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02.03.13 / Bunk Bed Hideout

Remember my initial mood board for the boys’ shared bedroom? Let me jog your memory…

woodsy industrial boy room

You can read more about it here. Or you could save your time and forget it. Because things have changed. I loved the mood board. Really. I did. But there was a problem. Layne and Everett didn’t approve. They said it was okay but too boring. Since I want the boys to have a room they’re excited about, I asked them how I could make it better.

“I want it to feel like a hideout.” – Layne

“I want it to be colorful.” – Everett

So, now I have the task of creating a colorful hideout that still looks like it belongs in our house. I’m working on it. Recently, we repainted the boys’ bedroom switching out the light blue-gray walls for taupe. {It’s Valspar’s dry riverbed in case you’re wondering. It was the color of the front living room in our previous house.} Then we hung floor-to-ceiling curtains around the bunk. Take a peek – don’t mind the messy beds and non-ironed everything. These are by no means ‘afters.’ This is real life. Be happy there’s not a naked four-year-old photobombing every picture.

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The curtains are four LENDA panels in the bleached color. The ceiling track is KVARTAL with coordinating glides. I cut the top loops off the curtains and sewed RIKTIG gathering tape onto the backs at the top so I could hang the curtains from the glides. {Everything I’m referencing here hails from IKEA.}

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I tried the RIKTIG clips {seen on the right above} but thought they looked unfinished.

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I’m all for casual but the clips weren’t cutting it.

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Ahhhh. Much better. One curtain hangs at the foot of the bunk and three panels hang along the side.

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The boys don’t like their enclosed bunks. They love them. I love that they love them. And I like the way the curtains soften the metal bunk but I have to admit…the floor-to-ceiling curtains remind me of the triage units at the hospital. I tried to make them feel more posh by hemming them so they pool on the floor.

Fun fact: This time last year, I was watching the Super Bowl from a similar curtained bed in the labor & delivery triage unit. I was in pre-term labor with Mabrey.

I’m still wishing the boys would have chosen a wooden bunk bed. But, whatever. It’s their room.

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Each boy has their own book light and ledge.

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Sometimes I’ll walk into the room to find the boys camping out on their beds with the curtains closed, lights on and a pile of books at their disposal. It makes my day.

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So, I think I’ve got the hideout thing covered.

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I’ve got work to do on the colorful part. I’m not good with lots of color. Now, pops of color I can do. Hopefully, they’ll appease Everett.

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I’m thinking that ladder {it’s separate and removable} would look cool if it were different from the rest of the white bed. Spray-painted yellow? Wrapped in rope?

If you’re looking for an easy way to DIY a freestanding hideout bunk…

hideaway bunks

My boys love it and I can live with it. More to come as the room evolves!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

79 Comments

I love the curtains! You’re right, they do soften the space. If it we me, I’d spray the whole bed frame a bright color. Blue, green, or red. Can’t wait to what you’ll do with it!

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replied on February 4th, 2013

I’ve totally thought of that! Changing the color of the entire bed would be awesome. But it would require disassembling the bed to get it out of the house. I guess it wouldn’t be all that bad but it’s not happening right now in the dead of winter. I’ve even dreamt of taking it to an auto painter for a professional finish. My brother works as a mechanic so maybe he could give me a lead???

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replied on February 5th, 2013

You could see if there’s a company in your area that does resurfacing. The company I work for does it. It’s polyurethane coating similar to what they use on boats and cars, in fact our company has actually resurfaced cabinets using car paint! Just about any hard surface can be resurfaced in just about any color imaginable. Our tech’s mask off the entire area beside the one item you want sprayed, so you might be able to find someone that could do the work right in the room. And it’d be more durable than regular paint!

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04.February.2013

What a wonderful idea!! An adorable way for kids to hideout and it looks chic too! Great job :) Pinning now!

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04.February.2013

Love it so much! Wish I were as productive as you.

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04.February.2013

I love the pillow and duvet covers. Where did you buy them?

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replied on February 4th, 2013

IKEA. We need some non-IKEA stuff in here, don’t we? When I have true ‘afters’, I’ll source everything for y’all.

