I Love A Built-In Bed

College Street / Little Italy, Design, House And Home, Riverdale / Playter Estates, Tales From Tennis Crescent


If you’ve been following our blog, you know I’ve been embarking on a remodel of my 1960s swell dwell on Tennis Crescent in Riverdale.

Today, I air my disdain for rooms which have split personalities.

Yes, I despise walking into that ubiquitous second bedroom (if you’re fortunate to have one) that double-duties as both a home office and a guest bedroom. These rooms tend to appear confused over their identity and – for me at least – make me feel uncomfortable. No, I don’t want to be your guest and relegated to your home office and No, I don’t want to come into your home office to see a big bed. You have no idea how often we realtors show second bedrooms which look like this:



I’ve always loved a built-in bed. I think they’re romantic, cozy, and they speak to the inner child in me. Plus, they’re a great solution to making a multi-purpose room look less cluttered and more spacious, while presenting a functional design statement.

These photos were my inspiration photos for this Tales from Tennis Crescent project, where I’m trying to resolve configure a tiny second bedroom into both a guest room and a home office:


(I’m sorry but I can’t recall where I sourced these from! My Bad!)


Below is a second bedroom in this 1960s Riverdale Swell Dwell.

First, this isn’t a large room. It’s 8 x 12 feet with a double closet. It has an off-centred window that faces a brick wall, and a pair of doors connecting to the Entertainment Space. Here’s how my tenants use the space as their child’s bedroom, and one while the room was undergoing renovation:



I had a laundry list of ‘must-have-uses’ for this itty bitty teeny tiny room. It needs to be able to accommodate my Monday to Friday assistant (half the closet has filing cabinets, a coloured printer/scanner, and office supplies) my oft-visiting friends and family, while providing me a curl-up-and-watch-Netflix space. That’s a lot of purposes to fit into 96 square feet!

Here’s my solution:


Don’t you love? (Can you see I’ve got the Fire Channel on? I love the crackling sound effects which makes this space even cozier!)

The built-in bed is the perfect alcove for a rainy-day nap. Natural light still comes through the MDF cut-out circle which has an Ikea shade on it so one can still get air-flow as required. My fab carpenter Silvie Varone (here’s her Inspiration Board for the property on Pinterest) custom-built the bed out of birch ply – honouring my request to achieve a ‘Nordic Retro-Futuristic’ vibe to complement the dwelling’s 1960s vintage – which I reinforced with the mid-century modern furnishings and light fixtures. A double mattress sits on the base, while the attached shelving on the side holds beverages, and at the foot of the bed the pieces pull up for ease of bed-making, while accessing an electrical outlet should you have to recharge your phone. The television has a movable arm for viewing, and the built-in shelves hold all the media and surround sound equipment.

And Yes!, this is where I incorporated those vintage splurge fixtures I bought at Studio Pazo On Queen Street East. I love the wall sconce for late night reading and the coloured pendant which gently nod to the age of the house.

While I’ve had some indulgently-large bedrooms in the past – like my Button Factory bedroom which featured a claw foot tub perched beside an atrium lightwell with 8 skylights –  I don’t need a huge bedroom at all… in fact the cozier the better. In fact, when it comes to space I’ll happily allocate more square footage to an Entertainment Zone and less to the sleeping quarters.

I increasingly find myself incorporating my fascination with spaces which are ‘tucked away’ or have the magical allure of a Ship’s cabin. In fact, when I was renovating my Movie House loft I invested big bucks into custom built-ins – plus mirrors and floating glass walls – that would make my small 11×11 foot mezzanine bedroom feel bigger while resolving the issues of storage.



If you want to see the transformation of this room – including the Before Pics – check out this past post called Peek-A-View 5 as seen on my blog called Renovating A Movie House Loft. This space is coming for sale soon too… just in case you, or someone you love, is seeking a dreamy space on College Street’s Little Italy Neighbourhood.

One of the gifts I’ve learned as a designer is that I don’t really need a lot of square footage to be happy. In fact, having just the right amount of perfectly scaled and well-proportioned space that accommodates all one’s “Stuff” (while staying ‘pared down’…after all, “How much stuff do we really need?”) is the right way to make a place one’s Home!

How lucky am I? Stay tuned for more from The Tales Of Tennis Crescent!

~ Steven and the urbaneer team

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