We just wanted to thank everyone that stopped by and made BKLYN Designs 2015 a success! Held at the open and airy Brooklyn EXPO Center in Greenpoint, BKLYN Designs not only had exhibits from young and veteran designers but family activities, lectures and other events too. As always, we were the unofficial babysitters of the event and we loved every minute of it! It's always a pleasure to see old friends and make new ones as well.
For growing families, a bunk bed is a great way to free up floor space in a small shared room. However, instead of seeing it as a space-saver, kids will be excited to see their bed resembling playground equipment. This type of sleeping arrangement can make most parents nervous, especially since the top bunk can seem high for a small child.
The good news is, bunk-bed-related fatalities are extremely rare. However, a study conducted in 2008 found that between 1990 and 2005 in the United States, approximately 36,000 kids per year were treated for bunk-bed-related injuries.
To minimize these risks, parents and kids must be aware of bunk and loft bed precautions and safety.
The Right Bunk Bed Meets Safety Standards
Make sure that your bunk bed complies with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. Some basic guidelines are:
Guardrails - The height from the top of the mattress to the top of the rail should be a minimum of 5". Rails must also be continuous on all sides of the bed.
Openings - Gaps, openings and holes must either be small enough that it doesn't allow a child's head, limbs or torso to pass through or big enough that it allows it to pass through completely. Safety standards state that openings should be 6" wide or less or 9" wide or more, and never in between.
Choose the Right Spot
In the Corner - Ideally bunk beds should be place against two perpendicular walls, providing support and preventing falls.
Watch out for Low Ceilings - The height from the top of the mattress to the ceiling is important so that the child doesn't hit their head when sitting upright in the top bunk. Do not place the bunk bed underneath hanging lights and ceiling fans.
Teach the Kids About Safety
No Playing and Jumping - Educate your kids on bunk bed safety. Teach them to refrain from jumping and playing on the bunk bed particularly on the upper bunk.
Children Under 6 Should Not Sleep On the Upper Bunk - Safety standards recommend that a child under 6 years of age, not sleep on the upper bed. However, if your child is a restless sleeper then the upper bunk may not be a good fit even if he or she is much older.
Do Not Hang Scarves, Jump Ropes, and Belts - Although the most common bunk bed injuries are concussions that result from falls, the deadliest are from suffocation from strangulation.
By ensuring that the bunk bed is sturdy and located in the right spot and your kids know the safety rules, you will not lose sleep over your kids' bunk bed.
The Tuck Bed Queen is a daily solution for teens and adults who refuse to compromise on their sleeping comfort while still wanting to increase the functionality of their space. This bed tucks into a compact 15" of floor space while modular cabinets, closet and desk allows this collection to conform to virtually any configuration, layout and preference. An integrated hanging rod doubles as leg support, and gaps characterize the spaces between all of the beds’ moving parts so it is easily pulled open and closed without fear of pinched fingers.
New York City is currently testing the livability of micro-apartments, units ranging from 260 to 360 square feet. Waiving density and zoning codes that limit apartments to 400 square feet, the city's first micro-complexes are built and inhabited. Our Modulor Collection addresses these small living spaces by expanding on our Tuck Bed line, and offering not only variably-sized beds that seamlessly fold away when not in use, but matching storage cabinets, closet and desk for a compact living solution.
This collection is offered in two finishes, our signature Baltic birch plywood and a walnut plywood. Both are certified by the FSC (Forest Steward Council) and CARB (California Air Resources Board), assuring that the trees were legally harvested and that the bonding glue has no formaldehyde present. Finishes are water-based, non-toxic, acrylic with no VOC's (volatile organic compounds).
We recently fabricated a Tuck Double Bed for a shared teens' bedroom in Washington D.C. To match the teenagers' tastes, it was painted in a custom gray color with deep orange accents on the ladders of the bed.
The unit was designed to take up up the entire main wall of the room. The height of the shelves in the flanking cabinets were critical because they are meant to not only store items but become "night tables" for the teens sleeping in the upper and lower bunks.
Even though the furniture has been painted, the exposed baltic birch edges reveal that it has been built from our signature plywood.
Most of the loft beds we fabricate take a standard twin mattress. For Zach, we designed and built a loft bed that is wider, taking a full mattress instead. Since the room has high ceilings, the overall height of the bed was also increased to 77".
This increased height and width gave us more opportunities to design a custom workspace and storage for Zach. His desk is positioned along the length of the bunk bed allowing us to design a larger desk area. We decided on a continuous u-shaped desk and kept it unobstructed, giving a larger surface to work on. Open shelves, drawers and a wire management shelf are strategically placed for easy access and minimal clutter.
Facing outward for unrestricted access, is Zach's closet for his favorite clothes, shoes and toys.
Built for a weekend house in East Hampton, NY this custom Marino Twin over Full comes with a removable guard rail and a pullout trundle which is ideal for sleepovers. Our natural birch plywood becomes a neutral backdrop to the unique combination of traditional gray and the more playful orange.
Alongside the bunk bed are our storage steps, that lead to the twin bed above. Our signature steps double as drawers and in this custom version are fashioned with gray accents.
On the opposite end of the bunk bed, we've integrated a custom desk with 2 pencil drawers, concealed storage and 4 open cubbies underneath, that are perfect for storing school and office supplies.
To complement the bunk bed, we've also designed a matching dresser with leather pulls.
Our prospective customers frequently ask us how we work on a custom project. Should we do a home consultation? Designing a child's room is a process that often starts with a Showroom Visit, like the Oliver family did one Saturday afternoon last summer. Upon their visit we discussed their needs and showed them a range of bunk beds and loft beds for their daughters.
The showroom visit was followed up by a Home Consultation. Upon our visit we found out the girls were still sleeping in toddler beds and didn't have enough storage space. The existing room (pictured below) seemed large enough to create different configurations.
We presented several layouts to our customers and we settled on two customized Dumbo loft beds plus some additional storage. The beds would share the stairs. In a corner room with floor-to-ceiling windows we knew that some light could be blocked by our beds.
The girls enjoy going up and down the stairs and using the drawers to store all their costumes. The spaces under the beds are "room size" for the children's scale.
Thanks to the cash grant awarded to us by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), we were able to host our first group of Casa Kids interns this summer. Through YouthMade, an initiative of Juma Ventures, an organization that provides gainful employment to young adults and the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation (SBIDC) we were matched with our youth interns. Interns are local, low-income students who are breaking the cycle of poverty by being the first in their family to attend college.
In preparation for this 4-week internship program, we dedicated the front area of our shop as our interns' classroom and their first project was to fix up this raw space by cutting out and adding a wood frame in the window. This immediately immersed them in the basics of using hand tools, sketching, measuring and reading design blueprints. With Roberto's guidance, they were then given small projects, such as a chair or a storage bench to give them experience in building a piece of furniture from start to finish. Besides training, our interns also helped in our daily work here at Casa Kids by installing furniture at clients' homes and data-entry in the office.
We're very happy to be able to partner with JUMA and the SBIDC to provide valuable work experience for the next generation of Brooklyn makers. Take a glimpse at our interns at work below.