of the bed. 

With the vertical wall and bookcases installed, it was time to bring in the parts for the bed. The front half of the bed was designed as a cabinet, with four large dresser drawers. The bed cabinet would fit snuggly between the torsion box wall on the left and the bookcase on the right. The back half of the bed would be a framework which would hold up two removable panels, allowing access to the HVAC ducting and the electrical outlets.

We also added the first of two torsion box ceiling/floor pieces. It was quite difficult getting that back floor in place, since it was just a tad heavy, and because, of course, the wall was narrower at the front than at the back. But, after a little modification to the torsion box and to the wall, we achieved a nice, snug fit.

 

Here is the bed area completely installed. On the top, we added the front ceiling/floor torsion box, also aligned using dominos. A 4″x4″ column, screwed into the side of the bed cabinet, supports the front right corner of the upper floor. The four railings, lag bolted into the floors framework, and the rope fence, constructed using 3/4″ nylon rope and eyelets, finishes off the upper platform details.

On the lower bed area, we added the four drawer boxes to the bed cabinet, a piece of trim to the front of the bed, crown moulding inside the lower bed compartment, and the two removable platform pieces behind the bed cabinet.

Originally, the design called for a rope ladder to access the upper platform, but the client decided they did not want to bolt the bottom of the ladder to their floor, so we did a quick redesign and swapped in a library-style ladder instead.

With the bed assembly complete, we turned our attention to the bookcases and cabinets to the left of the beds. Compared to the bed, the bookcase installation was a veritable breeze. Begin by leveling the toe kick, add in the base cabinets, drop on the top, bring in the bookcases, nail on the crown moulding, and finish everything up by adding on the doors and hardware.

In the end, the bedroom unit turned out absolutely great! I was surprised at how smoothly the entire installation went. We had very few out-of-level floors and out-of-plumb walls, and the issues that did arise were dealt with fairly easily.


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About the Author

Jared Patchin J Alexander Fine Woodworking Network

Jared Patchin

Jared Patchin started woodworking professionally in 2008 when he set-up J.Alexander Fine Woodworking in Boise, ID, where he builds custom crafted furniture and cabinetry. He started building furniture at the age of seven when his father bought Shutter Crafts. He has developed his craft since then, moving from making wooden swords for himself and his friends to building some of the finest furniture and cabinetry available. He lives in Boise, Idaho with his wife and two young sons, who have taken over the sword making side of things.

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