I’m a stickler for storage. You can never have enough places to put your STUFF (vulgar language warning)! I love lots of closet space, shelves, drawers and cupboards. I’m not a hoarder, so much as my wife may argue, but I love to functionally use all the space at my disposal. Given the choice, I’d have five changes of semi-formal clothes, two changes of work-clothes and one fine suit. That’s all I need, and that’s all I want in that category. Now books, gadgets, tools, etc are another story entirely, but insofar as my bed project, I think I’ve used the available space for clothing storage very successfully, as well as a modular fashion that should fit any bed placement! Allow me to show you…This drawing is designed for an 8″ (~200mm) high queen-size mattress and equal-sized box spring. The whole frame is made out of 2×4 lumber, 2×6 lumber and 4×4’s for the legs. The drawers are highly optional so far as they are not too big. I’d advise they be built with simple casters so that they can slide smoothly in and out from beneath the frame without having to contend with directionality. I wouldn’t want to have to steer one of these while full of woolen sweaters. Seen in this drawing are 3 sets of drawers, built in pairs, though ther is a great deal of flexibility here. You can only really have 4 out of the six in there (2 on each side would occupy the same space as pair at the foot of the bed, but installing those would take the space of one drawer on the left-and-right, and so on). This ought to give the freedom to place them where you like however the bed is oriented. Placement in the centre of the room would allow the most flexibility, where putting it in one corner makes drawer placement obvious. This is a simple bed, and the dimensions are as follows: the outer (grey) frame has two 6’11” (~2100mm) boards 5.5″ (~140mm) wide, and two 5′ (~1500mm) boards also 5.5″ (~140mm) wide. Attached to these, level with the bottom, form a lip upon which the bed can rest. To build this shorter 3.5″ (~90mm) frame you will require six 4’9″ (~1450mm) boards and two 6’8″ (~2000mm) boards. All 3.5″ (~90mm) by 3.5″ (~90mm) square boards are 1’4″ (~400mm) which will allow a maximum clearance of exactly 1′ (~300mm).
The left and right drawers have a maximum height of 1′ (~300mm) from the bottom of the wheels to the top of the walls, and a maxiumum depth of 2’5″ (~725mm), and a width of 2’9″ (~825mm), and this so it will fit between the two legs on the side. The foot drawers offer a maximum clearance (for both drawers combined) of 4’2″ (~1270mm) and a depth of 3’1″ (~925mm) to reach the middle legs. Given the outer clearance measurements, the wall thicknesses can be played with a little, and is subject to some doodling and calculations to ensure everything will fit. This is meant for a source of inspiration more than a set of plans; though I could offer detailed plan drawings, too, if people are interested.
The addition of extra features is also limited only by your own creativity. You can build a simple 4-poster or canopy bed by extending the side rails, and adding appropriately tall corner posts. The top beams are mitred to 45 and set in place using joinery of your choice.
Speaking of joinery, this particular unit presents a unique challenge that I found tantalizing. All the boards here are construction-grade lumber dimensions (doesn’t mean you require D-grade spruce for the work, but the dimensions are easily attainable). This is a golden opportunity to dry some dowel work! Bore 1/2″ (12.5mm) holes, for example, in all the butted ends, in ALL the joints where it’s possible and convenient during assembly. This entire bed can be built without using a single screw. Just bore a hole, hammer in an appropriately-sized dowel with glue in the hole on all surfaces first, and pound it in. Once it dries, you’ll have a wicked-strong bed that will never squeak, creak or groan. This solution is painfully permanent, so the construction of such a bed in an apartment may not be wise. It is, however, possible to dowel-joint certain sections and use heavy bolts in others to give you a margin of disassembly. The choice is yours. Like all my articles, please take from it what you like and make it your own, be creative, it’s the greatest strength of woodworking craftmanship and design.