Beach House Essential: Bunk Beds
When you need to sleep a crowd, there's nothing more efficient than bunk beds. Here are ten ideas to take your bunk room from campy to cool.
Hang It Up
An oddly positioned closet made furnishing this North Carolina children's room a challenge. So designers Lili O'Brien and Leigh Anne Muse installed four hanging bunks (made of teak, suspended from the ceiling with cable, and bolted to the wall for extra security) that fit perfectly into the unusual space while still providing room for play. The kids access the top bunks via a simple painted hardware store ladder.
Create Bunk-like Beds
Bunk-like built-in beds require less space so you can sleep extra long guests. The more the merrier! Walls between each bed provide privacy, while porthole windows are perfect for sharing secrets after lights out. Drawers and shelf space below provide storage for each bunk.
This Manhattan family usually decamps to their Jersey Shore house from June to September, making a well-appointed space for children a must. Built-in bunks have rails suitable for the younger members of the family, and the coral, pink, and chartreuse color scheme is lively enough for all ages.
On a Roll
A spacious Gulf-front house in Seaside, Florida is a favorite destination for an extended Louisiana family, and this fun and practical bunk room helps accomodate the younger generation. The designer pulled the sand- and ocean-tones from the rest of the home's interiors into the space, but kept it young with bedding from Serena & Lily. Library-style rolling ladders reach the top bunks with ease.
Yard Sail Chic
Vintage nautical flags found at a yard sale added supercharged color to this boys' bunk room in Amagansett, Long Island. The free-standing bunks and red, white, and blue color scheme perfectly suit the family, which designer Jarlath Mellett describes as "cheerful, sporty, and chic."
A clever addition to this 1920s Nantucket cottage—which included this multi-purpose bunk and hang-out room—brought the home's sleeping capacity to 20. The deep bunks and ship lap-covered walls reference sleeping quarters you might find at sea, while the punchy duvet cover and bright pillow recall the lush landscape outside.
Embrace an Unusual Space
In our 2012 Ultimate Beach House, an angled ceiling ruled out traditional second-level sleeping in the girls' bunk, so two lanes of twin beds embrace the room's horizontal space. Solid custom-crafted beds have simple design details, making them perfect canvases for a pop of bright color, like Pratt & Lambert's Hedgerow Mist. Caged lights and a wallpapered starry sky give the girls' bunk and fun and feminine summer camp vibe.
In the boys' bunk room in our 2012 Ultimate Beach House, each bunk has a privacy curtain and a sconce controlled by an individual switch so kids can stay up and read or snooze as they please. The top bunks' safety rails double as tracks for ladders that slide along the beds. The gray-beige color scheme is equally suited to a rowdy group of boys or an adult looking for a quiet getaway.
This modern update on the classic bunk bed style is more sculptural, yet sturdy and compact with plenty of room for sleepovers.
White paint can cover a multitude of sins, especially in a well-loved beach cottage. Designer Tim Clarke kept the background light to let the California beach views shine in this bungalow. They are also an ideal palette for a bright accent, like this punchy pink.