Almost everyone seems to be downsizing in a big way these days — the tiny home trend is huge. Of course these diminutive dwellings present particular challenges to designers who are scrambling to come up with new and unique ways to save space.
Behold the rise of the adult loft bed, with storage and lounging below, sleeping above. These structures, inspired by the bunk beds of yore, are becoming increasingly compact and clever. Whether you’re creating an elevated master bedroom above the everyday living space in a tiny house, multi-purposing a home office into a guest room, or simply trying to get the most efficient use out of a small space, there’s a bed for that.
No space goes to waste in these fabulous furniture pieces. Stairs become storage areas, closets and desks nestle comfortably beneath the mattress, and ladders sometimes double as footboards.
We’re especially intrigued by the loft beds with pulley systems, that are raised to the ceiling in the daytime, and lowered to the floor at night. The bachelor pad that actor Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men) had crafted is one of our favorites.
Whether you buy loft beds in a furniture shop, order them online (Wayfair has an outstanding collection), or have a skilled craftsman custom build one for your own space, you’ll find inspiration in the photos below. The good ones are not cheap, but when you think of the space you’ll save, they’re priceless.
Storage Stairs: Casa Collection is launching a new line of space-saving loft beds for adults with loads of storage and cabinetry space, as well as desks and daybeds. This collection of king and queen size loft beds is an excellent alternative to the Murphy bed, utilizing the space below and adding to the functionality of a small living area. (Photo: Casa Collection)
Couch Below: Also from the Casa Collection, this is more of a modern, adult take on the traditional bunk bed, as the seat of the couch underneath slides out to make an other bed. (Photo: Casa Collection)
Rustic Wood: We could see this interesting elevated bed in a large, one room loft. It’s sort of a bedroom in and of itself.
Modern Minimalist: This design created two rooms–a den and a bedroom–out of a very small space. The basic concept has been used in dorm rooms for some time, but now people are using it in private homes as well.
Tucked In: This loft bed shows an ingenious way to make the most our of space in rooms with high ceilings.
Vincent Kartheiser’s Tiny House Loft Bed 1: Look carefully at that ceiling light, and you’ll realize it’s the base of a bed that can be lowered from above via a pulley system. Note the wall mounted, wooden bar/table. It’s about to transform.
Vincent Kartheiser’s Tiny House Loft Bed 2: Here’s the bed on it’s way down. That wall mounted, wooden bar/table has been flipped down against the wall.
Vincent Kartheiser’s Tiny House Loft Bed 3: The bed is now on the floor, the bar/table serving as the headboard, and a curtain has been pulled from the closet on the side to divide the bedroom from the great room and add a little privacy.
Look Out Below! Here’s another example of a loft bed that literally hangs out by the ceiling during the day, and descends to sleeping level by night.
First Class Berths: Here’s a great way to use the loft bed to make the most of a guest room in a family cabin or vacation house.
Guest Room Extension: This is another clever and attractive way to use a loft bed to make the most out of a guest room.
Cabin Qualified: We could see this rustic loft bed fitting perfectly into a very small cabin in the mountains, providing sleeping, work and storage space for at least two people.
Clean and Simple: This pull-out storage space design couldn’t be simpler. The stairway access is an attractive bookcase, and the sleeping portion on top is sunken, so there’s no threat of falling out of bed.
Urban Cube: This piece is one of our absolute favorites–perfect for a one room apartment, although we’d probably prefer doors over the closet space. These range in price from $2,500 to $3,000. Find out more about the “Urban Cube” at Living Cube.
Canopy Clever: Most people wouldn’t dream of putting a canopy over a loft bed, but this interesting design shows that anything is possible. This is a great idea for loft apartment where the ceiling ducting is exposed.
A Modern Take: This is an office, den and guest room all in one–the ideal way to multipurpose a very small space.
Espresso Anyone? This espresso-colored unit could convert even a wide hallway into a work/sleeping space, and provide extra storage as well.