Bunking up: the best way to make space in a kids’ bedroom

Built-in and hidden storage will store a multitude of stuff and leave room to play

Custom-made bunks generally make a room look much neater and give ample opportunity to build in plenty of storage

Kids accumulate an unearthly amount of stuff in their bedrooms from toys to sports gear, books to games – and that’s before you factor in clothes, shoes and all their other paraphernalia.

Trying to create an organised bedroom that doubled up as a playroom for two brothers aged six and eight was the brief Arlene McIntyre and her team at Ventura Design received and a challenge many parents can relate to.

“The size of the room was tight so we really wanted to ensure we struck the right balance between much-needed storage and, most importantly, enough room for the boys to play in. We built a bunk bed with the top bunk as a single bed and a double mattress on the lower level, which allows the boys to have sleepovers with friends or to double up as a hangout sofa space.

Arlene McIntyre

“Bunk beds are really popular, and there are lots of great flat-pack options out there, but when you’re dealing with small spaces, calling in a carpenter to custom-build bunks that fit neatly into the dimensions of the wall height and hollows generally makes the room look much neater,” she adds.


“Better yet, you can add in lots of hidden storage to your design, using all of the space under the steps up to the top bunk, under the bottom bunk and build in shelves along the sides, too. This bunk bed was a bespoke creation, crafted in our own workshop and cost around €1,200 to build and have hand painted.”

Bench mark

For additional storage she had the carpenter create bench seating under the window where clothes, toys or books could easily be kept out of the way but were easy to access when needed. They were also asked to create a little desk area and used a simple small-scale flat-pack kit, which slotted in nicely under the slant of the roof.

When choosing colour scheme and fabrics, McIntrye’s golden rule for kids’ rooms “is to always reach for durable, hard-wearing brushed cottons that are easy to pop in the washing machine time and time again. I also love using bright, happy colours in children’s rooms, and as it was a boys’ room we went with Americana tones in red and blues. Fun classic colour combinations are always a good bet, and carry young children well into their teens in terms of tones,” says McIntrye.

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