Saturday, September 15, 2012

KURA-lura, or HOW TO have a faux four poster or Dutch bed in a low ceilinged room ; search "kura". Ikea hackers can be an interesting website to peruse - some of the hacks are unimaginative, and others took some serious thought and effort to plan and execute. Kura, the subject of my lackluster hack, is no exception. A lot of parents have gone great lengths to turn this puppy into something epic-ly fun for their children, others have gone a simpler route and spray painted it and used spray adhesive to transform the electric blue sides with wallpaper. Which I may yet do...

I don't have kids. I do have tiny studio apartment with a really low ceiling [less than 8"] and limited storage space. A traditional loft bed for me was not an option, and neither was the curtained four poster bed I was romanticizing, either. I spent long hours looking for beds on Craig's list, stumbling around the internet and Pinterest researching bunk beds and lofts, before a friend mentioned that they had this KURA in their attic, and it was free for the taking if I wanted it. I love the word "free"

At the end of this post is a list of almost all materials utilized for this project. Bear in mind this has been a work in progress for almost a year.

Yes, this is a toddler bed, technically, at least, in this exhibit A state. I think when it's flipped the other way, with a thin mattress, IKEA is figuring that a young child, maybe max age of 7 or 8 would sleep in this bed on top [for safety reasons], and a younger sibling on a thin mattress could feasibly sleep below, though there is nothing to purchase from IKEA that would be a base for the second mattress that would turn this into bunk beds. Something like a captain's bed base with drawers or you know, something that is cleaver in that "minimalist, maximize space" IKEA way that would pack flat and could also be used as a separate unit from the KURA. Digressing. Sorry.

As a creative person, I have a lot of stuff, and as mentioned, I have pretty small apartment for a crafty person. This is a tough little loft. It belonged to another family before the one I got it from; 4 kids total, all under the age of ten in the last 8 years. But it was FREE [perk #1], and since the age demographic this bed was made for has certain safety considerations that must legally be taken into consideration, it's short [perk #2]. Did I mention that at just under 5'5" I can touch the ceiling of my apartment with my outstretched arm? No tiptoes involved. A regular, adult sized loft was not an option, unless I wanted a nosebleed or concussion after waking suddenly in the night.

Nothing about the KURA bed has changed; I didn't add anything, I haven't taken anything off. So this isn't a hack as much as it is a cover up. I wanted to cover up the bed for sleep hygene reasons; the curtains help darken the sleeping area, and create a sense of separate space from the rest of the room, which makes the brain think "this area is for sleeping, and sleeping only". In a studio apartment where you can't take your computer or sewing machine out of your bedroom/diningroom/livingroom, this is important. Part of the curtain thing was always wanting to have a canopy bed. So I was trying to fufil some long repressed desire held over from childhood.

Also, I wanted to hide the bed. Something about having it out in the open. I don't know. I thought it sounded weird with people over. "Here's the desk, there's the couch, yep there's my bed..." sort of sounded like I was still living with my parents. 

So here is what I did... I flipped exhibit A upside down, so the long blue section was on the top.
The bed is constructed such that you can loft it as you please. There is no room on the top of this bed for a box spring plus a real mattress, so the box spring went below. Also, when we put it together, we flipped the blue panels to face inside [because I hate electric blue]. And I bought a stool [from IKEA!] to get in and out of bed, since that ladder on the side was just not going to cut it. Also, as you can see, I have a cat, a very social cat, and The Lyd does not like to be left out. Of anything. There is an Eastlake dresser beside the bed that she can hop down onto, and then she uses the steps.

How, then to hang the curtains? The bed is in a corner, and initially I wanted curtains on the two remaining sides, so I tried a cable curtain rod pulled through a ceiling mounted bracket on a 90 degree angle. This didn't work out so well - I couldn't get the proper tension on the cable, so the cable sagged and pulled the bracket out of the ceiling. So I took the cable down and I trotted back over to the hardware store and purchased a second ceiling mount bracket for hanging a curtain rod, which are clearly meant for a much thicker curtain rod than a bamboo pole.

Then I hung the curtains. White was the obvious choice since it goes with everything, and would be easiest to pick up at the store, thrift shop, sale aisle, et cetera. I did screw two cup hooks, one on either end of the bed for a curtain tie back, to hold the curtains back if I was in such a mood. I have 4 crushed voile pannes, plus a white textured sample panel. I've since removed the pink panels, which clashed with the green paint, and instead put up two dark green panels on the ends which came with the apartment and compliment the color scheme, for a total of 7 panels in all.

The only thing left to do was hide the under the bed bit. Storage is at a premium in this place, and since no one uses the box spring regularly, I store things below. A tension rod with 4 panels sufficiently covers the space. If this were a hack for a child, I would have purchased closet railing hardware and secured a rod to the bed, because every time I go on a fishing expedition for something, the rod falls down on me, so I've learned to remove it. Otherwise, the pressure rod is sufficient for keeping the below deck hidden


One last detail... if I'm sleeping 'upstairs', what did I do for a headboard? There's a bookshelf, not from IKEA, at one end of the bed, pushed against the end. It's solid, and serves the purpose of keeping the pillows propped up.

Materials List
Total cost of materials  for this project:

BEKVÄM step stool, IKEA, $14.99
2 ceiling mount curtain rod bracket hardware, Home Depot, $20
5/8" spring tension rod, 48"-75", Wal-Mart, $6.97
 4 cafe curtains + 4 valances (used in apartment elsewhere), garage sale, $4 for all
2 Canopy crushed voile curtain, Walmart, [clearance] $4 total
Room Essentials Crushed Voil pannels, yard sale, $2 total
2 Waverly green curtain tiebacks, Joann Fabric's [super clearance], $1
bamboo pole, mom and dad's garden, free
KURA bed from IKEA, friend's attic [aparently also very easy to find on Craig's List] free
2 green curtain panels, came with apartment, free
that brings the total cost for materials to $52.97.

The blue duvet and sham was picked up on clearance from Target; part of the Shabby- Chic line, for $24. The throw pillow is covered with an old button down shirt from my closet that I wasn't wearing any more that just happened to match the flowers. The shelf with the books is an old orphaned drawer that I picked out of the garage of my last residence before we moved. I sanded it, primed and painted it and nailed a hanging bracket under the lip of the drawer front. 

1 comment:

smkyqtzxtl said...

Your bed set up reminds me of the princess and the pea.