Updates to the Sleeping Loft + What’s Next

A cozy kids

check sheets | quilt | sherpa floor cushions | sconce | vintage rug (similar) | bookcase

Tree House’s best kept secret is, without a doubt, the sleeping loft. It’s tucked directly above the living room and accessed from a ladder that extends down from the ceiling (remember when we hooked it up to an electric winch?), and although the pitched ceiling is lower than standard height, an adult can still stand fully upright in the middle of the room – a huge bonus! I’ve mentioned this before, but during our initial house hunt, our realtor kept suggesting that we tour this home, and we kept saying, No, no, it’s too small. While the size was one of the big reasons we initially stayed away, it’s ironically one of the things we love most about the home now! So cozy. Just right. In any case, after several failed showings in neighboring homes, we caved, and she eagerly showed us what would soon become our Tree House.

In the first five minutes, we got that ‘feeling.’ The floors. The ceilings. The large master. The cute guest room. And then when we popped up to the loft, we said, Where do we sign?! Here’s how the sleeping loft looked soon after we closed:

A cozy kids

When we made an offer on our home, we worked those antique beds into the contract; worth it! We knew that the loft would be the sweetest little hideaway for Lucy, her cousins and friends, and as soon as we laid eyes on those beds, we could see it – sleepovers, late night secrets and morning pajama parties. With that in mind, our goal was always to make a kid-friendly space, but not overly kid-like, you know?

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A cozy kidsA cozy kids

vintage rug (similar) | sheets | linen duvet | sconce | artwork

We had so much fun picking out bedding for this space, because everything is cuter x 2! We teamed up with our longtime partners at Crate & Kids to smooth out the majority of the base layer: bedding, a large rug, lighting and a place to hide away books and games. We chose a wall-to-wall soft-for-kids’-knees wool rug in 9′ x 12′ and layered on a small vintage runner for between the beds. This bookcase was the perfect fit underneath the window (we love that we could add these doors) and we laid sherpa floor cushions (Lucy’s current favorite!) at the foot of each bed.

The navy check sheets have a touch of cabin-feel without being over the top, especially when paired with ticking stripe quilts. For the duvets, we ended up choosing these super soft washed linen covers from H&M, the same ones we put in the guest room and love (and every single guest has commented on!). The mattresses were swapped out for Leesas, and we may still add a trundle underneath one of them for extra sleeping – although we’ve been having trouble finding something low enough. Any suggestions? We only have 10″ of clearance!

A cozy kids

The loft is every bit as sweet as we hoped it would be, but we’re only considering this Round One. To this point, we wanted to get everything in place and comfortable, but up close, there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done. In last week’s vlog, we shared that we were getting quotes for paint, especially because the loft ceiling extends above the living room and would be difficult to access without scaffolding. Here’s a photo of the other side of the room from closing day:

A cozy kids

So while we think that the loft is the bees knees, there are certainly areas that need attention. Quite a bit of attention, actually! The faux beams are just poorly stained trim over beadboard panels, which is an awesome idea in theory – if executed well. Sadly, there are nail pops, rough patchwork and split seams all over the ceiling. It’s rough. Like, really rough. We also think that the vertical beams are a bit distracting, and after a lot of consideration, we’ve made the decision to paint the whole ceiling white, so as not to compete with the living room ceiling, which is the true star in our Tree House. (We also realize this may be slightly controversial, but I also promise you that these ceilings photograph better than they appear.) The junction boxes for the lighting were installed at an angle, and none of the window trim or baseboards were caulked or spackled. Here’s a breakdown of what’s still on the loft checklist:

To Do

Repair the walls, ceiling and trim
• Paint the walls, ceiling and window frame
• Address the junction boxes and install ceiling lights

Wish List

• Wallpaper the window wall as a soft accent
• Replace the railing with something more modern?
• Add a matching rail to the loft ladder

We are hiring out the painting and repair of the walls, ceiling and window, which will be completed by the end of the year! The rail replacement may or may not happen – we really like the idea of playing with traditional versus modern, but we’d like to talk with our local metal fabricator to see what he thinks. Aside from the painting, everything else will roll out into the new year, and we are bursting to watch the loft’s full potential begin to really, really shine.

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  • Alison King - December 10, 2018 - 5:58 AM

    Looks great. I’d love to hear if you had any safety concerns and how you addressed them.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 10, 2018 - 8:03 AM

      We are SUPER cautious when using the loft, and every time we’re up there, we’re brainstorming ways to make it safer. For starters, it’s definitely going to be supervised for younger kids (an adult will need to be up there with them until they’re a little older). But one of the biggest things we’d like to incorporate is a safety gate/rail if we update the current rail. Maybe something that slides out and can latch? Also, the spacing between the current rail is a little too wide for our liking – another reason to swap it out completely.ReplyCancel

