We’re excited to say that our DIY built-in bed was published in the Fall 2017 edition of This Old House Magazine!!! It was also shared on their website here.

Hello, friends! Today, I’ll go over how we took a small dormer space in the upstairs bedroom and made it super functional by adding a built-in bed with tons of storage using kitchen cabinets and trundle drawers.

On top of that, we added texture, character, and coziness in this little nook with a rustic planked wall behind the bed and new lighting.

Next week, I get to show you the final reveal of Taylor’s Restoration Hardware inspired bedroom.

But first, let us rewind to see where we started before we added the built-in bed and rustic, planked wall.

Dormer attic bedroom before placing built in bed using cabinets

Before photo: How to make a built-in bed using stock kitchen cabinets dormer attic bedroom

And this is how the finished project turned out!

Cozy built in bed with trundle drawers using kitchen cabinets on each side as the dressers.

bamboo roman shade // striped quilt // farmhouse-style compass pillow cover // cup pulls  // similar wall lights

Let me tell you what we used to put it all together.

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The supplies we used for the built-in bed:

(2) Sheets of  3/4″ thick plywood (we used a pre-primed sheet for a better paint surface)

(4) 2″ X 3″ X 8′ boards (for the frame behind the cabinets)

(1) 4 x 8′ sheet of 1/4″ luan with a smooth surface

(2) 18″ wide drawer base cabinets. We bought these from a local discount home improvement store. This the link to their Asheville, NC location.

(2) Spruce/Pine-Fir Boards  1-in x 24-in x 4-ft (for the countertops)
We ripped a few 1×4 boards down the middle to trim out the front edges of the plywood bed frame

Drawer cup pulls

(3) sets of Swivel caster wheels for the trundle drawers

Electrical wire and outlets including a USB charger wall socket

(Nails, screws, wood glue, caulk, and paint we already had on hand. We used the extra-long twin mattress that you see in the before pictures. This mattress from Amazon is similar but deeper.)

Cost of the materials for the built-in bed with drawers: $480

The first step was to measure the dormer nook where the bed would be placed. Our nook is approximately 10′ wide by 4′ deep.

Next, we took into consideration the mattress size. The extra-long twin mattress we already had was of 80″ long and 38″ wide.

Using those two measurements, we could estimate how much room we had left over for the two drawer units (kitchen cabinet bases) on either side.

We determined we had room for a pair of 18 ” wide stock kitchen cabinets on either side of the bed.

Keep in mind that older houses tend to be a little out of square. We discovered that the width of the window wall was around 2 inches smaller than the width where the front of the bed would be placed.

Always measure twice before ordering your cabinets.Built-in bed tutorial: how to make a built in bed using stock kitchen cabinets

This left a gap of about 2-1/2 inches between the cabinet and the wall.  To fill in that gap, we use 2 x 3 boards cut to length.

How to make a built-in bed using stock kitchen cabinets

We wanted the front of the cabinets to be almost flush with the front of the bed. We pushed the cabinets away from the wall to match the bed frame. We then framed behind the cabinet rear section with 2 x 3s.


The next step was to use the existing plug-in behind the bed to add wall sockets to both sides of the bed.

How to make a built-in bed using stock kitchen cabinets

Then, the sides of the cabinets were covered with a 1/4″ piece of luan.

How to make a built-in bed using stock kitchen cabinets

How to make a built-in bed using stock kitchen cabinets

I don’t have pictures of how the bed platform was built because Jason surprised me with it one day after work.

Update: I’ve added the building plans and dimensions for the built-in bed below.

Jason used a 3/4″ thick 4 X 8′ sheet of pre-primed plywood to make the bed platform.

Eventually, we’ll add ventilation holes by drilling 1″ holes every 8″ apart where the mattress sits.

Built In Bed Plans

DIY platform bed frame plans- how to make a built in bed

After the cabinets were installed, we trimmed out the bed frame with the ripped down 1×4’s matching the 3/4″ reveal on the cabinet facing.How to make a built-in bed using stock kitchen cabinets

We used Ana White’s tutorial for her under bench trundle drawers for the storage under the bed.

We were able to construct all three drawers with left-over plywood for $4.00 per drawer. For a finishing touch, we faced the drawers with strips of left-over luan ripped down to 1-3/4″.

Trundle drawers on wheels

The Planked Back Wall:

The next part of the room remodel was to add extra coziness to the back wall.

To add texture and the rustic look on the back wall, I used various stains on a few leftover packs of the same planks we used when we covered the popcorn ceiling.

If you want to go the easy route with planking the wall, you can buy these peel and stick reclaimed wooden planks or this cheaper option of reclaimed barn wood peel and stick wallpaper.

An in-depth tutorial can be found in my post about planking the wall in the office-in-a-closet. The only difference is, I didn’t use any paint over the planks.


Then we added these lights from Lowes that I found on clearance. They’re no longer available but these wall lamps are similar and are an even better deal for a set of 2.

Build this cozy built in bed with stock kitchen cabinets. Add trundle drawers for more storage

These USB charger sockets were added in order to allow easy bedside phone and tablet charging. USB charger with receptacleI’ll be sharing a complete reveal of the finished dormer bedroom pretty soon.  It will have details of how we pulled all the furniture and decor together to create such a warm and cozy bedroom.

I’m so proud of how this room turned out and how it gave me the inspiration to do so much more myself!

Please follow along on Instagram and Facebook for sneak peeks!

And since every before and after deserves a good visual of how far it’s come…


See the completed room by clicking this link.

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Pin this tutorial on how to make a built-in bed using kitchen cabinets for later!

How to make a built in bed using stock kitchen cabinets and trundle drawers. This attic dormer bedroom was totally transformed into a functional space with the use of built-ins.

Want some more ideas for built-ins? We made a similar built-in bed for my step-daughter in our cottage guest shed but added a kitchenette and closet. See that post by clicking here or on the picture below.

DIY Built-in trundle daybed with cabinets tutorial

This was featured on Thrifty Decor Chick & Remodelaholic!