Minimalist living is catching on. People would rather spend their money on experiences than pay rent on a giant apartment or a huge house. Smaller homes and apartments are less expensive and easier to maintain, making them appealing options for people who are thirsty for adventure.
Getting out and being a part of the world is more fulfilling than filling a huge space with a bunch of stuff.
The only issue many renters or owners of small dwellings encounter is that they need to make the most of the space they have, and conventional furniture isn’t often designed with space concerns in mind.
A small home can feel even warmer and more peaceful than a large home when it’s furnished well. Small homes can be made to cast an ambiance of coziness and intimacy when they’re decorated and furnished properly. Some solutions, like loft beds, are beautiful and space saving alternatives to clunky furniture that will overwhelm a cozy, dreamy little space.
The Philosophy of Creating the Perfect Small Space
It’s easy to feel confined to limited floorspace, but changing your perspective will open up a whole new world of possibilities. You may not be able to fill the floor with every piece of furniture you’d like, but don’t overlook the height of a room.
Climbing the walls with your furniture will leave more of the floorspace open. Choosing tall dressers and tall bookshelves will allow you to have adequate storage space without blocking walkways or making a room feel claustrophobic. The same philosophy applies to your bed.
Your bed is the largest piece of furniture in your bedroom - especially if you’re fond of big, comfy beds. A queen sized bed is typically 60 inches by 80 inches in dimension, which is five feet wide and six and a half feet long. This is close to the same width as a desk or a dresser. You can’t put furniture on top of your bed, but you can put it underneath your bed. That is, if you have a loft bed.
Loft beds often have storage built into the bottom, making them multifunctional pieces of furniture that are effective in both space and cost. If you’re a student or you work from home, a loft bed may allow you to get some work done from the comfort of your room without attempting to pack a whole home office into a small space.
Loft beds may be an unconventional space saving solution, but they’re not too good to be true. They have the potential to completely transform your small space without the need to sacrifice functional areas of a room you need.
Aren’t Loft Beds for Kids?
Most people associate loft beds with childhood. Children typically get the smaller rooms of a house, as the master bedroom is reserved for mom and dad. Kids tend to have a lot of stuff to pack into a small space, making loft beds the prime choice for tidy parents who don’t want to break their feet on a Lego obstacle course every time they need to wake their child up for school.
Children love loft beds because they’re perceived as “cooler” than a normal bed. There’s a ladder to climb, and the space beneath the bed makes for a fun little play fort. Kids think they’re the greatest thing, and parents agree because of how much space they free up.
Although loft beds for children are common, loft beds for adults are also widely available. Adults don’t have to settle for a pink loft bed with little butterflies carved into the headboard. Sophisticated loft beds come as large as king sized, sleeping two adults with enough room to spare for a dog that wants to watch some bedtime TV with his human parents.
Loft Beds Outside of Bedrooms
If you don’t have a full-on guestroom is your smaller sized dwelling, a loft bed can allow you to convert a corner of your home into an area for overnight guests. The loft of your home is often a great place for a low clearance loft bed. Visitors will have a reasonable amount of privacy and a place to store their stuff if they’ll be with you for a day or two. You’ll be thankful that you’ve created this little space when your sister or your best friend comes for a visit.
Choosing the Perfect Loft Bed
Loft beds are a highly customizable solution. They start in twin size, going all the way up to king sized. A king sized loft bed is a little more difficult to put together and may still make a room feel smaller, despite the fact that it’s opening up a substantial amount of floor space. Couples might do better with a queen size loft bed. Adults who ordinarily sleep alone can make do with a full, and children do well with a full or smaller sized bed.
There are more important considerations to make outside of size. One of the most important considerations to make is the quality of your investment. Metal loft beds may be cheaper, but they’re also flimsier. Scrapes and dents on metal beds are much harder to repair. Poles may bend and warp over time. After a few years, your metal loft bed will be worse for wear and beyond the point of repair. The only thing you can do is toss it out and get a new one.
Loft beds made of real wood are easier to maintain. It takes a lot to warp or bend wood. Scratches and dings can be buffed out. If something is significantly damaged, it’s usually easy to replace a piece of wood that’s been cut to the same dimensions as its previous board.
Wood loft beds can also be refinished. If you start out loving a traditional dark wood but decide a few years down the line that a cooler, rustic bedroom will better suit you, you don’t need to get a new bed. Just sand and refinish the bed you currently have, and replace a few small details like drawer handles.
Building the Room Around Your Loft Bed
If you decide to go the loft bed route, you need to plan your room around it. You can get a loft bed that’s completely bare underneath, allowing you to put your own furniture underneath the bed. Many loft beds come with desks or dressers built into the lower frame. If that’s the case, you won’t need a desk. You may not need a dresser, or you may only require a smaller dresser to supplement the store space you’re getting from the bed.
Choosing a loft bed with build in storage and surfaces will save you money. You won’t need to hunt for more pieces to coordinate with your loft bed, and there’s no need to mess around with measurements. Everything that comes with your loft bed will already match and already fit. If you’re a big fan of convenience and pragmatic solutions, hunt carefully for a bed that already serves your purposes.
If you have other furniture you intend to use, you’ll need a loft bed with an open bottom. You don’t want to wind up with a dark, red toned wood loft bed and medium ash toned wood furniture. They’re not going to play well together, and this might be a problem. You might need to sand and re-stain some furniture to make your set match. You also have the option of painting your loft bed and your furniture the same color, like a matte grey or a deep navy.
Completing a Maximized Small Space
The last steps in maximizing a small room with a loft bed involve using the right color palette and decorative accents to keep the room feeling spacious. Lighter colors on the walls will help natural light reflect around the room, as will strategically placed mirrors. Every soft color and reflective surface will keep the room from feeling too closed in.
Choose sheer curtains to allow the light to pour in. Opting for longer curtains and hanging them a foot or so above your actual window will exaggerate the vertical dimensions of the room, drawing the eye up and down rather than side to side.
Mounting a television to the wall with a small shelf beneath it to hold game consoles or cable equipment will keep the floor free, eliminating the need for another piece of furniture in your small bedroom.
A loft bed can become the most important tool in your strategy to make a small space feel beautiful, welcoming, and open. It’s a practical solution that ultimately becomes a missed opportunity for many people who often forget that beds don’t have to sit on the floor. Loft beds are quick, easy, beautiful, and highly useful pieces of multifunctional furniture that stretch budgets further and take a lot of the headache out of furnishing a small space. You know your inner pragmatist wants one.
Source 1 - bed dimensions
Source 2 - refinishing furniture
Source 3 - maximizing natural light in a room