Because our home is of moderate size, the importance of chosen details seems escalated.  We really don’t have excess room to fall back on.

Our 4 year old’s bedroom has been a bit of a challenge “spatially’ speaking, given the modest 10’x12′ footprint.  A double bed was a must, as was having the natural light from 2 large windows on adjacent walls, leaving minimal space for a closet or vertical bookshelves.

Comfort, as opposed to strictly design, has become screamingly important with age, so adding extra sleeping for guests or brotherly slumber parties from room to room was feeling important.  The clear option was a bunk bed or loft.  Most prefabs I liked were too risky or pricey, leaving only millimeters of room to close the door.   My only guaranteed option was a custom made built-in.  Not only was this project a fraction of the price to that of Restoration Hardware’s which I had been eyeing, but it was a huge success.  I LOVE IT.

Custom building may seem unappealing and intimidating to many, given the unknowns- price and design, to name a couple.  I prefer using local craftsman/carpenters to achieve a one-of-a-kind look.  Here are a few things I’ve learned over time:

  1. Find the right fit!  Testimonials and referrals clearly work well, but a good working relationship with your builder is equally important.  You must feel comfortable enough to be openly honest with questions and requests.
  2. Do not start until you have a written agreement on price, no matter what the scope of the project.
  3. Develop a solid design prior to buying any materials or beginning construction.  I change my mind often, and unfortunately have the anxious-hurry-up-let’s-get-it-done-quick trait, so it’s especially important to take a few days to think about the project (I’ve learned this the hard way too many times).  Get opinions, share thoughts, research, and then go with your gut.  Contact us for inspirational support!
  4. Make it unique.  Take advantage of having full reign to design a custom piece, a true original.  Incorporate materials that are maybe more rare, but always timeless.  Consider resale.
In the end, we painted ours all linen white to match the walls.  We detailed with teak trim as supports and with ladder. ken linsteadt architects

In the end, we painted our wood all Benjamin Moore Linen White to match the walls. We detailed with teak trim (on hand from a previous project) as supports and for the ladder.
ken linsteadt architects

 

My fav.  Everything about this makes sense to me- clean contemporary lines, comfortable and cozy.  Unfortunalty, not child proof enough.   remodelista

My fav. Everything about this makes sense to me- clean contemporary lines, comfortable and cozy. Unfortunately, not child proof enough.
remodelista.com

 

We installed a rope ladder to start, however we found it too unstable for a sleepy child to climb down in the dark.  www.remodalista.com

We installed a rope ladder to start, however found it too unstable for a sleepy child to climb down in the dark. So we changed it out.
www.remodalista.com

 

A small glimpse of the space....

A small glimpse of the snug space…. www.susieshapiro.com

This prefab was a consideration prior to taking the custom route.  Restoration Hardware, $1,999.  Our beautiful custom built to fit the space perfectly, $700.  Having creative license, priceless.

This prefab was a consideration prior to taking the custom route. Restoration Hardware, $1,999. Our beautiful custom-built to fit the space perfectly, $700. Having creative license, priceless.

Surely I’ve persuaded some of you to catch yourself a relaible and trustworthy builder to bring all of those questioable areas of your home to perfect completion, no…?  For those still feeling apprehensive with design ideas, lost in a fog, send me a message.  I love a good aesthetic design puzzle!  And be sure to subscribe to my blog for many more articles to come.