Since my nephew was two and a half years old, the whole family started to call the second bedroom “Matija’s room”. And he liked it straight away. He called it “my big room” – which is quite funny ’cause it’s literally the smallest room in their home.
Which affected the design process.
We all know how important it is to design small spaces to little details, making it as functional as possible. But to design something functional, yet interesting to a little boy, is extra challenging.
When designing a small space, Tina and I think that “one large, multifunctional piece of furniture” concept often works the best. And this being a bedroom, naturally led me to the idea of a multifunctional bed.
You see, I fell in love with Montessori beds long ago – my sister agreed, and chose a house-like bed for Matija.
It is really not just a bed. It’s a playground above a big storage space, designed to grow with a child – it is planned for a smaller mattress to be placed in the bed for now, with a board (that can easily be opened anytime) platform covering the space where the mattress will extend as the boy grows. The platform is elevated play area in the room, connected to a small niche which is a perfect little reading nook. Or a hiding space. Or a space ship for that matter, there’s no end to kid’s imagination.
I imagined it made out of plywood. But it was basically impossible to find a craftsman willing to produce plywood house-bed, regardless of the budget. This frustration prolonged renovation for quite some time. Not sure if you noticed, but we’re quite obsessed with materials over here.
And just around that time, it was about a year ago, my sister found out she was pregnant for the second time and we all realized how important it is for my nephew to get his little big room.
So, we decided to do it ourselves. Well okay, we decided that my dad will do all the hard work – I just adjusted the design to make it little easier for him. I also chose spruce wood as an alternative material.It turned out Grandpa works super fast when it’s for Matija. And it turned out Matija loves his bed as much as he loves telling the story about how Pepa designed it and dida (grandpa) made it.
While the main part is done, the bed still isn’t finished. The bookshelves in a niche are to be installed, as well as shelves for his favourite Legos – Trofast storage from Ikea is simply not enough.
What I find interesting, is the fact the transition from parents’ room to his own room went really smooth. Could it be because he enjoys this room so much? I’m not sure but I like to think that’s the reason. Because we really believe kids appreciate their space being designed just for them, to reflect their interests and their taste. When you think about it, kids are just like adults – only cooler, smarter and funnier.
photos: © upgradesign