Names: Roman, Milo, Luca
Ages: 9, 5 and 2
Location: Bel Air, CA
Room size: 11' x 12' (roughly)
With a two-bedroom house and three young boys to accomodate, Irwin Miller had to get creative. His innovative use of all the nooks, recesses and alcoves results in a comfortable, efficient room that gives all three brothers their own place as well as an inspiring shared space.
In order to maximize space, Irwin designed and built a bunk bed himself, since he wasn't satisfied with what was on the market. He ended up with a beautiful piece that fits perfectly in the kids' room. Irwin also used every last inch of the room to his advantage. He removed the sliding closet doors from the closet and used the resulting alcove for Roman's bed, but he also included shelving in the niches on either side of the closet. Under Roman's bed two buckets hold all the boys' toys and two baskets contain shoes. Since the freestanding twin bed didn't allow the room's door to open completely, Irwin even modified the bed frame by designing a small notch so the door can open more freely. Under the loft bed sits a third twin bed as well as a nook complete with bookshelves and a desk that holds the kids' computer.
How would you describe the look and feel of this room?
I think it's sort of California rustic. Our original house was a hunting lodge built in 1927 – so the bed has a bit of that contemporary wood cabin language.
What is your favorite piece or element?
My favorite element is the ladder to the upper bed. It was built last and in an hour or so, but it is the most long-lasting and beat up element of the bed. There's a lot of action: kids going up and down and playing with toys on the ladder itself. It's a piece that creates a connection.
What was the biggest challenge decorating this room?
The biggest challenge was the size. We have a two bedroom house and a detached guesthouse. Our goal is to have the three boys use this as their bedroom for a few years until we can expand our house or connect to the guesthouse in back. During aspects of design and construction, every inch mattered since there is so little space. What you realize, however, is it is perfect for the kids at this age. They feel very comfortable and so far have no complaints.
What do your friends say about the room?
People ask how I built the bed and want one – that is usually the first reaction. Most everyone loves the room and feels that it's cozy. The kids who visit or come to parties all climb all over the beds and instantly go up to the top bunk to throw things down.
You repurposed a closet into part of the room. What challenges did that change present, and how does the final set-up work for your kids?
The last bed to be added was Roman's – we were considering how to fit a third bed in the room and even thought about getting a queen bed for two of of the boys to share. We end