How to Make a Built in Bed Using Stock Kitchen Cabinets

See how we took this small dormer space in the upstairs bedroom and made it super functional by adding a built-in bed with tons of storage. 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.
how to make a built in bed using stock kitchen cabinets, closet, how to, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design

The dormer nook where the bed would be placed is approximately 10′ wide by 4′ deep.
how to make a built in bed using stock kitchen cabinets, closet, how to, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design

We had enough room for an extra-long twin mattress and (2) 18" stock kitchen cabinets with drawers
how to make a built in bed using stock kitchen cabinets, closet, how to, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design

The cabinets were spaced away from the wall so the faces of the cabinets would be flush with the face of the bed platform.
how to make a built in bed using stock kitchen cabinets, closet, how to, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design
Electrical outlets were added to both sides. The one on the left also has a built-in usb charger.
how to make a built in bed using stock kitchen cabinets, closet, how to, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design

The sides were covered with 1/4" luan
how to make a built in bed using stock kitchen cabinets, closet, how to, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design

Cubbies were made in the bed platform for more storage
how to make a built in bed using stock kitchen cabinets, closet, how to, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design

Rolling trundle drawers made using Ana White's plans. These make a great hiding spot for blankets and pillows.
how to make a built in bed using stock kitchen cabinets, closet, how to, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design
The last thing we did was add a rustic, planked wall behind the bed and add lighting. If you click the link that leads to the blog post, you can see the drawings for how the bed platform was made.
how to make a built in bed using stock kitchen cabinets, closet, how to, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design

Before and after. Such a cozy little nook, don't you agree?
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Tricia @ Simplicity In The South

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

50 questions
  • Barb Clark
    on Dec 14, 2016

    Great use of space. Could you put a actual trundle bed in the same space as the bed?

  • Scr2007291
    on Dec 15, 2016

    Awesome, where did you find the trundle drawers?

  • Shele long
    on Dec 16, 2016

    I love everything about this! Where did you find the awesome quilt set??

  • Donna Peltz McGauley
    on Dec 18, 2016

    What kind of planks did you use for the back wall? I want to do this on a wall in my basement but don't want to spend a fortune

  • Artgalstudio
    on Dec 19, 2016

    Awesome is understated! I love this project. Would you mind sharing a rough estimate on how much I could expect to spend on the materials to do this? Thanks.

    • Materials came out to $480. Some of the materials I linked to on the blog. The cabinets were $120 each but you may be able to find some cheaper ones at Habitat For Humanity or Craigslist.

    • Margaret Vitale
      on Dec 20, 2016

      So great you promote Habit of Humanity shop!

  • William Wuerth
    on Dec 24, 2016

    Did they replace the window with tempered Glass?

  • Antoine Feliksik
    on Dec 25, 2016

    Hoe does the matras breathe?

    • Shawna Bailey
      on Dec 26, 2016

      If you turn it regularly it should be fine.

    • Debra Pym
      on Dec 27, 2016

      Having made many built in beds, I would say to drill 1" holes ( or bigger) at regular spaces in the base support. A lot of holes are needed to prevent mold.

    • Tammy Jones
      on Feb 12, 2017

      Wow! I had no idea, not having had a built in bed before. Great tip.

    • Margaret Green
      on Dec 30, 2017

      Why would this be any different than putting the mattress on a platform frame or bunk board? Why would it need to breathe?
  • Barbara Milan
    on Dec 29, 2016

    I saw only one electrical outlet, originally. Did the two wall lights and the two outlets (in the cabinets) all come from the single outlet -- e.g. were the electrical wires spliced from the one original wall outlet in order to wire the 2 plugs and 2 wall lights?

    • Great question Barbara, Jason removed the existing wall receptacle and added a closed junction box. He then ran the wiring for both cabinet receptacles. One of the receptacles has two USB ports as well as a 110v plug. The other is a standard double plug. The lighting above the bed is the typical lamp style wired plug in. We're using LED bulbs. Both lamps are plugged into either side of the bed.

    • Shawna Bailey
      on Jan 1, 2017

      I'm guessing they spliced it too

    • Pat880866
      on May 15, 2017

      I didn't look, but did you check IKEA! Lots of salesAt Home Depot! Restore would be best deals
    • Pat880866
      on May 15, 2017

      I didn't look, but did you check IKEA! Lots of salesAt Home Depot! Restore would be best deals
  • Diane Ludick
    on Jan 3, 2017

    Should pillows be placed over electrical outlets?

