Christian Ross

Hanging Bunk Beds

*For those tl;dr folks, there’s some pictures down below.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of being in my house, you know that we’re a little cozy and limited on space. Most days I like it that way, helps me to keep my material possession desires in check. We’ve had the boys in the same room for a while now but were just working off of two Ikea Malm twin beds in different corners of the room. It was functional but not necessarily practical. Discussions of bunk beds were had on several occasions but neither myself or my wife could come to agreement on what those would actually be.

I’m not actually sure what the final straw was that made me really decide to make a change but sometime a month and a half or so ago, I finally decided it was time. Instead of going the standard Rooms-to-Go/Ikea/pressed laminate or particle board route, I wanted to do something a little more custom for them and after a bit of just Google-ing ideas, I felt like I found the right solution. Once again, discussions were had due to past examples of my “handi-work,” but I finally won over the person in charge of the house and she agreed to let me move forward.

It was a random Sunday evening when I sent my business partner Ryan a text message to let him know we were closing up shop on the following Monday; once he found out why, it didn’t take much to convince him. He was at the house around 8 or 9 that next morning and we quickly loaded up for the closest big box hardware store here in town.

The Build

We spent an entire day (with multiple Lowe’s trips), 30 some-odd pieces of standard 2″ x 4″ x 8′, lots of screws/bolts/anchors, and about 50′ of nylon rope to end up hanging two custom, twin-sized beds from the wall in our boys’ room. They’re quite heavy, more than I anticipated. They’re each anchored 5 or 6 times into wall studs and the ropes are anchored as well. My wife was pleasantly surprised when she got home to see that we both accomplished the task and they turned out decently as well. She still had concerns about them purely hanging so I added the steel pipe, corner stands under the free-hanging corner to ease her (and my) concerns.

In addition, I created some birch wood rails that slide under the edge of each mattress so they don’t come tumbling down in the middle of the night. The color of the birch matches the color of the 2 x 4’s pretty well. Finally, I created a solid, yet removable ladder to get up and down from the top bunk. It’s made out of some of the leftover 2 x 4’s from the project and is a nice replacement to the metal folding ladder I offered them for the first few days.

Final Thoughts

The boys love them and have been put on a scheduled rotation of who gets the top bunk, changing out each time we wash their sheets. It’s created more play space for them in their room and allowed us to free up the other bedroom in our house purely for guests and/or a nice open space for us to make the boys go play when they’re being a little too noisy!

Since I don’t normally get to work with my hands, it was a nice change of pace. I was able to create something custom for my family, keep the cost well below what we might have paid for a nice set of bunk beds, and possibly even restored a little confidence in my wife that might allow me to try another project down the road.

I’m sure there’s much more to say about the craftsmanship, the process, the tools, the legacy, etc but I’ll leave that for another day or possibly another writer.

Here’s a few shots of the finished pieces. If you want more details about our process or the plans for the beds, hit me up.

Hanging Bunk Beds

The Listserve: Start a business

I’ve subscribed to The Listserve for a while now but never really been prompted to respond to anything. I won’t discourage you from subscribing on your own but I’ll also add that there’s not much your missing out by not subscribing. Currently, there’s 23,425 subscribers from around the world who agree to be sent one email per day from the Listserve Lottery Winner for that day with anything they want to write about. I signed up because I like the concept but most of the messages end up being, “just smile and it will all be better,” “if we all traveled the world would be a better place,” “down with organized religion cause it’s the root cause of all major conflict in the world,” and so forth.

I haven’t unsubscribed yet but if I get on one of those simplify-my-digital-life kicks, it is easily one of the lowest hanging fruits that I can chop off. There have been a few good nuggets sprinkled here and there so I guess that’s what has kept me around.

With that said, when I opened up my inbox this morning to browse what ground-breaking advice I was going to receive from yesterday’s lottery winner, I was actually prompted to respond for a first time. The writer posted a note about wanting to change careers, having a lack of completing a higher education degree, how long it might actually take her to gain said education (with age not being on her side), and a concern about what would happen if she no longer had her husband to help support her/supplement her meager income. She mentions having visions of being a nurse but again leans on the crutch of education.

As with most things, I’ve got two cents and since she asked for feedback, I figured I’d throw mine in. Below you will find my response to Dolores Yates in case you’re facing similar issues or desires in life. (more…)

A conversation with my 3-year old…

This seems like as good of a place as any to archive the conversation my youngest and I had last night as we finished up his bath:

[As I’m helping him get out of the tub]
Me: “Please don’t spit, that’s pretty gross.”

K: “I had some water in my mouth from the shower. I wanted to spit it out in the tub so it could drown… and go to the fishes.”
[Puzzled and slightly teasing him]
Me: “Do fishes like spit?”
[Quite swiftly and matter-of-factly]
K: “I don’t know, dad… fishes don’t talk.”

Touché

40 Days of Dating

NYC designers Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman have a little bit of a reality TV experiment going on over at 40 Days of Dating and weirdly enough, it has kept my attention so far. In a nutshell, they are single friends who have decided to engage in a 40-day relationship with a few rules including daily interactions and seeing a counselor regularly . The experiment is actually over so I suppose we’ll get to see how it all works out in the end.

It’s not the greatest thing on the Internet but entertaining enough to check back every few days. Bonus: The custom artwork for each day is a nice touch.

40 Days of Dating