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04.February.2013

It’s a lot of fun ! Great idea ! And I would definitively spray paint the ladder teal or another bold color for a pop in that corner. Take care.

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04.February.2013

Their room looks like so much fun, I would have loved this as a kid! I can just imagine them hiding out in there and it’s great that they love books. Love the light!

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04.February.2013

You MUST tell me where the duvets (comforters) and pillow cases came from! My son and duaghter share a room, and I think they would work for both genders. But mostly, they would work for me!

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replied on February 4th, 2013

Again, I hate to admit it but the duvet covers and red-orange pillows are from IKEA as well. Can you tell we live pretty close to our nearest IKEA?!

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Honestly when I saw this is didn’t think ‘shower curtain’ at all, I thought COOLEST MOM EVER! I really think this is a nice/elegant way to give the boys what they want. I love the idea of painting the ladder a fun color. You could even add a colorful trim to the border of the fabric you hung. Maybe go to etsy and let them pick out some fun art for the walls too!

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04.February.2013

Kids :) Those opinions really do get in the way sometimes. (mine asked for rainbow and gears with extra green. yikes). Looks great so far though, love the curtains. I think I’d like that for my bed.

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04.February.2013

where’d you get those lights?! my son would love this idea!

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replied on February 4th, 2013

IKEA!

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04.February.2013

Yes, where’d you get the lights & book shelves? IKEA? Thanks!!

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replied on February 4th, 2013

Yep. IKEA.

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04.February.2013

Are there any parts of the original plan that you plan on keeping? Maybe an updated mood board!!

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replied on February 4th, 2013

Well, the beds are staying – HA! And the ceiling light. Once I get a green light from the boys, I’ll share an updated mood board. Would hate to share another one that isn’t up to par with their vision ;)

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04.February.2013

Any chance of a master bedroom mood board coming soon!?!

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04.February.2013

Hey Dana! I think rope would add some great texture but hey, if the boys want color, I guess color is the way to go! It would look great as a pop of color from the bed. Love everything you do, thanks for being such a great inspiration :)

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04.February.2013

what a clever idea. my favorite post so far. can you make me a bunkbed w/curtain?

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04.February.2013

This is great!!! It just looks great! You are a wonder mom, imaginative and innovative! It’s not the easiest thing to coordinate the tastes of individual children.
Ok, I have a question though about the gallery photos. I bought some of the velcro hangers for some ikea frames that do not hang flush on the wall. I was thrilled at how easy it was to use and it looked great, the frames snug to the wall. However! in the middle of the night, I thought I had a burglar!! But no, it was the velcro releasing from the wall and the frames came tumbling down. Any suggestions? What did I do wrong?

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replied on February 4th, 2013

I do think the 3M velcro would have problems with uneven walls or frames. It takes good contact for it to work properly.

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Beautiful bed set! I would’ve loved that when i was a little kid. The woodsy industrial look is perfect!

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Hm as I was reading I was thinking that painting the bed a color, maybe navy, would be fun! The ladder is a good compromise though!

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04.February.2013

Everybody loves a hideout. Awesome.
As far as color goes, what about some ribbon trim for the curtains? It could be as subtle or colorful as you want it to be. I’ve also not been good about color and yet I love it so. I’m promising myself that I’ll be more adventurous in our next house.

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04.February.2013

Your respect for your boys’ opinions about their room is wonderful. What great support for them in so many ways! Love their individual book shelves and lights, too, and can’t wait to see what you decide about that ladder–an inspired way to add visual interest and color to the space.

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04.February.2013

I just put those same curtains (in beige) and rod system in our master bedroom. I felt like quite the rogue cutting off the loops – silly, I know but I’ve never done it before! We still need to hem the length but I love the texture.

I also love those striped duvets, those are right up my alley! :)

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04.February.2013

Have you thought about putting some inexpensive document-size frames up by the feet of the boys’ bed areas? Maybe hang some lightweight frames with plexiglass with 3M velcro strips, that way the boys can easily put up their own drawings by the beds, but they still look more polished/clean than just tacking up paper drawings. This would also allow Everett to put up something as colorful as he wants, and he could change it as his mood and taste grow and change. You could even do wood-look frames to tie in a more woodsy feel. I remember my parents let me put up my own drawings on the walls by my bed when I was little, and it was a small thing that really made me feel like my room was MY room.