    • Shawna Bailey
      on Jan 3, 2017

      I think she just lifted the pillows up for the picture.

    • That's true, Shawna. Normally, the pillows aren't propped up in front of the plug ins

    • Geri
      on Jan 10, 2017

      I would have installed the outlets in the top of the cabinets, near the back walls ... easier access to charge phones, tablets, etc. and no worry about knocking loose or overheating with pillows ... it's a beautiful space, very well done!

    • Klb8773169
      on Jan 10, 2017

      My dad was an electrician and as long as there is nothing plugged in the pillows should not be a problem.

    • Paula Armand Brocato
      on Feb 7, 2017

      I doubt they stay that way......I have one child and can barely keep things where I put them for a minute much less ling enough to take a pic. Now she can come build me one.

    • Mary Balnius
      on Feb 12, 2017

      Had a rental house , the lady renting it ran a fan cord in her between mattress , sure enough it caught the mattress on fire . it bursted in flames .End of a beautiful almost 100 year old home.

  • Julie Turner Mignerey
    on Mar 17, 2017

    I have looked everywhere! I can't find stock cabinets for less than $250 a piece. Any ideas? Also, I would rather get 24 inch wide cabinets.

    • Andre Ebaben
      on Mar 17, 2017

      Try Habitat Home store, a part of Habitat for Humanity.

    • I agree with what Andre said...Habitat for Humanity Restore sometimes has cabinets. Check on Craigslist also. We got our cabinets from a home improvement surplus store. I actually found the store by searching for cabinets on Craigslist.
    • John
      on Apr 20, 2017

      Try looking for cabinets online that you put together yourself.
    • Genie Brazell
      on May 8, 2017
    • Sarah Cocks
      on May 8, 2017

      Home Depot
    • Cathy Shipp
      on May 8, 2017

      In MN @ Menards the 18" unfinished drawer unit is $114.
    • Kimberlyelmore23
      on May 23, 2017

      Habitat Home store, a part of Habitat for Humanity.

    • KB
      on Jan 8, 2019

      An old double pedestal desk would be great for this! Take the desk top off and you’ve got two night stands. You might even find one that is as deep as the bed so you don’t have to add the extra panel against the wall to finish it off.

  • Barb
    on Apr 13, 2017

    Where did you buy the lamps
  • Angie Fry
    on Apr 26, 2017

    I see these cabs are secured on their far sides by the walls. Assuming this wouldn't work as a free-standing unit without walls on each side???
    • It can work. You can build a frame out of 2 x 4s that fits behind the cabinets. The frame would then be attached to the studs and then the cabinets attached to the frame. If you'd like, I can have Jason sketch it out. He's a much better artist than me.
  • Kim Day
    on Jun 30, 2017

    what did you use to finish the top of the 4 cabinets off?
  • Melbaearly
    on Jul 9, 2017

    can you send me the deminisions the bed and the materials that you used?
  • Jakki Wetherall
    on Aug 23, 2017

    What about the wasted space behind the drawer cabinets? Couldn't anything be done to make use of them other than a USB socket?
  • Lesli
    on Dec 14, 2017

    Beautiful! Such a great idea! Where did you buy the pillow?
  • Jewel Simpson
    on Dec 30, 2017

    Your link to the plans isn't working, can you update it please?
  • Mam31452059
    on Dec 30, 2017

    Where did you purchase the cabinets with all drawers? I can’t find them
    • Mit
      on Dec 30, 2017

      Home Depot or Lowe's
    • Noele Edwards
      on Dec 30, 2017

      Never seen them at HD or Lowes. Maybe she made them.
    • Susan
      on Dec 31, 2017

      I've gotten them from a local "cabinet outlet" - Three drawers and the two bottom ones are HUGE and DEEP!... unfinished $100-
      do a google search for kitchen cabinets with drawers only... you'll find tons
    • Roxanne Alexander
      on Dec 31, 2017

      If your town has a Habitat for Humanity they usually have a store where you can buy odds and ends of cabinets, etc. It is also for a good cause.
    • Mam31452059
      on Dec 31, 2017

      I found them this morning at Home Depot. Three drawers, 1 shallow and 2 deep ones. It was 18”. Thank you all for answering
    • Sunny Stamps
      on Jan 4, 2018

      People are always remodeling and throwing them out, keep your eyes open and you'll see them. Or if you can't be bothered to scavenge, hire someone, it's not a huge job. To me, scavenging and making something out of nothing is fun. I think this is a GREAT job!
  • Cra29991643
    on Dec 30, 2017

