Kids shouldn’t be the only ones who get to enjoy bunk beds. Tiered sleeping arrangements may inherently encourage play and whimsy, but they are also great space-saving designs—something that anyone can appreciate, regardless of age. Here are 13 of our favorite built-in bunk beds, culled from our archives.
Above: Chad DeWitt and James Cook restored the original built-in bunk bed in their Sea Ranch cabin. Photograph by Drew Kelly, courtesy of Framestudio, from Into the Redwoods: A Tiny 1960s Cabin in Sea Ranch, Restored and Revived.
Above: This is how British designer Mark Lewis does a bunk bed. Photograph by Rory Gardiner, courtesy of Mark Lewis Interior Design, from Steal This Look: A Cottage-Style Bunk Room in Highgate, London.
Above: Tara Mangini and Percy Bright of Jersey Ice Cream Co. designed and built this bunk bed for a guesthouse. The drawer was salvaged from another piece, and the curtain is a macrame wall hanging from Urban Outfitters that’s no longer available. Photograph by Tara Mangini, from The One-Month Remodel: A Catskills Guesthouse by Jersey Ice Cream Co.
Above: This is technically not a built-in—the Murphy bunk set is the folding Lollisoft from Clei—but carving out a niche for the piece so that it can be flush to the wall when closed imparts a custom look. Photograph by Matthew Williams, from Living Large in 675 Square Feet, Brooklyn Edition.
Above: Another Jersey Ice Cream Co. creation. The designers transformed the space above a garage into a bunkhouse with built-in poplar double-bed bunks, cleverly divided by a lounge. Note the under-the-bed storage. Photograph by Sal Taylor Kydd, from Remade in Maine: Jersey Ice Cream Co. Upgrades a Recently Built Rockport House.
Above: Siblings, ages 10 and 11, share a room with built-in bunks, each with its own shelves and surrounding drawers. Photograph by Pia Ulin, courtesy of Bangia Agostinho Architecture, from Brooklyn Makeover: A Homey Townhouse with a Modern Garret.
Above: A custom built-in for family lodging at Scribner’s Catskill Lodge. Photograph by Nicole Franzen, from Scribner’s Catskill Lodge: An Eccentric 1960s Lodge with a Modern Update.
Above: Designed to inspire epic games of storm the castle, the bunk room at Fforest Farmhouse is a kids’ haven. Photograph by James Lynch, from FForest: A Former Farm Transformed into the Ultimate Welsh Country Retreat.
Above: Scandi-inspired bunk beds for kids. Photograph by Lincoln Barbour, from A Scandinavian Cottage—in Portlandia.
Above: This plywood version has storage alcoves and a steel ladder. Photograph by Elsa Young, Frank Features, and Nicolaus Matthius, courtesy of Beatty Vermeiren Architects, from Camping Lite: A Plywood Camp House in Scarborough, South Africa.
Above: Hello I’m Local is a hostel in Haarlem, the Netherlands, with a dozen rooms, all done up in new and vintage Dutch designs. The Tante Leen Room is equipped with four bunk beds, each with its own vintage ladder. See 11 Hostel-Style Lodges for the New International Nomad.
Above: Workstead turned what had been a walk-in closet into a built-in bunk bed complete with cupboards and drawers. It’s made of cherry plywood; the curtains are from fabric by Rebecca Atwood. Photograph by Matthew Williams, courtesy of Workstead, from Room to Play: The Ultimate Urban Bunk Room by Workstead.
Above: A bunk room with built-in metal piping beds and storage shelves in a New Zealand beach hideaway. Photograph by Patrick Reynolds, courtesy of Cheshire Architects, from Architect Visit: A Kiwi Beach Compound, Cross-Cultural Edition.
Above: Alabama-based architects McAlpine Tankersley added a nautical note to a beach house bunk room via a pair of rope ladders. See Design Sleuth: Nautical Rope Bunkbed Ladder.
Above: This kids’ room has a built-in, floor-to-ceiling pine wood bunk bed with storage drawers beneath. Photograph by Scott Frances, courtesy of T. W. Ryan Architecture, from A Sixties-Era ‘Builder’s Special’ Reimagined in Montauk.
More on bedroom storage and organization below:
N.B.: This post has been updated with more examples; it was first published August 2020.
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