Tuesday, December 28, 2010

our dutch bed project

I have lived in my home for 8 years and during those eight years, many nights were spent in my bed thinking about finishing that basement and what I wanted to do. When I was pregnant with Emmitt, I told Matt that we had to have some more room, and we needed to begin that basement project. He drug his feet, so I opted for only finishing part of the basement against the advice of many. I was desperate for the space! So the framing began in August of 2009, although my thinking and planning had been happening since 2002!

In my planning I came across this article and the following pictures I stole off of the Internet:

A traveler in the 1800’s returning from a trip to Scandinavia wrote: "In Denmark, the people sleep in cupboards."

And so they did! This was a reference to the traditional Danish wall-bed, and it’s not just the Danes who sleep in them. They are also found in Holland (where they are called "Dutch Beds"), and cupboard beds have been popular for centuries in France, Italy, and other European countries. The famous US marshal Wyatt Earp slept in a Dutch Bed in his boyhood home in Pella, Iowa.

Not to be confused with Murphy Beds, which are housed in a cupboard and drop out into the living quarters for use, Dutch Beds are built entirely into the wall and you climb into them. They may be open or enclosed, and they have a number of advantages over conventional beds: Dutch Beds take up less floor space; they can be out of sight when not used (so you don’t have to make them up every day); and when the doors or curtains are closed, they retain heat so the rest of the house can be kept cooler, thereby saving on heating costs. But most importantly, Dutch Beds allow the space above and below the bed — normally wasted in a conventional bed — to be used for storage.

I knew I wanted to make a dutch bed for the girls' room downstairs. I couldn't find any instructions or plans, so I just made it up. I was the one to draw up the plans, so I planned a dutch bed and made the walls fit around the bed I planned. These are just some of the photos I found for inspiration.

So, August 2009 came and Matt's dad Larry came up to help us start the framing. WAHOO!!!

Here is Kelsey sweeping where she is now sleeping in her dutch bed.

Matt, Larry, and I just put up the wall that separates the dutch bed from the man cave/lounging room. Larry was not too sure about my dutch plan, but never wavered from the plans I had okayed with the city.

After the framing was finished, we rested our pocket book for some time and did a few other necessities down in the basement like insulation and wiring and all of that good stuff. Kelsey had part of her birthday party down in the basement in February. I know, how tacky is that - but where was I supposed to put 25 2nd grade girls? So here she is trying to get a bite of that apple right where her dutch bed is now.

Dutch bed, here we come! My dad did the wiring for us and he was interested in my dutch bed plans. I wanted a light up high at the head of the bed and an outlet up high at the base of the bed.
Our drywall guy broke his collar bone while he was in the middle of our project, so that threw us off for 8 weeks while we waited for the good man to heal. So by the time I had painted the basement, it was September. Then when I was ready for my dad's help with the dutch bed it was October. Here is the space, ready for my dad to make my vision possible!

I bought and finished stock kitchen cabinets at Home Depot for the base of the bed.

Derek, the great neighbor came over and helped my dad and I get those cabinets in and settled. He was interested in my plan too!

Emmitt helped too.

We put a piece of plywood as the bed top with supports on the outer 3 walls since the cabinets don't go clear to the wall.

Kelsey graced us with some beautiful music. It cracked me up. It reminded me of the movie Master and Commander with Russell Crowe. He and the doctor of the ship play the violin and the cello in the captain's cabin of the ship while a storm rages outside on the ocean. That is what it seemed to me, beautiful music amid the chaos of drills, hammers, and loud voices!

So here is a view of the final paint job.

And a view before the carpet came with a new bedspread.

Okay, overkill, but another view of just the carpet padding!

Now taa-daa! The final view of Kelsey and Kendal's dutch bed. They love it. I love it, we all love it. Matt is even starting to love it. He was not wanting this project, but I think it will grow on him!

I still need to make a cute little valance for the window, but other than that I think we are finished. Now, since the dutch bed is only a twin size and I have two girls, we have to have the daybed down there also. The girls take turns. It is pretty cute actually. On the first of every month I get to change sheets and comforters so they can trade beds for the month. Kelsey is very adamant about this and will keep us all on track!

Kelsey chose the purple and blue comforter, to match the purple/blue wall, and Kendal picked the pink and purple comforter because she was given the choice! They are so cute. That is our dutch bed project. Thanks Larry for taking the plunge and starting to make my basement happen, and to my dad for all your help and your willingness to do what I wanted.
We enjoy the new room for the girls, the man cave, and our storage room finished. What a blessing!

 I finally got the cute shelves at the end of the bed put in.  They are well loved and a bit messy, but they are great.


Tori said...

Wow! That looks awesome! You are amazing!

I have thought about doing something similar-- I saw where a mom made the closet in the kids room the place for the bed. She took the door off of course, but it was pretty cool!

Good Job Rach!

Diantha said...

Wow! I love it and you have now given me ideas for my basement.

mom said...

I love the look of the new room,,, its pretty awesome.

The Quilt Ladies said...

Thank you so much for this post, I googled "dutch bed" and your post was perfect. What a wonderful post !


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