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July 2, 2013
Bunk beds are a double design whammy when it comes to kids' rooms: They encourage imaginative play and save space in one fell swoop.
Modern kids bedroom with wooden connecting bunk beds

In this lakeside prefab in New Jersey by Resolution: 4 Architecture, the resident's 10-year-old son Blake had one primary design requirement: bunk beds. Specifically, he wanted “two sets of single bunks, one on each side, with a bridge over the top.” TheVenetian-style arched bridge connecting the two beds exceeded her expectations: “I was expecting a flat platform, but our builder decided to take Blake’s request (to connect them) and made him his very own Bridge of Sighs.” Read the whole story here.

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
photograph by Mark Mahaney,all rights reserved
Originally appeared in A Lakeside Prefab in New Jersey
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In addition to wood and concrete, the other main material in the house is quarter-inch single-pane glass: No room is without a natural light source, whether from skylights, mitered corner windows, or clerestories, as in the old bedroom of the Kappes' son

The Los Angeles home that architect Ray Kappe built for his family in 1967 sports a refined example of the built-in kids' bed, in the old room of his son Finn. No room is without a natural light source, whether from skylights, mitered corner windows, or clerestories, as shown here. Read the whole story here.

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Originally appeared in Ray Kappe-Designed Multilevel House in Los Angeles
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For a nine-year-old who loves pirates and science fiction, Jonah Finger thinks of his family’s apartment as make-believe come true. His parents, Michael Finger and Joanne Kennedy, completed the renovation of their 640-square-foot walk-up in Manhattan’s East Village in May of 2008, complete with secret compartments under the floor to fill with toys and his own Murphy bed hiding in the wall behind his dad’s desk (shown here). All it takes is gentle downward pressure to lower the desk to the floor, bringing the kid-size mattress into position for bedtime. Read the whole story here. 

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A baby's arrival is cause for celebration—and for many, it's also a time to confront limited living space. For one Parisian couple, living in a cramped but loved apartment in the 10th arrondissement with a four-year-old, a new baby on the way, and one tiny bedroom to work with, a space-saving solution was needed badly. Enter h2o architectes, who decided the smartest way to approach the problem was to subdivide the older child's room in two, making separate places for both children to sleep and play.The beauty of the design is that there's no one way to use the space; the architects let the children determine how to use the different elements of the room. For additional storage, the floor of the partition (shown here beneath the pink stool) easily opens to reveal additional storage space below. Read the whole story here.

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Modern cabin interior h2o Architectes

In another project by H2o Architectes, this one a renovated 1970s chalet in the French Alps, the architects freed up space by building a birch plywood unit so that beds, shelves, and a sofa appear to be built right into the wall. Read the whole story here.

Courtesy of 
Julien Attard
Originally appeared in Cabin Fever
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Wraparound wooden bedroom with bunk bed nooks

"Rather than trying to fit the furniture into the apartment, we decided to fit the apartment into the furniture," says architect Antoine Santiard. "However absurd this may seem, it immediately alleviated all the constraints linked to laying out tight spaces." The wool curtain dividing the space was made by a local company called Arpin. The custom track is by G-Rail. 

Courtesy of 
Julien Attard
Originally appeared in Cabin Fever
6 / 9
Little boy’s bedroom with bunk bed and ladder

When Svetlin Krastev and Dessi Nikolova had their second child, they saw two options: Go broke buying a bigger apartment in New York City, or renovate their existing 620-square-foot home. For now, their two children Kimi and Darin happily share a room and bunk bed. Kimi’s clothes are stored on low shelves in the built-in closet, so he can dress himself, and the children’s toys are stored within easy reach in open drawers. Read the whole story here.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in All Together Now
7 / 9
Only a set of sliding doors separates the kids’ room from the master bedroom in a Toronto, Ontario, home. When the time is right, there's a track inlaid in the ceiling for a four-panel bifold wall to divide the space into two private rooms for the childre

Only a set of sliding doors separates the kids’ room from the master bedroom in a Toronto, Ontario, home. When the time is right, there's a track inlaid in the ceiling for a four-panel bifold wall to divide the space into two private rooms for the children. Read the whole story here.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Inside Job
8 / 9
In the kids’ room, Seamus climbs the bunk beds he shares with his siblings.

The house Michael O’Sullivan designed and built for himself, partner Melissa Schollum, and their three young children in Auckland, New Zealand, has just two bedrooms and is a modest 1,200 square feet. In the kids’ room, Seamus climbs the bunk beds he shares with his siblings. Read the whole story here.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in The Great Compression
9 / 9
Modern kids bedroom with wooden connecting bunk beds

In this lakeside prefab in New Jersey by Resolution: 4 Architecture, the resident's 10-year-old son Blake had one primary design requirement: bunk beds. Specifically, he wanted “two sets of single bunks, one on each side, with a bridge over the top.” TheVenetian-style arched bridge connecting the two beds exceeded her expectations: “I was expecting a flat platform, but our builder decided to take Blake’s request (to connect them) and made him his very own Bridge of Sighs.” Read the whole story here.

Photo by Mark Mahaney. Image courtesy of photograph by Mark Mahaney,all rights reserved.

We've rounded up some of the great, thoughtfully-designed children's bedrooms found in the pages of Dwell over the last dozen years (see here and here for recaps). It's not terribly surprising to realize how many of these rooms feature bunk beds, built-ins, and transformable bed-to-desk arrangements. Not only are they more fun for kids—readymade play fort, anyone?—but they maximize floor space, an especially welcome asset for any family living in an urban environment.

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