Welcome back to our shared boys bedroom makeover for the One Room Challenge! Last week I talked about our plan for the room, which involves building a loft bed, making large steps with storage drawers, and combining it all with a bed we already have. The goal is to make an entire wall of custom built in beds with lots of storage, as well as a reclaimed wood desk area for our sons.

Shared boys bedroom makeover

If you’re looking to make some custom built ins for your own home, I’m sure you can learn something here. You might not have the same room dimensions as we do, but the general process will be the same.This week I’m going to show you how we built the storage boxes, and I hope you can learn something about how to make your own.one room challenge guest participantWeek 1: The Plan

*The Home Depot Canada provided me with products to complete this project, but I only talk about products and brands I use and love*

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Remove wall trim

The first thing I did was remove the trim in the areas that the bed is going. I wanted the bed and drawers to be flush with the wall to give it a seamless look.

building a loft bed built in beds

See how nicely it fits in there? Tony also cut off an inch from the bottom of the bed, and a piece off each side so that it would all be flush flush with the wall and the other cabinet.

built in beds

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Cut pieces for the built in beds

The bottom storage cabinet I designed to be about 24 inches wide, and 31 inches deep. This way the drawer front would be the exact same size as the drawers on the green bed. Tony cut the gables and the support pieces for the cabinets out of mdf.

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Put the cabinets together

I built a total of 4 cabinets by gluing and nailing all the support pieces to the gables. Then I used a biscuit joiner to attach the bottom box to the existing bed, making sure everything was level.

built in storage drawers for built in beds

This was my first time ever using a biscuit joiner, and I chose the most conspicuous spot to do my first joint. I totally messed it up, as you can see in the picture below. A biscuit joiner is really not a hard tool to use, you just have to make sure that you hold it flat against your material. The beauty of mdf though is that you can fix any mistakes with some drywall mud and paint, as you will see next week.

building storage steps

The second box I built in a similar way, but about 9 inches shallower. To install the next cabinet I again used the biscuit joiner, doing two joints on each gable. Use lots of glue in the holes and along the edge of the gable.

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Once I had the two boxes joined together along the gables, I also screwed them into the stud in the wall.

building storage drawers for built in beds

The third box I haven’t installed yet. The desktop will go on top of the second box and act as the step, so we’ll need to finish that first before we can finish off the last cabinet.

built in storage drawers and loft bed shared boys bedroom built in beds

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And also what you don’t see here is a drawer box cabinet that I built for the right side of the desk (I built it wrong the first time and didn’t feel like it deserved a picture). Oh and I also found a flaw in my design plan – that drawer box is right in front of an electrical outlet, so Tony has to move that first before we can finish with the cabinets.

Still to do

  • Mud and sand all the joints in the cabinets, prime and paint the bed
  • Paint trim and doors
  • Move the electrical outlet and install a wall sconce
  • Touch up the walls with drywall mud
  • Repaint the room
  • Build drawer boxes
  • Install drawer slides and drawer boxes
  • Find cabinet hardware for the bed
  • Finish the desk top (if you saw my post on Instagram, Tony and I had a slight disagreement about what color to stain the desk. We compromised, because we’re experts at this marriage thing (ha!), and decided on a very light weathered oak stain)
  • Make a platform for the loft bed.
  • Make railings for the bed
  • Refinish a dresser
  • Find a window treatment

wood desk top

Be sure to check out some of the other One Room Challenge room makeovers here

12 thoughts on “Making cabinets for built in beds: One Room Challenge Week 2”

  1. That is really coming together! I think you did great for your first time using a biscuit joiner…we learn by doing! I laid bathroom tile for the first time in life this weekend. We can do this! I can’t wait to see your progress next week.

  2. This is going to be such a special bed since everything was built by you. Love the idea of cabinets in built-in beds! Can’t wait to see how this turns out. Good luck!

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