Loft Beds

Written by Serena Berger
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Loft beds are one of the best space-saving ideas for people who are trying to make the most of a small bedroom. Frequently, however, people associate loft beds with furnishing on a budget. They make the assumption then that they are going to be sacrificing beauty for function--but that is far from a necessary result of lofting your bed.

The idea of a loft is that the bed is raised on a frame, rather like the top bunk of a bunk bed. But instead of having another bed on the bottom, you have the space free for whatever else you want. Some people will put a love seat under their bed. Others will put a work desk, a dresser, or shelves.

Loft Bed Styles

The style of loft bed that you get is likely to depend on the height of the ceiling and the size of the room. If the ceiling is relatively low, chances are your loft will simply be for sleeping, as there won't be enough clearance above the loft to stand or even sit. You can get a loft which is just the size of the bed so that the loft itself does not dominate the room spatially, but you still save the space. You can also get a lower loft bed with less space underneath (though still enough for storage, at least), but more clearance above.

If you have a higher ceiling and larger space, you have more flexibility in using a loft for design. You might be able to get enough clearance to put a beanbag chair or some cushions on the loft and use it for resting, relaxing, reading, or even lounging and watching TV with a guest. You may be able to effectively create a lofted lounge space or study area in addition to the space you have on your ground level.

There is no doubt that lofts are most common in children's rooms and dorm rooms. Dorm rooms are simply not big enough for everything that students want to bring with them to school, and as colleges try to make more money by admitting more students, overcrowding in dorm rooms has reached an almost absurd level. Some dorms are providing loft beds, but many do not. A relatively small expenditure on a loft bed can improve the quality of a student's living space significantly for the whole year.

Loft Beds for Children

When younger children have to share a bedroom, some parents will get a bunk bed to save space. The biggest downside to that is that children often quarrel over the top bunk. If you get two loft beds, you save the same amount of space since the area under each loft bed is still usable, and both children effectively get a top bunk.

There are lots of ways to personalize a loft bed. You can get the bed itself customized, if you want to wait for it to be made to your exact specifications. Such specifications might include the ideal height and width for your space, as well as the specific materials and design ideas. Or you can take a ready-made loft bed and dress it up to suit your taste and design scheme.

For example, the structure of a loft bed makes it ideal for hanging fabric or draperies. You can also hang pictures or artwork from the bed's frame, or use it in a straightforward utilitarian way to hang your robe, coat, or hats. You can create a small private enclave within draperies hung around the bed, and have a comfy chair in there to curl up on while you listen to music or do something private, even within a shared room.

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