I had all sorts of plans for beds for my kids in our new home. We specifically designed the outlets and doors in the bedroom with the plan that we'd have a set type of beds that would be able to sleep all four of our kids. We were going to have 4 beds, in the shape of an L, with the ends overlapping each other- a four tiered bunk bed with two beds along each wall.
We got to the new home, and for a few days, my kids slept on mattresses on the floor while we brought over the furniture and slowly got it put together. However, when we went to put it together, my kids didn't want what we'd planned, and I wasn't sure it would work so well either.
Instead, we ended up making beds for four (or even five if you want to get technical) all on top of each other, which saved even more room. The kids are loving it, and I'm loving how space efficient it is, but the biggest perk was the cost.
We spent nothing.
When we were planning our move, my mother, whose kids now have all moved out, offered me the bunk bed my sister Violet and I had growing up. When Violet and I grew up, it then passed on to my two younger brothers, Abe and Dan. But now Abe is married and Dan is getting married in a few weeks and my mother doesn't need this bunk bed anymore in her home, and she knew it would get a good home in ours. Despite it being at least 15 years old, it is in pretty decent condition.
Putting it together was a cinch- we just had to screw some screws together in the predetermined holes, and we had a beautiful bunk bed. However, we needed more than just two beds. So we took the loft bed we'd built for our boys in our old house, and repurposed it here. We screwed the legs of the loft bed onto this bed, securing it very well, but had to lower the mattress so that the top kid had enough room. Moving the loft bed we took the legs and guard rail off but kept the bed frame together, so we simply put the bed frame back on the legs, in the new position, and then screwed on the guard rail and adjusted the heights of the legs for the ladder.
This bed is very strong and stable, but for safety's sake needed to be secured to the wall for extra precautions.
Though the bunk bed I grew up with came with three drawers that fit under the bottom bed, we decided to opt out of putting them there once we saw that it was a perfect fit for another mattress.
We got the mattresses hand me down as well, and they aren't all the same size- the one for the top bunk is a perfect fit for the narrower frame, and the middle bed is a little wider than the mattress on it, but when the bed is made you can't really tell, so it doesn't bug me.
For the bottom bed, we have an extra wide mattress that actually sleeps two adults comfortably (in my opinion, anyhow), so for now we're having the two girls sleep on it, since they don't take up so much room, and are used to co-sleeping. (Rose ends up in my bed most nights as it is, and Anneliese often ends up in our bed too.) They don't mind sharing that extra large mattress, but for when they do start minding, we have the mattress at the bottom for them to use. (For now it is an extra one to sleep guests that don't mind that. My brother Dan slept on it last night.)
My old bunk beds came with shelves at the end which my kids can use to store their own personal things, but Lee, who sleeps on the top, doesn't have that. We do plan on building a shelf for him up there on the bed.
Is this perfect? No. My kids' bed has a staggered look since the top bunk is narrower than the rest, and it is two different colors. At some point we may rebuild the wider bed so that it all is a uniform width, but who knows. We do plan on painting the beds so they look more uniform, but we decided that while painting is important to us, the first priority is getting all the furniture built, and finding a home for everything, and then we can think about painting the furniture we already have. The color scheme for the kids' room will probably be grey and blue (probably cerulean), and we'll paint both the bunk beds and the furniture to match. And after we do that, I hope to get matching bedding for them, but that is a slow process.
All in all, this bed cost us nothing other than what we already had in the house, and it is so space efficient that despite sleeping 4 kids in the bedroom, there is plenty of floor space for the kids to play, as well as lots of room to store all their toys and clothes and books and art supplies and even a computer desk.
How many kids do you have, and how many bedrooms? How many is the most kids you have had to fit in a bedroom, and what did you do to make their bedrooms more space efficient? Have you ever seen a bunk bed that sleeps 4 before? How did it look?