When it comes to storage space, most New Yorkers face the same problem - we don't have any. In other words, it's hard to stuff another shoebox full of stuff in your apartment when your apartment is the size of one. Because of this, we've always coveted double duty furniture like these beds that also conceal storage, but they typically aren't cheap...unless you take our lead and jerryrig one up yourself out of a repurposed Ikea bookcase and some inexpensive wooden panels. Read on for our DIY tutorial showing you how, and don't forget the best part - when you outgrow your home made storage bed, just flip the bed base upright and it becomes a bookcase again.
– One full size mattress
– One 4 x 4 grid Ikea Expedit bookshelf (find some inexpensive options here on craigslist)
– 2 sheets of 1/2″ thick plywood cut to 38″ wide x 60″ long (technically you could use one large sheet of plywood instead of two smaller ones but it’s easier to transport the smaller pieces, and it’s also easier to flip them up when you need to access your stuff)
– White paint (optional)
Your DIY storage bed will consist of 3 basic components – your Ikea bookcase lying on its side, a layer of plywood, and then your mattress on top. Due to the bookcase’s handy grid-like design, you’ll be able to store items you don’t need all the time inside of your bed. Then when you do need them, flip your mattress and the plywood up and access your stuff.
STEP 1 (optional):
Open a few windows and paint the tops and sides of your two sheets of plywood. Allow the paint to dry. If you don’t care about your wood having an unfinished color or if you’re pretty sure you won’t be able to see the wood under your covers, feel free to skip this step but you might want to sand your plywood instead.
Note: This pic actually shows a longer storage platform that I created out of 2 Ikea bookshelves but the idea is pretty much the same.
Carefully lay your bookcase on its side (you might want to enlist some help with this). After your plywood sheets are dry, place them on top of the bookcase so that they form a platform. Line up the seam where the two sheets meet with the middle shelf of the bookshelf’s grid. Width wise, they should overlap the bookcase by just a few inches so that there is a lip for your fingers to catch when you need to lift them up and access your stuff. Lengthwise, they should overlap the edges of the bookshelf by about 9″ on either side.
This next step helps keep the wooden panels locked nicely in place instead of sliding around under you while you sleep. With your configuration set up just the way you like it, look underneath the overhang of your plywood sheets and use a pencil to mark an outline of the bookshelf on the undersides of the panels. Then remove the sheets of plywood and cut eight 2″ pieces of velcro. Adhere the velcro to the top edges of your bookcase in eight equally spread out locations and then peel off the sticky backs. Finally, replace the plywood sheets ever so carefully and press down so that they stick.
After your velcro is all set, flip up the wooden panels fill up your new storage bed with items you want to store.
Place your mattress on top and then cover with your sheets and bedding. And there you have it! Your new homemade storage bed is complete – and for the fraction of the price of a designer version.