As soon as grandchildren are born, the race is on. Previously rational human beings begin jockeying for major holiday commitments, the best nicknames (is it going to be Gigi, Nana or Glamma?), and the number-one spot in the hearts of the newest generation. When it comes to the last of these, creating a one-of-a-kind space where grandkids can sleep easy and play hard goes a long way. The best way to do that? A state-of-the-art bunk room.
In creating dreamy, sleep-a-crowd spaces, top designers think long-term. Just because the inhabitants of this room are a little sophomoric, the overall aesthetic doesn’t have to be. “The absolute worst thing is when a room is a downgrade from the rest of the house. If you’re going to sleep several people together, they should at least have a room that is experiential,” designer Summer Thornton says.
For a room that’s whimsical enough for kids and worldly enough for grown-up guests, consider piling on high-end, high-performance textiles, adding playful hardware on drawers, going bold with colors within the home’s overall palette and playing with plenty of patterns on the walls and ceilings.
Summer leaned into the pattern play for a cabana room to sleep six in an Old Naples home. She installed Farrow & Ball tented stripe wallpaper on the ceilings and walls and created a sense of privacy via Schumacher Tropique fabric curtains that can be pulled across each individual bunk. “They’d certainly have fun closing the curtains to experience the feeling of having their own private little tent,” she says.
Grandkid-friendly suites are often outfitted with rows of trundles, stacked bunks, L-shaped arrangements of twin- and full-sized beds or some combination of all three. Once all the beds, ladders and railings are secure, Naples-based designer Renée Gaddis gets to work layering in user-friendly upgrades for each nook. “We like to add decorative LED reading lights that don’t get too hot, individual charging stations and a small niche for a book, iPad or bottle of water,” she says. “The majority of our clients are snowbirds, so they’re focused on vacationing and creating low-maintenance spaces.”
To avoid the unspeakable pain that comes with stepping on stray Legos or wracking up an unsightly mess, both designers make storage for toys, books and clothing a priority. Summer added roomy individual cabinets at the end of each bed in the Old Naples cabana room. Renée seconds the devotion to customized cupboards. “We always try to come up with creative ways to add storage, such as hidden drawers in the stairs or beneath the mattresses,” she says. No matter how sophisticated the space, Renée adds, “the whole point is to keep the room open for play.”