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Building A Custom Bedframe + Moving Into Our Tiny House Construction Site

Debra Redalia

Larry built this solid pine wood bedframe that fits our tiny house by combining two bedframes from IKEA.


Over the holidays we have been working steadily on our goal to “move in” to our tiny house, even though it is still a construction site.

Our first step is to sleep in the motorhome, so we set out to do so some weeks ago.

At first, we thought that we would just set up the TARVA queen-size solid pine wood bed frame from IKEA that we already had from the past (in addition to the bed we currently sleep in), but when we set it up in the motor home it didn’t fit. Well, it fit, but there wasn’t much room to walk on each side and the foot of it ran into the corner of the old shower stall that we hadn’t yet removed.

So we decided we really needed a full-size bed. And these are the things you don’t find out when you are simply making drawings.

We are very happy we decided to move into the space and see what it’s like to live in it. We’re moving out of our bedroom in Larry’s Mom’s house. I will still have my office room in the outbuilding, between the woodshed and the cattery, then we will have the motorhome, and we will have a large storage room that is about 10 x 16. which also has an attached bathroom with a closet. This way we will have space for everything we own and can sort through it, discard and organize while also getting a feel for the space in which it will all eventually need to fit.

We looked online for another IKEA wood frame and found the NEIDEN frame in stock in their West Sacramento store, so we drove there and back that afternoon to pick it up. I also got to walk all around IKEA to get inspirations and ideas for small space living.

But there is a problem with the wooden IKEA bed frame: They are not very high off the floor. And they are just too low for us to easily get in and out of, especially for Larry with his healed broken back.

The idea was to get one of these frames and replace the legs to make it higher off the floor. But the legs on the NEIDEN were constructed differently than the legs on the TARVA.

After a day of consternation trying to change the legs on the NEIDEN, Larry came up with Plan B and we went back to the idea of modifying the TARVA.

Once we had the right plan, it only took two days to do all the work and we now have a full-size bed frame. Whew!

We haven’t slept a whole night there yet, but we have put some makeshift mattress and bedding on it and we have just “relaxed” on it a few times in the late afternoon. We actually love being in the space even though it’s not “cute” yet. It just feels very peaceful and closer to nature. Like we’re camping out but more comfortable.

Being in the space now and anchoring our sleeping area within it is giving me a much better idea of what this is going to be like. I remembered one of the reasons I decided I wanted to do this was one night Larry and I were out-of-town staying in one of those suite hotels. The bedroom was very small but it didn’t feel small. It felt cozy. At the time we were living in a 1600-square-foot house with the biggest bedroom I’ve ever had. And I saw that I missed the coziness of slepping in a small room.

When we were discussing if we could sleep in a full-size bed, I realized that in our queen bed, there is always empty space in the bed because we sleep close together. A full size bed is actually plenty big for us. Industrial bed manufacturers promote bigger is better for beds, but our criteria is to get what fulfills our needs.

So that’s our progress as of today.

Our next goal is to move everything out of our bedroom by the end of the month so we can stop paying rent on it. Yikes! That’s only eight more days! OK. We had better get to work…