Our first 800 revisions of our second story addition did not include an alcove bed, in fact they didn’t even include Red’s room. E was going to get the old master downstairs and Red was going to get the other bedroom upstairs (next to our new master). The area that makes up Red’s room was originally planned as a loft/playroom/office homework space.

When designing our addition we really wanted to make sure the new flow of the house made sense. We didn’t want it to feel like an addition and Mike and I felt that having two rooms upstairs and two downstairs wouldn’t give us the flow we were going for. We decided to change the loft plan into another bedroom – even though the space was super small. This would give us three rooms upstairs and two downstairs…By having most of the bedrooms in one section of the house we would get the flow we were going for.

The hard part in this was planning two bedrooms and a bath in such a small and oddly shaped area. The shapes of the rooms are definitely not conventional – but I think that’s what makes them so fun and what makes our house unique. Plus, I wanted the girls to have a Jack and Jill bath because the thought of that seemed awesome – kids love to have secret spaces and areas that are all their own – we really tried to incorporate this idea into every area of the house.

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The red rectangle area is where Red’s alcove bed is built. We had to wait until after we finaled with construction in order to build it…some rule about a room’s definition = 7′ clear space in any direction and 100 s.f. of floor space. The alcove bed would cause one dimension to be 5′ across. It didn’t matter that a bed would go there built in or not. I guess they thought after we built the alcove we would try and put a bed somewhere else in the room? Who knows. Anyhow, after we finaled we built a wall from 2×4’s 16″ OC and covered it with 1/2″ mdf instead of drywall. This was easier and cleaner although a little more expensive. I also used the leftover mdf to make the board and batten trim. I just ran it through my table saw set to 2.5″. I attached the trim with 1″ finish nails. The trim covers the screws we used to attach the mdf to the 2×4 wall.
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The base of the bed was made out of a 2×4 ledger and 2×4’s spanning across the ledgers. The height was set around the height of a counter stool – we wanted to incorporate storage under the bed so it is a little high. We also made the alcove 17″ longer than the length of a twin bed and 2″ wider. This gave us room to actually make the bed. We were also able to squeeze in a bookshelf and a hidden toy chest at the foot of the bed. Mike put a sheet of 3/4″ mdf over the base. This added integrity to the bed and also keeps Red’s treasures from falling into the abyss below her bed.
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So enthusiastic.

The drawers were built out of 3/4″ plywood and are the main point of this post. Once the drawers are in place you can just build a face frame and trim around them.

Finish nailer
Kreg Jig
Table saw

3/4″ plywood
Drawer slides I used these2×4 for legs or base of drawers

Using my table saw I made a bunch of strips that were 10″x 24″. I kreg jig’d them together like the picture below. These formed the boxes my drawers sit in. The final width was 22.5″ wide. The slides I used require .5″ on either side of the drawer.
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Next I made my drawers. Just three sided. The drawers are 22″ deep x 21.5″ wide. Make sure when you make the drawers they are 1″ shorter in width than the box you are putting them in – this gives you room for the drawer slide hardware.
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My drawer slides mount onto the bottom and sides of the drawer, so I just used my finish nailer to nail a bottom onto the drawer boxes. You can also see my kreg jig holes for the drawers. I made the base out of 3/4″ mdf because that’s what I had laying around. Plywood would be better.
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Attach the drawer slides according to the package instructions and that’s it.
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It’s that simple. If you build everything really square the drawers glide like a dream. I used extra 2×4’s that I cut to 6″ and attached to the boxes with screws to add height to the drawers. I attached the drawer front with the kreg jig. The front is made out of 3/4″ mdf and some of the 1/2″ leftover mdf to make the shaker style front.

Here’s the finished pic of it painted and lived in. I really need to put drawer pulls on. They’ve been sitting in Red’s closet for months now.
alcove bed

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