(with apologies to any non-Austrian readers for the utterly untranslatable title...)
Today we turned this:
and here's the story.
This is very definitely not a new or original idea, there's lots of "prior art" shown on ikeahackers.net and elsewhere, for example this one or this one or this one. But Conny and I had so much fun (and liked the result so much) that I prepared this here writeup.
The old bed was a cheapie Ikea unit, about ten years old by now - and not bad per se but too low: just high enough to make cleaning underneath annoying while not being high enough to make the space really useful.
So we bought two Expedit shelves ($89 each), two drawer units ($45 or so each), four plexi boxes ($15 each), and four of the ridiculously cheap lack tables ($9.99) and started hacking.
Expedits are pretty boring when upright.
Our obvious intention was to recycle as much of the old bed as possible; after all solid wood is pretty hard to beat for anything structural...
The plan was to reuse the old frame rails as just that, but narrowed and nestled inbetween the Expedits. The slats came in halves originally, and a quick check showed a perfect fit: Expedits plus half slats plus frame rails gives precisely 160cm width. Me happy.
Then we rebuilt the frame, using wood from the head piece cut to size as cross members.
The frame was flipped upside down, the slats laid into the slight groove on the new top side, and the whole kludge set between the shelves so that the top of the slats is level with the shelves.
We cut up some leftover slats to make extra support legs. I'm no heavyweight but I do like a properly sturdy bed.
The Expedit shelves are too short for a bed (at 185cm), but that's no problem when you reuse existing frame rails: we simple used the old head and foot boards as extensions, got the router out and slotted them so as to fit onto the frame and level with the slats and Expedits. The last two photos are a bit misleading: it looks as if the slats are raised above the shelf surface but they aren't.
For the new head board I planned to use three Lack tables, straight and side by side. Which is admittedly very boring. But luckily Conny had some much better (and more adventurous) ideas and I did listen: one can cut even the cheap hollow Lack legs with a circular saw and reassemble them into something nice if one is a little careful. After we decided on a design we simply assembled the Lack tables into a triple pack and fixed that to the extension board with long screws.
Then we attached the last Lack as a side table (after cutting down the legs by 11mm to level everything), populated the Expedits and hey presto! it's a bed!
I'm especially happy with the way I managed to repurpose the surplus shelf-to-wall fixing brackets as bases for the cheap Kvart lamps ($10 each).
And here's the final result. We hope you find it inspirational!