    Your link isn't working, please fix it thank you
  • Margaret Green
    on Dec 30, 2017

    Would it have been easier to plank the wall first?
    • Richard
      on Jan 7, 2018

      Yes it would bE easier—you Would not see any seems and the cuts don’t have to be perfect

    • Ziz
      on Jan 7, 2018

      Probably would have been easier but maybe they didn't think of it until afterwards.
  • Pia Feliciano
    on Jan 7, 2018

    The link doesn’t give me the plans. Can you re-post?
  • Hap12240330
    on Jan 8, 2018

    what could i use to make a double bed?
  • Patty Lee
    on Jan 8, 2018

    What did you use to top the cupboards
  • Cindy
    on Jan 26, 2018

    How do you make the roll draws under th bed?
  • Tery Shultz
    on Feb 1, 2018

    Why didn't you do something with the empty space behind the drawers?
    • Lizzie
      on Nov 30, 2018

      I'm agreeing …. seemed like a missed opportunity to provide storage cubbies. Kids (Adults?) love that.

    • Sandra Ruscin DeVonish
      on Jan 7, 2019

      I was thinking the same thing!

    • Angie
      on Jan 8, 2019

      I probably would of put lift up lids on and used for extra bedding.

    • Sondra
      on Jan 8, 2019

      I love this idea. The room is gorgeous. In the space behind the drawers I might have made a couple of open shelves. It would be the perfect spot for your phone, glasses, a book, etc.

    • Laurie Happnie Siders
      on Jan 8, 2019

      I think the dormers are in the way.

    • Definitely would have utilized the dead space, but this entire layout is sweet! Love it.

  • Fleming-Thomas Glenda
    on Feb 5, 2018

    Can a king bed be buil this way?
  • Alice Fleming
    on Jan 7, 2019

    How do you make the bed. Looks very difficult.

    • Queenbee
      on Jan 8, 2019

      I would have just a loose comforter or quilt and just tuck it in when company comes! To make it like a 'military type's bed everyday would be a big pain in the butt...

      If u did it this way u could actually just fold under the blanket part that is against the window and it would suffice I think to have a neater appearance...

    • Carol
      on Jan 8, 2019

      you use a comforter! this is lovely

    • Rynn
      on Jan 8, 2019

      This is gorgeous! As for making the bed, we have had various 'daybed' style single beds thru the years, and had no problem.

    • Deborah Perry Blankenship
      on Jan 8, 2019

      Have 2 fitted sheets. Use one as bottom sheet. Take 2nd fitted sheet & at top of sheet remove the sewing that makes it fitted. Put fitted bottom of sheet on mattress with other fitted sheet. Pull top of sheet up towards the pillow. Now cover bed with bed spread or comforter. Can use this idea on bunk beds also.

  • May
    on Jan 8, 2019

    What is the cost of this project

  • Carol Jollymore
    on Jan 8, 2019

    I think it is just excellent but the empty space behind the cabinets haunts me. I think I would have builts some secret storage or a place to put winter boots back there. What do you think?

    • Kristy
      on Jan 8, 2019

      Great odea!

    • Mam34466438
      on Jan 8, 2019

      Cubbies for books would have been nice also

    • Christie Decker
      on Jan 8, 2019

      I so agree! I would want that to be storage for something as well, I have a motor home with built-ins like this, it is a space waster, in my humble opinion, and I would love to see how people might turn it into usable space there to get ideas I could use. Blessings!

    • Bonita Ovens-Taylor
      on Jan 8, 2019

      Really like how it is created, however I too would have put the empty space to work, shelves for storage, alarm clock. The pillows are leaning up against the plug receptacles and that BOTHERS me! Imagine leaning on a pillow positioned on an electrical plug while you read!! They could have gone on top of the storage cabinets for safety sake.

    • Bernita
      on Jan 8, 2019

      I agree. I was thinking the same thing. It would have been a perfect place to add a light, a book shelf, a place for a clock. Whimsical placement like small cubbies at different heights.

    • Brenda Hendry
      on Jan 8, 2019

      For all the space gained, it's worth the few inches.

    • Bonnie
      on Jan 8, 2019

      I think the empty space was used for the electrical outlet.

    • Melissa Raymond
      on Jan 8, 2019

      Funny. I thought the same thing. Maybe a trap door on the top of the cabinets. Good for seasonal items. Never waste storage space. It's beautiful anyway.

