Walnut Platform Bed

  • Advertise with us
Project by Calmudgeon posted 03-18-2019 08:12 PM 813 views 5 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

First, let me explain that this project was never fully assembled until it was in situ, and since its final destination was a rather small bedroom, options for taking pictures were somewhat limited; hence, the peculiar camera angles.

My son and daughter-in-law live in a rather modest 50s bungalow with quite small bedrooms, so they asked me if I could build them a bed that included some storage (always in short supply, no matter the size of the house). So my challenge was to prioritize function without entirely sacrificing style. I’ll leave it for you folks to decide how I did on that front.

At its heart, this is not a sophisticated build. The primary storage comes from seven 21” x 25 ” x 14” (w x d x h) boxes outfitted with drawers mounted on soft-close, full-extension, 24” slides. In addition three top-access boxes with drop-in lids provide 18 additional cu. ft. of seasonal/long-term storage. Six of the boxes open to the side, and one box, with a single drawer, opens to the foot of the bed. 1/4” assembly bolts, visible in the picture taking in my shop, pull everything together. This is a semi-permanent installation, but it can be disassembled fairly quickly and re-assembled elsewhere, if they ever decide to move.

It would be possible to do a cheaper version of this build by employing cheaper material (eg. melamine) for the boxes and drawers, cheaper slides, and a less-expensive species (or ply fronts) for the visible components.

All interior construction consists of 15mm (5/8” nominal) baltic birch. The visible components are all walnut. Everything was finished with lacquer. the boxes sit on a 2 1/8” high toe-kick constructed of a web of dimensional lumber (2×4s) on the flat and a layer of 5/8” particle board (not a full sheet, but cut to 3 1/2” width to top off the 2×4s). The toe-kick is recessed enough that from a standing position the bed appears to be floating off the floor. Something this massive needs all the help it can get to appear lighter.

We chose cup pulls to minimize projection distance and negate the possibility of getting clothes caught on the hardware.

I have done a platform bed in the past with 30” deep drawers on 28” slides. With that configuration, the boxes met in the middle. That, however was a queen bed in a larger room. My son is a tall man, so this is a California King (84” x 72”). The room simply couldn’t accommodate the longer drawers, and even if it could have, it would have left an awkward gap in the middle.

Sometimes you do things just to satisfy your own compulsions, I guess. I realized after I’d installed the bed in its final resting place that probably no one would ever notice the continuous grain on the drawer fronts unless they were scrubbing the floor or down on their hands and knees looking for a lost sock. The room is just too small to provide that kind of perspective. Ah, well.

This is a companion piece to the walnut night stands I’d posted earlier.

Time now to get back to the stuff that pays the bills.

Constructive criticism always welcome.

Here’s a copy of the plan I based this on. I would note that my original intention was to do hinged lids on the top-access boxes. I changed my mind during the build but never went back to revise the drawings. One reason I changed was to find a way to provide continuous support/attachment for the “lip” that corrals the mattress.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

12 comments so far

View pottz's profile (online now)


4738 posts in 1314 days

#1 posted 03-18-2019 09:46 PM

i think you solved their problem maximizing the space and gave them a beautiful do you access the top lid compartments though,isn’t the mattress on top of these? that would make it unlikely to ever be used due to the trouble of removing the king size mattress.even without those compartments id say there’s plenty of storage.the bed is simply beautiful.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View Calmudgeon's profile


258 posts in 1757 days

#2 posted 03-18-2019 09:59 PM

Thanks for the positive feedback.

Yes, the mattress has to be moved in order to access those compartments. That’s why I referred to those as seasonal or long-term storage.

As I said, my son is a big man, so pulling the mattress down toward the foot of the bed to access the two compartments at the head of the bed won’t be much of a problem for them. We have similar storage in a platform bed in our house and we access it with some frequency. Granted, that’s a queen-size bed. (See the bottom of this comment)

I’ll admit that the centre compartment is awkward to access, but if you take into consideration something like Christmas decorations, it would only be opened twice a year, and he man-handles the mattress on his own when he needs to.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View recycle1943's profile


2841 posts in 1952 days

#3 posted 03-18-2019 10:34 PM

What a great build – form and function and utilizing some beautiful lumber

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View oldrivers's profile


1641 posts in 1897 days

#4 posted 03-18-2019 11:44 PM

Very Nice, great storage.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View sras's profile


5036 posts in 3459 days

#5 posted 03-18-2019 11:58 PM

Looks fantastic!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5955 posts in 2739 days

#6 posted 03-19-2019 02:57 AM

Beautiful work of art!!


-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View majuvla's profile


14185 posts in 3198 days

#7 posted 03-19-2019 07:20 AM

This looks awesome…so nice cabinet look on that bed. I like those handles…they are real match here.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Calmudgeon's profile


258 posts in 1757 days

#8 posted 03-19-2019 01:14 PM

Thanks for the positive feedback, folks.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View builtinbkyn's profile


2927 posts in 1271 days

#9 posted 03-19-2019 01:18 PM

Ditto on the great build and inventive storage solutions. Really nice work!

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Matt W5MIX's profile

Matt W5MIX

34 posts in 2715 days

#10 posted 03-19-2019 08:18 PM

This is top notch on so many levels. Beautiful work!

-- Matt in Dripping Springs

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3326 posts in 4042 days

#11 posted 03-20-2019 01:38 AM

The bed really turned out nice. The walnut is especially rich and the grain continuity is perfect.

I completely understand “assembling in place” since that was how I had to complete my platform bed. Getting good photos is, indeed, difficult and your close-up photos show us how really excellent your workmanship is.

But . . . I would disagree on calling the bedroom small. ;-) My bedroom: it’s what I would call small. I could only squeeze in a full-size bed and still have access to the drawers!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Coastwise's profile


31 posts in 210 days

#12 posted 04-02-2019 06:37 PM

That is a neat looking piece, I just love the warmth of the walnut. And you really packed the storage options in there.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics