Sunday, July 07, 2013

Lofty ideas

The Huffman girls complain about many things, and sharing a room is definitely at the top of the list.
It’s not like they have much choice. With two bedrooms for three girls, at our house it’s a mathematical certainty that someone’s going to have a roommate.
For the past 10 years, youngest and middle daughter have shared a room with bunk beds and matching dressers. In a 10-by-12 room, vertical living is almost a requirement. Their room has been rearranged more times than I can count. We’ve had bunk beds up, bunk beds down, bunk beds in one corner and bunk beds in another corner.
Walls have been painted pink, then yellow, then blue, then pink again. Stuffed animals, Barbies, 4-H ribbons and photos of Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson have come and gone. A bunch of other junk has come and not gone. Safe to say, there’s a whole lot of c-r-a-p in their room. But the bunk beds were key.
Over the past year, as one approached the end of middle school and the other the end of high school, the level of roommate complaints reached an all-time high. Someone was always squawking about her stuff being touched, moved or pilfered. Accusations about missing dollar bills, nail polish and iPhone earbuds were being flung about like the dirty laundry that covered the floor.
I started imagining ways to make one room work for two teenage girls. Should we turn a closet built into the eaves into a bedroom nook for the oldest? Divide the room in two with a wall? Hang a curtain or paint a stripe down the middle of the room? Move one into the garage? Ship one off to Grandma’s house for the next two years?
This called for a room makeover. I emailed April, a friend who just started her own interior redesign business. April lives with four kids in an even smaller house. If anyone knows how to squeeze kids into a room, it’s April. After a brainstorming session with the girls, April came up with a plan ... and it’s called “loft bed.”
A loft bed is essentially a big bunk bed, but with a much cooler name. The high school girl will have the loft and the middle school girl will have the bottom space. A larger dresser will be procured. Cute pillows, a new rug and new window treatments will be bought on the cheap. Much of this will be financed by the sale of the older dressers and bunk beds.
A “for sale” listing on a Napa garage sale Facebook group worked like a charm.
The dressers were gone in 24 hours and the bunks shortly after that. The family that bought the bunk beds has five kids, said the dad when he showed up to claim the furniture. These are perfect for us, he said, lugging the wooden beds down the stairs to his truck.
Great, I said. Call me in 10 years when you need a loft bed.

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