Mountain House Update: The Kids’ Bunk Room & A Genius Wall-to-Wall Carpet Hack
Progress has been made on the “bunk” room in the mountain house. Reveals are about to begin (TOMORROW!!) but don’t think you can just show up tomorrow without the back story of this room (above photo is just another progress, OBVIOUSLY). It would be like reading the fourth Harry Potter book without having ever touched the first three. You need the tale of woes and heartfelt plight in order to root for the room. Also how else are you going to learn about Brian and my second biggest “mountain house design debate” right behind the wood ceiling? One must read on…
The kids’ room started out as the “master,” below.
It was a big room, with the largest closet ever, no windows and a finished attic above it only accessible by a pull-down terrifying ladder in the hallway. We had to completely reconfigure the space, moved both doorways, got rid of fireplaces, added stairs, added windows, squared off all the corners, replaced the carpet…geez, I’m only now realizing how much work it was.
I think it’s important to note that this is my first foray into wall-to-wall—the jeggings of flooring. Oh, folks. When you find the right wall-to-wall carpet (and then put 2″ memory foam underneath it) it’s like discovering that “pajama-level-comfortable” outfit that you can actually wear to your corporate job. You feel like maybe you just created the genius hack that no one else has ever thought of.
The house had all wall-to-wall carpet apart from the kitchen and some baths, and frankly, it was WONDERFUL. Once you experience that carpet comfort, it’s hard to go back to cold. hard. wood. So we chose to do carpet in the kids’ and upstairs guest rooms and then in our room, we have the biggest, thickest rug ever that I’m obsessed with. But the main rooms, living areas and hallways are all hardwood.
But the “debate” didn’t stop just on a “yes” or “no” to do carpet in the bedrooms. As you can imagine, the best carpets that fit our casual-mountain-Scandi vibe were low pile and more simple and expensive. We didn’t want a beige poly plush for this house (although we used builder grade in last week’s secret room reveal and it’s great). No. For my intro into wall-to-wall and for this house, I wanted something special that made my heart respond with a happy beat. I wanted low pile and sophisticated, Brian wanted our children to be able to walk on what felt like a heavenly cloud made of whipped cream and feathers.
You’ll see more tomorrow, but we decided on Stark’s Treemont Stria in the indigo finish and put a 2″ memory foam pad underneath it. The result is indeed HEAVENLY. The memory foam does double the cost of the pad (and make sure your doors have clearance for it), but it’s basically like giving them a padded room, but it looks all sophisticated with nary a ’70s shag vibe.
This room had no natural light and that’s unacceptable. So when we went to put them in, we had to place them awkwardly due to the roofline of the kitchen below. So as you can see, we have two high small ones, with two lower bigger ones (sharing the same header height to help it look a little more intentional). These windows are casement with window locks, and to be placed between load-bearing studs, so while it was a bit tricky, I’m so glad we did.
Well, one of the reasons this is the kids’ room (without a bathroom) and not just a guest room is the attic playroom upstairs. We had this fantasy that this would be where they sleep and upstairs is where they could feel like they had a kid headquarters. So we built these stairs where the closet was, with the intent of the underneath nook to be storage for them (not done yet, don’t get too excited about that).
Do you remember when this was our intent? Do a big fancy built-in bunk room wall like you see all over Pinterest? Well, we got them a bunk bed for our LA house (after they begged to share a room) and well, it didn’t go well. It was six nights of hell, with both of them up 4-5 times each night because they just felt uncomfortable—Charlie up high and Birdie down on the bottom. Granted, we bought an inexpensive IKEA one that isn’t that big, so that could be it, but regardless, it just made us realize that we are spending real money on a huge built-in bunk bed that our kids might not actually want or need. And when we have more kids up here, we can always just roll out some mats because the 2″ memory foam is certainly comfy enough.
Plus, we were done spending money and this was going to be part of “stage 2” both for money and time. And then when we did our survey with you guys and you said that you wanted more approachable ideas and more of a “make it work” attitude, I was SO RELIEVED. I thought the world wanted fancy built-ins (and according to Pinterest, we do). Sure, there were hours upon hours of wasted design and rendering time, but it’s a sunk cost and we have since moved forward with a make-it-work plan. Besides, we can always do this plan. We have the renderings done, and in a few years, we’ll have a better grasp if the twin over full thing is really what we want in life. It feels so good AND FREE to push off some major life decisions.
The Awkward Half Wall That We Need Access To.
But we still had some challenges. BIG challenges. The plumbing to my precious steam shower and micro-bubble bathtub is housed in this room —it’s a long story. So that long white box you see up there has to be removable or accessible, it has to have some air vents, and it would be nice it if muffled the sound a bit in case I want to micro-bubble after the kids go down (prime micro-bubbling time).
Plus, both kids want to sleep near the ground. What you can barely see up there is that Charlie actually loves to sleep in between the two beds, on two couch cushions. As an “internet famous” interior designer, you can imagine how proud I am of his design choice. This is the same at our LA house. Two low twin beds, with a couch cushion in between. It’s because they want to be close. I’m just like “why can’t they share a big king bed??” It would certainly make all our family reading sessions easier…
We originally had our electrician put in the J-boxes for all four bunks, but now that we are temporarily nixing it, we still wanted to utilize the bottom two, despite them being far apart (they were meant to be the power source for sconces at the heads of the bunks). So that’s a challenge.
So we had to come up with a design plan that addressed all of these trying bits. As a quick recap, all those challenges were:
- An unmovable big box full of plumbing that we need access to (AKA we can’t just drywall it or even make it a full height wall).
- Oddly placed and sized windows.
- The fact that our kids like low-to-the-ground beds…
It doesn’t seem like that should be much of a challenge, but trying to make two short beds look cool isn’t that easy.
Wanna know what we did? COME BACK TOMORROW.
But here’s a sneak peek…