This DIY playroom storage bed is such a clever way to make the most of an awkward corner in Adrianne Lentine’s home.
Adrianne and her husband Jeremy are talented and fearless DIYers. You can read about their adventures raising children and fixing up their house on Dream Book Design.
Here’s Adrianne’s tutorial showing exactly how they built the built-in storage bed. If you have an odd nook to fill in your home, this might be exactly the inspiration you needed to make that space work a little harder.
Building Our Playroom Storage Bed
When we first moved in to our house three years ago, we immediately knew that this room would eventually become a playroom. We had great ideas to have it be a playroom by the time our first-born was one…and now hes four! Ha!
The room takes on kind of an awkward turn, and if we weren’t creative that space could’ve ended up being wasted, or at least just super awkward. We knew we wouldn’t ever need the room to be a full blown bedroom, but we did want the space to be able to be used when it comes time for sleep overs.
The room is a great size, so a perfect blank slate- and this spot was our main DIY focus.
We wanted to create something for this nook that provided storage, seating, and even a bed in a pinch. We know that most adults wouldn’t be super comfy in this size of space, but it is perfect for the future nights with our kids having sleep overs! It also it the perfect spot for our boys to slow down a read a book, watch a show, you know— be still for one second, which is rare for little boys;)
Overall, this is a fairly simple box with a divider and a base (meaning: don’t be afraid, and feel like it’s too daunting of a DIY. YOU can do it!)
- 2 x 4s
- 1 x 2 primed pieces
- 1 x 3 primed trim pieces
- Finish nails
- Rafter square or carpenter’s square
- Behr Ash Blue Paint
- Wood filler
- Liquid Nails
First step in building the playroom storage bed is to measure everything and draw it out properly.
We built the box slightly smaller than the nook’s opening and allowed room to have a cleat on the back wall— a 2 x 4 that we could attach to the studs in the wall and then we could attach the box to the 2 x 4— and maneuver the box in the nook.
Once we had the measurements, we drew it out on paper in order to utilize the sheets of MDF panels, which come in sheets of 4 ft. x 8 ft. We had to use two sheets of MDF for this bench.
Lots of Home Depot stores have plywood saws in which employees will cut your sheets of plywood or MDF for you at the store. The key we have learned here is to plan out your cuts and ask the Home Depot associate to make all of the cuts that need the same measurements in sequence. By doing it this way the associate doesn’t have to move the saw, and you will get better and more consistent cuts.
For example, if the height of the bench opening was 18 inches, we have them set the saw at 18 in., and cut all the vertical boards in sequence, or in one pass, then you know they will all be the same height. So really think through your cuts and the order you ask them to cut. We needed to cut a top, bottom, back and three sides/dividers.
Once we were home with the MDF, which was pre-cut, it was pretty simple to nail the pieces together with finish nails. To ensure 90-degree angles we used a rafter square as our guide while nailing. We attached the back to the bottom first, then the sides/divider and finally the top.
If your angles are consistent and your cuts are even, it should be pretty easy to get everything square. We left a slight reveal on the top, sides and the back to overlap the cleat. Any gaps would be covered by trim pieces.
Once the box was built, we then built a base using 2 x 4s. This was made to be smaller than the box that would sit on top (approximately 2 in. less in width and 6 in. less in depth). This allowed us to have a reveal on the bottom for the toe-kick.
We attached the box to the base and wiggled it into the nook. It was a tight fit but we were able to maneuver it in. By making the box slightly smaller than the opening it allowed us to compensate for the walls, which weren’t perfectly square. If you live in a home that is new, be so grateful for squared walls, flat walls, even walls, basically anything other than the wonky walls our older home is filled with.
Once the bench was in, we leveled it out by using shims and then attached to the cleat on the back wall.
Once attached, it was time to trim out of the face of the bench with the toe-kick and 1 x 2s. We then finished off the built-in look by running the baseboards right up the bench and notching out portions of the baseboard so accommodate for the toe-kick.
We then patched all nail holes and seams between the trim pieces with Minwax Wood Filler, and it was ready for paint. We chose the Behr Ash Blue Hi-Gloss Enamel Interior/Exterior Paint.
The bench is our boys favorite spot to play. The baskets underneath store a bunch of books, puzzles, board games and some toys. And behind the baskets is every mama’s dream— a space where you can shove those toys that are totally hideous, but you don’t want to get rid of!
The foam we used for the pad is awesome because it is firm enough to handle rough use, but is still comfy to sit on. And we made sure to use upholstery fabric that will hold up well, and took it up a notch by making it with a zipper. By having it be able to come on and off, we can wash it whenever it gets gross, which is bound to happen with kiddos!
And we tried to be super practical with this corner as well. While it would look better with more décor up on the walls, maybe even some shelves, we know that isn’t practical. We know our kids, and they bounce around this whole area, bang on the walls, and would surely knock everything down. Nothing would be safe!
So, instead of being more concerned about it looking its absolute best, we decided to keep our kids (and the potential décor) safe.
We love the light blue/grey we went with for the walls, Ash Blue from Behr. The contrast of that with navy we used for the bench is perfect for a fun playroom. The room as a whole is light, fun, and perfect for these boys to go crazy in.
To see the full room makeover, head to our blog Dream Book Design.
Images by Melissa Young Photography.
Adrianne and Jeremy Lentine have a passion for DIY home renovations, doing their own homes and flipping homes in their neighborhood as well. Their blog, Dream Book Design, covers everything from DIY tutorials,the homes they flip, recipes, and even the fun journey of parenting their two boys.