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They’re Not Just for Kids! Luxe Adult Bunk Beds Are Actually a Thing Now

Photo by Linc Thelen Design via Houzz

Does the thought of sleeping in a set of bunk beds send a shiver down your spine, especially if your summer camp experience wasn’t the most blissful event?

Swatting at black flies all night and aching in the morning after sleeping on what’s basically a piece of plywood are a few common memories that might spring to mind.

Today, if you encounter bunk beds, it’s likely at someone’s vacation home. Or perhaps your own little ones snooze in the Tromso version from Ikea. But as an adult, do you really want to ascend that ladder or stairs for a night in a bunk?

If it looks like these beds, we’re fairly certain you’ll beg for the chance.

“These looks make the most sense in second homes, like beach houses or cabins, where overnight guests and entertaining are the focus,” notes Carolyn Gagnon, a real estate agent with Compass in New York City.

But more and more, the adult bunk bed trend is driven by the need to offer the ultimate in flexibility when it comes to visiting family and friends.

“With these beds in the home, no one will be stuck on the floor—and adults will definitely use them, like when you’re having buddies down for a golf weekend or the kids and their spouses are home at Thanksgiving and Christmas,” says Jason Gentry, a real estate agent at Premier Sotheby’s in Charlotte, NC.

Want to consider adult bunks in your next renovation? Or maybe you’re searching for a forever home with this amenity? Here’s more about this luxe look.


As with many home trends these days, we can blame (or thank?) the global pandemic.

“I think COVID highlighted the need and increased desirability for flexible sleeping arrangements—and it called attention to bringing the family back together again, too,” says Gentry. “So it seems like bunk beds are being used more than ever.”

Sandi AuBuchon, a real estate agent with Premier Sotheby’s in Asheville, NC, also credits “the ease of access to designers’ ideas through sites like Houzz and Pinterest,” which means you can find no end of bunk rooms and bunk nooks to peruse and consider.

How to carve out space for bunk beds

Putting bunks in a guest room is easy enough. But don’t overlook small spaces that might otherwise go unused.

“I’ve seen homes that have taken space in front of large windows or under the stairs to make sleeping nooks that were adorable,” says AuBuchon.

Adult bunk beds can come in all sorts of configurations, says Gentry, such as “queen-sized beds on the bottom and twins above or the bottom and top bunks set at 90-degree rotations from each other.”

But one of the more clever ideas he encountered was a “wall of four bunks that disappeared behind pocket doors in a bonus room, so they could be hidden and out of sight when not in use.”

The cost of luxe bunk beds

Photo by Sophie Metz Design 

Gentry explains that the budget for a bunk setup will “range dramatically, from a couple of thousand dollars to well into the six figures.”

One design he saw ran to an incredible $180,000—without the mattresses and bedding, he adds.

Custom work is, of course, much more expensive than picking up bunks from a big-box store. And the details you add, including materials and various finishes, will up the price as well.

Make your bunks chic, not childish

Your attempt at adult bunk beds won’t fly if you skew saccharine or juvenile with your design approach or color scheme.

AuBuchon votes for quality wood, paint or stain, and high-end hardware for the railings and ladder. Gentry favors nautical themes (high-gloss wood, shiplap surfaces, rope, or metal stairs) but urges creativity above all else.

Natural wood is calming and modern, while darker tones (gray, navy, charcoal) are stylish and definitely signal an adult sleep spot.

The best finishing touches for adult bunk beds

Photo by John Maniscalco Architecture 

Built-in lighting is critical for adult bunk beds as early risers love to check the news or grab their juicy novels. Quality bedding is another key element, and if you can splurge for custom linens, here’s your best chance.

“One of my listings included bunk beds with a removable ladder that hid a bookcase behind it,” says Gentry. But if this elaborate design isn’t possible at your house, a tiny cutout or niche for books is a nice touch. Or install a small shelf on one side of each bed for glasses, a cup of water, tissues, and other personal items.

Drawers at the bottom of the bunks for clothing and extra blankets are other finishing touches the experts recommend. And layers of pillows offer choices for your various sleepers while soft throws complete the look.

The post They’re Not Just for Kids! Luxe Adult Bunk Beds Are Actually a Thing Now appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

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