Sunday, September 14, 2014

Playroom #18

So uh, how do you get up in those awesome beds?  I wanted something safe (ish), no ladders to be climbing up and down.  And I wanted more storage.  So together Andrew and I brainstormed these stairs.  Our neighbor Sven, who is an expert cabinet builder and handyman, helped draw up some plans and gave Andrew a few carpentry tips.  Then, Andrew made them happen.  I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves, explain a few things along the way, and share some of our logic and the special features at the end.
First two steps
Third step added

Framed stairs pushed back in and being tested by some preschoolers.  And I have no recollection of why I was holding Elena up like that.  Lion King?
They made it

Stairs pushed back into place, with the lids cut and in place
From the side
The side view, completely finished and put to use.  Well, not completely finished.  I'd like to find more baskets (like the red/blue ones) that fit well in all the spaces.

With the very top box, added, the lids attached, and up
Lids down

And the far back view.  This last picture also shows the second bed siding up, and the half railing we added to both beds, and everything is sanded and smooth. 
A few points:
1:  The stairs didn't end up exactly how we designed, but it's close enough that we don't care.  All three big steps were supposed to be the same height, but somehow our math was off.  Doesn't effect functionality at all.
2:  The stairs are huge on purpose.  I can step up them, but it's a stretch.  We wanted kids to have to climb up.  And for them to be too big for a little one to make it up the first step until they have had experience with other stairs.
3:  We added a half rail to the end of each bed so that when you slide from the mattress to the first stair, your feet will have to hit a box and not dangle.
4:  From each side of the stairs there is open storage (about a foot deep) for clothes and toys.  In the middle the lids lift up to provide more storage.  The storage in the back step was going to be too deep too access easily so Andrew added a shelf inside (to make it shallower) and now you access the very bottom part from the sides.  We keep a white noise fan (on a remote) and our suitcases under there, so we don't need to access it often.
5:  Andrew routed the corners so they aren't rough, and then sanded all the edges so it feels nice and smooth.  He also sanded all the rough spots on the beds so there are no sharp corners while you are sliding up and down.
6:  The bottom stair is the perfect bench height for sitting and hanging out on.  For adults.
7:  We decided to leave the wood unfinished for now, while it still looks pretty.  Eventually it will wear and look grimy and then we will paint it a bright white to match the trim.

I think that's all...any questions?

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