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04.February.2013

What kind of lamps are those by the boys bunks? I’m interested in the same for our boys bunks and those look perfect!

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replied on February 4th, 2013

The wall lights can be found here…

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50230838/

We’ve had them for several months now {shameful to just now be posting about them, I know!} and they’re working out great. We noticed that they can get hot from the bulb so HH actually bought special bulbs that don’t get as hot. We still have a few rules with the lights: 1) Don’t touch the bulb! 2) Nothing draped over the light. 2) Lights out means lights out. If you don’t follow these rules, you lose your bulb for one week. We have not had to take away any light bulbs yet!

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I love your idea of the hideout setup. I never thought of putting curtains around the bunk beds. Where did you get the lighting fixtures attached beside their bed wall?

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replied on February 4th, 2013

I hate to admit it…also IKEA. But it’s just too easy when you live 25 minutes away!

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04.February.2013

I love the hideout! Great idea! I’m so glad you tweaked the Lenda curtains from Ikea! I thought about it but wasn’t sure if they would look unfinished. I don’t like the tabs on them but I love what you’ve done with them! Perfect! Also, the book ledge… is that from Ikea as well? Is it their spice rack? I need several of those for my girl’s big girl room! Thanks for your help! The room is looking great and I love the idea of a bright yellow ladder!

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replied on February 4th, 2013

Yes! The book ledges and wall lights are also from IKEA. I think the book ledge is actually called a “picture ledge” and found with the picture frames. When I do a true ‘after’ of the room, I’ll list specific sources for everything.

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04.February.2013

This is so awesome! Every kid’s dream come true. Do you think that adding a colorful detail/accent onto the curtains would help them feel less hospital-y? A simple ribbon stripe like this, perhaps? http://blog.makezine.com/craft/easy_diy_dress_up_for_simple_s/

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replied on February 4th, 2013

I’ve thought of adding a thick black ribbon/painted band to the leading edges of the curtains for contrast. But, it is black and I’m not sure how the boys would feel about it.

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04.February.2013

Hooray for kids and hooray for color! I am not a designer (not even close!), but kids’ rooms that look like adult rooms, without color, etc. bother me….let them be kids at least in there bedroom and enjoy some color for the love of…okay, I’m being dramatic, but you get the point. Way to go, on listening to your kids’ opinions for their personal space and letting them soak in some color. Adults (and our lack of color loving) can be so yawn. ;)

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04.February.2013

What kid wouldn’t love that? Brilliant. I love the idea of the spray painted ladder, and another way to add some color would be maybe dipping the bottom hem of the curtains in some dye (a la Young House Love book). Either the same color as the ladder or a color from the rug. It might be too messy looking for you, but I just hate sewing so much I’d rather do that than sew trim in a color onto the curtains. It would also hide the dirt from the curtains sweeping on the floor a little better:)

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replied on February 4th, 2013

Dip-dyed curtains?! That’s fabulous! And you’re so right about the dirty curtain bottoms.

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04.February.2013

What type of window treatments could work in the room?

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replied on February 4th, 2013

We’re doing the same woven blinds as in Mabrey’s room to have some continuity and add texture. The window opposite their bunk will have curtains {white?} and the other window perpendicular to their bunk will have no curtains because the trundle will need to roll out easily under the window.

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04.February.2013

Stripe the curtains horizontally for some more colour? Maybe navy, white and red? Or some other colour combo? They look great as is, but if you’re trying to add some more colour, this would look great, too!

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04.February.2013

Is Everett the little guy in the bottom bunk? The one wanting more color? When he lays in his bed and looks up, what does he see? Could it be something fantastically colorful? A wacky printed sheet? Finger painted poster board? Drop cloth painted with night sky and stars? A superman poster?

The underneath of top bunks can be soooooooo boring.