      • Susannah - December 13, 2018 - 1:40 PM

        I built a very simple winging gate/door at the bottom of our wonky old farmhouse stairs to keep my marvelously exploring daughter from going up… since our newel post is round a tension gate wouldn’t work and the non-tension ones all seemed like a super hassle to do and undo (plus: ugly). I used lift off hinges so I can take it off and on when we have parties and the closure is just a rope that runs around our newel post and attaches with a carabiner that loops onto a hook on the back of the gate. My daughter will be 2 in February and can’t reach around/figure out how to unlatch it (if/when she can she’ll either be old enough to also master the stairs solo OR I could switch from a hook to an eye on the back)… you could even mount it on the wall to the right of the post on the closer rail and have it latch around that closer rail, cutting off the landing and it would be flat against the wall when not in use. My gate is white but I painted the front with chalkboard paint and my daughter LOVES to draw on it (chalk lives in an anchovy can screwed to the front). Lots of super random details here but golly I’d love to see y’all build a gate (and it would be a billion times better looking than mine/any other DIY out there!).ReplyCancel

        • Kim - December 13, 2018 - 3:45 PM

          Wow, that sounds so nice, Susannah! Do you have a link to a photo at all? Thank you for the feedback!ReplyCancel

          • Susannah - December 17, 2018 - 11:14 AM

            No photos to link to (it is not nearly photogenic enough to put on the internet, I think! Such is the nature of projects-in-babeland like it’s UP and FUNCTIONAL even if I didn’t have time to woodfill the screw holes during nap time!), but I’ll email you a few quick photos in case they might be helpful for your brilliant brainstorming.

          • Kim - December 18, 2018 - 9:36 AM

            You’re the best!

  • Ryan - December 10, 2018 - 7:57 AM

    So adorable! Love a sleeping loft! Can’t wait to see how everything looks once painted.

    What about just foregoing the trundle and just buying a twin sized air mattress? That way you could use it upstairs or downstairs depending on your sleeping needs at the time.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 10, 2018 - 8:00 AM

      We thought about that, too! It would fit perfectly between the beds. Or we could just have cousins bring up their sleeping bags, which I’m sure all the kids would love just as much! I’ve hunted far and wide, and I just don’t think a trundle that thin exists…ReplyCancel

  • CJ - December 10, 2018 - 12:39 PM

    It looks like the “Walker Edison Twin Roll out” trundle is 4 inches tall. That leaves you about 5 inches for a thin mattress. The Ikea Lycksele Lovas would be thin enough. That set up is sure to be less comfortable than the Leesas, but I think it probably is better than an air mattress.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 10, 2018 - 12:47 PM

      Oh, wow, you are the best! I kept running into issues with the mattress, but didn’t think of IKEA. Definitely looking into this, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • CarriePuff - December 10, 2018 - 1:05 PM

    This is so cute! I want to curl up in one of those beds with a book and a mug of tea and just laze the day away!

    What about something like this daybed cushion instead of the trundle? https://bit.ly/2B8AD7J It would tuck under the beds easily. I don’t think it would necessarily be comfy to an adult to sleep on, but kiddos seem to have the great ability to sleep on anything. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 10, 2018 - 4:03 PM

      Ooh, that’s another great idea! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • lak - December 10, 2018 - 3:05 PM

    That loft is the best!ReplyCancel

  • Sally - December 10, 2018 - 6:05 PM

    The trundle would surely be blocked from sliding out due to the position of the bookcase? Therefore would it be possible to be able to accommodate a slightly taller (admittedly marginally narrower) one that would be accessed by rolling it out from the foot of the bed which seems to give slightly better clearance?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 10, 2018 - 6:49 PM

      Yup, no matter what, the trundle would probably out from the bottom, rather than the side. I would think that the wheels would work either way, right? If not, then maybe we’re thinking about this all wrong, haha!ReplyCancel

      • martina - December 10, 2018 - 11:21 PM

        We used to have a trundle and the wheels were fixed in one direction (side rolling). This prevented it from rolling all over the place as you were trying to get it in and out. Maybe new ones allow for rolling out the foot of the bed, but you’ll definitely want to double check that.ReplyCancel

        • Kim - December 11, 2018 - 8:15 AM

          That’s such a good tip, thank you for chiming in! I wouldn’t have thought of that otherwise. Hmm…ReplyCancel

  • Margaret - December 10, 2018 - 9:21 PM

    I bet y’all could make a roll out platform pretty easily. Top with a foam mattress cut down to size.ReplyCancel

  • Jenna - December 11, 2018 - 12:06 PM

    Hi Kim! We have several mattresses from Brentwood Home and love them! They make a 6” kids mattress that would be perfect for a trundle! https://www.brentwoodhome.com/products/juniper?variant=30155182348ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - December 12, 2018 - 10:45 PM

    We thought about a trundle in our son’s room but eventually went with a lightweight foam mattress with a zip around futon cover. It’s super easy to slide out when needed and there was really no reason to have a pop up that a trundle can provide. We can slide the floor mattress out the bottom of the bed, too so this was a flexible and inexpensive option that works really well for us.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 13, 2018 - 3:42 PM

      You guys are giving us great ideas. Thank you so much for all your feedback!ReplyCancel

  • Taryn. - December 17, 2018 - 9:50 PM

    May I ask you when you have the ceilings painted what sheen will the paint be? We have a wood ceiling we want to paint, my husband thinks it should be flat like a ceiling usually is. I think it should have some type of sheen, maybe an eggshell or satin finish. The room is adorable!! Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 18, 2018 - 9:35 AM

      We agree with you! We’re going with a satin sheen. We have beadboard ceilings in other parts of the house, and they all got a satin sheen. It looks so beautiful!ReplyCancel

      • Taryn - December 25, 2018 - 9:43 PM

        Thank you!!ReplyCancel

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