    • User
      on Jan 8, 2019

      The electrical outlet didn't take up THAT much space! It would have been just as nice to have extra storage there and work the outlet in at the top of a cubby or the side of a cubby too. I've actually seen homes where people end up doing just that because they want to have as much storage space as possible yet, still have oilers to plug devices in for charging or power. All it takes is a little extra planning to get it done.

    • Lau30852322
      on Jan 8, 2019

      Love the idea !! For the space behind cabinets a small door or slide could be made and pull out trays or hanging bar could be added to give hidden storage. Try it for motor home maybe?? Or possibly locate a revolving type door/storage unit.

    • Lau30852322
      on Jan 8, 2019

      As for electrical outlet, they make cover plugs for when not in use.

  • Becky
    on Jan 8, 2019

    I love this! I wish my hubs and I had enough carpentry skills to take this on! Why do you need a spacer between the cabinet and the wall?

    • Kristina
      on Jan 8, 2019

      You don't really need a spacer between the cabinet and wall with this framed type of cabinetry (where there's a face frame and the drawer fronts don't go right to the edge of the cabinets). If you had a Euro-style unframed cabinet, you used the spacer to make sure that the drawer doesn't scrape the wall as it's opening and closing. It was probably used because 18" wide cabinets are normal stock size at a big box store and 21" are not.

    • Angie Alexander
      on Jan 8, 2019

      It's so the front of the cabinets are flush with the edge of the bed. Author mentions this in her post too

    • Becky
      on Jan 9, 2019

      Kristin, thank you for responding and clarifying I would not need the spacer with this type of stock cabinetry. What you have done is truly transformative. Nice!

    • Becky
      on Jan 9, 2019


      Actually, that refers to the empty space behind the drawers. I am referring to something else.

  • Judyadams
    on Jan 8, 2019

    How do you make the bed??

    • Dot15036982
      on Jan 8, 2019

      That is a great question Judy... I was thinking the same thing

    • Linda Wells
      on Jan 8, 2019

      I wouldn’t build the bed in. I would put it on sliders and pull it away from the wall to change the bedding.

    • Deborah
      on Jan 8, 2019

      Pull the mattress a few inches away from the wall, and then make it. Easy.

  • Mscheibel
    on Jan 8, 2019

    Where did you get the wall lamps. They appear to be different than those shown under "see all materials."

    thank you

  • Rose Work
    on Jan 8, 2019

    Did you leave access to use the space behind the drawers?

    Sorry if I just didn't read far enough.

  • Amy Cunningham-Niehaus
    on Jan 9, 2019

    I love this and want to do this in my small spare bedroom. Do you use the space behind the cabinets? What did you use on top of cabinets?

    • Dori
      on Jan 13, 2019

      Firstof all, thanks Tricia, for this great idea!

      Amy, I love this idea too. I am always looking to make use of additional empty space as well. Although electrical fixtures were placed on both sides, if the wiring behind them could be secured so nobodu would touch it (enclosed) I can’t see why someone couldn’t put a door v.s. a wall facing the bed behind the cabinet, perhaps like a roll top desk kind of door for convenience. Inside that space could be left rough or you could go crazy with shelving or whatever. I think a rustic space would be my choice, and place a bin which is shorter than the size of the hole, winter bedding, old curtains, vacuum cleaner parts, Xmas & birthday wrapping paper, being at a disadvantage for storage, I could think of all kinds of stuff I could use that space for, even though not very large. Tricia at Simplicity absolutely love this project. Beautiful job!

  • Taylor
    on Jan 9, 2019

    Where did you get your quilt and pillow? Love this project!!

    • Thank you, Taylor! I got both on Amazon. For the quilt set, look up "Stone Cottage Fresno Cotton Quilt Set, Twin, Neutral". For the pillow, look up "Compass Pillow" and you get several options that are really affordable.

  • Pam Davis
    on Jan 10, 2019

    Very nice! How long is the actual bed.

    Maybe you already showed that. I'll go back and check.

  • Susan
    on Jan 13, 2019

    I love this project, but in my search for kitchen drawers, they are not as deep a single bed frame, so a little confused how these kitchen drawers go so far back?

    • Betty
      on Jan 13, 2019

      Susan, look at the first two pictures. She built a frame behind the cabinet base to add electrical plugs and a USB port. She covered the side with a piece of luan so you don’t see the additional frame work.

    • Brenda Sandar Stoveken
      on Jan 15, 2019

      a box frame was built behind the drawers.. then covered.. pictures show it!