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replied on February 4th, 2013

Yes, Everett gets the bottom bunk which is sometimes a sore subject ;) Every once in a while, the boys will switch beds for the night to let E have a turn up top. I have definitely thought of what I could do with the bottom of the top bunk to make the bottom bunk more appealing to E. He LOVES superheroes…maybe something along those lines would work. Love all your ideas!

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04.February.2013

I loved your original mood board but what a good mama you are to let the boys help create their space. The curtains around the bunks are genius!

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04.February.2013

That “hideout” is adorable. I think it’s such a unique, fun idea for a boys room!

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04.February.2013

Very cool! I think boys’ rooms are hard to create without going too literal with their desired themes. I love the compromise and it will always be something they’ll both remember.

Love the light fixture too, BTW!

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04.February.2013

did u use regular mattresses instead of ikeas mattresses?

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replied on February 4th, 2013

The mattresses are standard twin mattresses that we had on their platform beds in our previous house. We sold the platform beds on craigslist and used the money to buy the IKEA bunk…with some $$ leftover. We really liked the platform beds but wanted to have bunks to free up as much floor space as possible. A standard twin mattress fits just fine on the bunks.

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04.February.2013

This is a great idea, the white looks good. Using the kvartal around the bunk bed is a cute idea. I thought about doing the same around my own. I already put some up for my mom who did her front picture window. I wrote my own extensive post about putting it all up!
http://ex-scapes.com/2013/01/03/tutorial-ikea-kvartal-curtain-system/

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replied on February 4th, 2013

Love the curtains you hung for your mom!

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04.February.2013

This room is so sweet! I love the duvet covers and the fact that they each have their own space and some privacy. You touched on their wish list without sacrificing style or overdoing it!

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04.February.2013

I’m unfortunately well versed in being a patient, and hospital’s curtains are actually always an awful pastel blue, green, or …pinkish taupeish bleh, so I definitely didn’t associate these with hospitals. If anything, I thought it was a functional choice (I know I’d like a dark, cozy corner for naps if I shared a room).

However, if you look again at the original pillows you had selected, you’ll notice that they’re the Red Cross’s logo inverted, so I think what you’re really seeing here is an old-timey, retro hospital. Between having a red cross on the brain, the metal beds, and the neutral/blue-gray palette of the rest of the room, I can definitely see how someone would get that feeling. I mean, just look at Lady Sybil’s nurse uniform:

http://www.spoilertv.co.uk/images/cache/downton-abbey/season-2/cast-promotional-photos/s2-jessica-brown-findlay-as-lady-sybil-crawley_FULL.jpg

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/10/13/article-0-0E24AF0600000578-685_468x368.jpg

Maybe it’ll tone down that feeling (and satisfy your son’s request) if you keep your neutral bases and branch out those color pops with other warm colors?

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04.February.2013

I love this idea, just showed my husband and we are totally coping you! Heading to Ikea tomorrow to get supplies. My boys are always making “tents” by stuffing blankets under the top bunk. They are going to love it!! Thanks!!

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04.February.2013

Do those lamps get hot? I have an Ikea lamp that gets hot to the touch.

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replied on February 4th, 2013

I mentioned that in a previous comment…they can get hot so we switched out the bulbs for CFL’s. But we still have a rule of no touching the lights. After several months, I’m happy to report that the boys follow the rule. It’s about the only one they do follow ;)

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05.February.2013

Yes…I know it’s totally off-topic, but I had to let you know how happy it made me to see a Walter Farley book in the book rail of the boys’ bunks…I grew up reading the Farley books my dad had grown up with, wonderful stories that few modern youth authors can compete with.

I’ve read your blogs since you and HH first started The Underdog…lots of wonderful ideas as I get ready to renovate my early 70s ranch style out on the farm in eastern Kansas, always look forward to new posts – THANKS!

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05.February.2013

Hi- I am wondering (& did not read all comments above) if you have considered stripping/painting the metal rails an “industrial steel” look (dull & worn)- which would be very manly. Additinally, you could build a pallet board ladder in place of the metal one…or even easier-pallet book ledges in place of the white? -Feel free to hate that but in case you don’t I tried to find a pic for you… http://pinterest.com/pin/552746554235426906/

Also- maybe a few pockets stitched (or velcroed)on the curtains? -My sister & I used to slip notes/drawings under each other’s pillows when we shared our room- I still have a few tucked in my my favorite book…

-Good Luck!

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replied on February 5th, 2013

That pipe bunk bed is pretty amazing!

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05.February.2013

Did you add a cowhide rug over the “Sweater Weather” one? And I thought I saw some work stations along the wall opposite the bed, in one of HH’s posts. I’m looking forward to the full post. Meanwhile, I’m surprised the boys didn’t ask for camo colors on or around the bed.

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05.February.2013

Hi Dana – I’ve been a loyal reader for a long time and I love everything you are doing (and sharing) – thank you!

I have a question about the curtains. How do you feel the rolling mechanism works? Do they glide smoothly? I’ve been eyeballing that system at Ikea for a year but haven’t been willing to commit for fear that they might not function as well as hoped. I assume you would have mentioned something if they didn’t work well, but I thought I would double check. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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replied on February 5th, 2013

The rolling track works fine. We definitely need to spray some silicone on it {which was recommended on the assembly instructions} to get it to slide more smoothly but there’s nothing that keeps us or the boys from using it right now. The silicone should help with the sliding noise {not loud, just there} too.

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replied on February 6th, 2013

Ok, good to know – thank you!

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05.February.2013

can you talk a little about the Flor rug? Would this style work in a LR? Is it super soft for playing on?

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05.February.2013

What about stencilling the curtains?

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05.February.2013

I LOVE what you did for their room!
As for the ladder, and forgive me if I’ve repeated what someone else wrote (I skimmed through and didn’t see it mentioned) I wouldn’t do rope on the ladder. It might hurt their feet and/or their hands to climb. Paint would definitely be the way to go!

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05.February.2013

Rope ladder – totally cool – love the room :); I did something similar for my boys yearssssssss ago – for their ‘safari’ type room – the loved it too.

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05.February.2013

Hi Dana,

I’m wondering if you could give me some details on what you did with the curtains. I have some Ikea curtains and I need to modify them, I have the same curtain rods that you have in your laundry room. Could you e-mail some instruction to a novice on sewing/modifying curtains. The theme I would like to create in my house is “beach house.”

thanks so much, Rita

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replied on February 6th, 2013

I’m working on a post featuring the laundry nook! I’ll discuss what I did to the store bought curtains to make them work below the laundry countertop.

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06.February.2013

Hi Dana,

Could you let me know how many of those KVARTAL rails you need to go around the bunkbed? My son would love this.

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replied on February 6th, 2013

It took 3 straight pieces (55″ long) and one 90 degree curve piece. We had to cut two of the straight lengths shorter to make it work around the bunk. We were just a few inches over being able to use two straight lengths. Hope that helps!

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replied on March 12th, 2013

Dana,

How short did you have to cut the 3 straight pieces of the KVARTAL rails so that they fit around the bunk beds?

Thanks,
Kim

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25.October.2013

I am getting ready to do this same thing for my daughter’s room! When you mounted the tracks to the ceiling, what anchors did you use? My husband is insisting that it be mounted to a stud to prevent it from being pulled out, but I don’t think it’s that huge of an issue if you use the right anchors. I would love some insight from someone who’s actually done it! Thanks.

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27.February.2014

Hello! I really enjoy your blog and style choices. I’m sorry if you’ve covered this a million times, but can you tell me the name of the paint color in the boys’ room? Thanks! m

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replied on February 27th, 2014

It’s dry riverbed by Valspar (Lowe’s).

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replied on February 27th, 2014

Thanks very much! Keep up the beautiful work!

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17.August.2014

Hello, please could you explain how you used the riktig tape? Did you use those metal hook behind that have 3 or 4 long teeth? It doesn’t look like it. Thats called a pinch please I think. So you sewed the tape on and then? How did you hang it? Did you gather it behind at all to make the irregualr fullness? Perhaps you could post a pic of the back of the curtain? I’m struggling to find a style that looks relaxed yet finished and this fits the bill. Thanks!

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