    • Sharon
      on Jan 15, 2019

      If you look in the drawing the schematics will show you that they built a dead space behind the cabinets to make them deep enough for the twin bed

    • Eunice Cooper
      on Jan 15, 2019


    • Marsha
      on Jan 15, 2019

      There is space left behind

    • Janice
      on Jan 15, 2019

      see picture #3

    • Karena Stetson
      on Jan 15, 2019

      In one photo you see they built in a frame that pushed the cabinets out in order to fit the width of the bed.

    • Judith
      on Jan 15, 2019

      Love love this project ❤❤❤

    • Etti
      on Jan 15, 2019

      one of the pictures show, that they added a frame in the back, where the kitchen cabinet ended.

    • Lupe
      on Jan 15, 2019

      They framed the space behind the cabinet. Look at the pictures

    • Pamela Mullenberg-Spang
      on Jan 15, 2019

      Didn't you see where they added on behind the cabinet where she said they put in electrical boxes?

    • Emily
      on Jan 15, 2019

      If you notice in the pic they don’t go that far back. They build a longer side board and had the top go all the way back. There’s an extra foot or more behind the drawers

    • Susan
      on Jan 15, 2019

      Yes, kicking myself for not going through the entire thing!

    • Sharon
      on Jan 15, 2019

      Susan, if you look at the second third and fourth picture, you will see that the drawers or not as wide as the bed. So if you still want to do the project you can.

    • Melissa
      on Jan 15, 2019

      It explains that in the 3rd and 4th pictures.

    • Catherine Blankenship
      on Jan 15, 2019

      They built frame work behind the cabinets to make them sit further out from the wall and then covered the space and side of cabinet with 1/4 laun

  • Debbie
    on Jan 14, 2019

    Love it~ Where can I find Ana White's plans for the rolling drawers?

  • Sharon Murdock
    on Jan 15, 2019

    This is the best project I've seen here so far. What are the dimensions. Because the scale looks great too.

  • Ruth Gleason
    on Jan 15, 2019

    What a great idea! But why did you not make shelves behind those cabinets instead of it being empty space? Overall it looks beautiful.

  • Irma
    on Jan 15, 2019

    How do you make the be? It seem that it would be hard to keep clean.

    • Thanks for asking, Irma! Other people have wondered the same thing. It’s really not hard to do. My 13 year old uses this room now and he can make his bed faster than I can make my queen size bed. Lol. The mattress can be scooted out a couple inches to tuck the quilt behind it.

    • Dharma
      on Jan 15, 2019

      I used to sleep in a bed even more confined than this. (I was a sailor, and the ship was small.) It is quite easy to keep it clean and neat if you are able to lift the mattress.

      I would not use a mattress with an attached to a box spring for this though.

      Alternatively if you have a box mattress you could still use this concept but factor in a bit of clearance on all sides of the bed.

  • Sandra Farr
    on Jan 15, 2019

    Love this. How could you use this space for a two fold idea in a bonus room for seating/couch/bed so it wouldn’t look like a bed

  • Perry
    on Jan 15, 2019

    How wide in inches was project

  • Barney Barnwell
    on Jan 15, 2019

    how does the whole room look

  • Son34420653
    on Jan 16, 2019

    Was the nook already wired for the electrical outlets? Did you have to run wiring into the nook?

    • Since we no longer needed the outlet under the window, we were able to tap into the existing circuit and run wiring from it to the new outlets.

  • Kathy
    on Jan 16, 2019

    Small house no storage. Could make shorter cabinets on the side and make it a daybed couch for den. What do you think?

    • Hi Kathy! I think that’s a great idea. Then the cabinets on either side would be like built in side tables with storage and you could still have more storage underneath. The place I bought my cabinets was able to make custom units.

    • Susan Ann Hughes
      on Jan 16, 2019

      I think it would be cute if you used only one cabinet and maybe an 8"-10" shelf on one end to place books or knick knacks. Just a thought.

    • Bonnie
      on Jan 24, 2019

      How about putting storage under the daybed couch to add storage in small spaces.

  • Joanne
    on Jan 16, 2019

    What did you use for the top of the cupboards? This turned out so dang cute! It makes we wish I had a cubby like that in my house. Great use of space.

  • Amy Cunningham-Niehaus
    on Jan 21, 2019

    This is going to be my next big project. Where did you buy your three drawers under the bed?

  • Alison Bulick Gilroy
    on Feb 16, 2019

    Beautiful!!! Super sweet! My parents paneled with barn boards and cedar shakes on one livingroom wall for accent. Its beautiful too!

  • Karen Jones
    on Mar 14, 2019

    How can I hire someone to make this for me ASAP?404-781-3212.

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