The Sleeping Loft… aka The Bird’s Nest

The Sleeping Loft… aka The Bird’s Nestfeatured

This is basically the first post of my current projects; the sleeping loft, or as we call it, the bird’s nest.  It’s a little area above the stairwell that I had the framers custom build for me during the construction phase of the house.  I may have forgotten to mention in my last post that I designed this house.  My husband and I were the general contractors for it, too.  You see, we have our own little construction company in addition to my husband being a realtor and investor.  I also have a little business (like really little, think tiny, basically I could never support my family with this kind of work, small business) doing sewing, upholstery, and home design.  I don’t advertise, all of my work is by word of mouth.  Anyway, sometimes I’m shy about sharing that because I have no real professional training at anything.  I still feel like I’m winging it most of the time!  But… I’m learning as I go, I guess.

So, back to the loft… Sorry about taking you on that little bunny trail of my (in)expertise… This is what the loft looked like after the framers built it.

birds nest framing

Technically, we had to call it a “plant” shelf for building permit purposes.   I did modify it a little after that photo was taken to make it safer; I didn’t want to have any kids or houseguests fall into the stairwell.  That’d be awful!  I made the partial wall taller and cut the platform back so that I could eventually add a few stairs to get up into it.  It looked like this after the drywall was hung…

birds nest drywall

It looked like this when we moved in… Check out our (then) cute little 8 year old.  It gives you some perspective of how big the space is.

Win in the nest

headstand

Funny boy!  Anyway, I basically threw a piece of camp foam up there and it instantly turned in to a crash pad for kids, grandparents and friends.  It got the name “bird’s nest” from one of our older son’s best buddies.  His nickname is Bird, and he has pretty much claimed that space as his bedroom at our house.  He’s a crack up…  Anyway, the loft sat like that for 2 years, until I recently made this commitment to start decorating upstairs.

The first thing I did was build the wooden headboard out of cedar.  I cut, glued, and nailed the raw wood to a piece of 1/2″ plywood.

raw headboard

Then I stained it… This was a two step process.  First, I tried to age the wood using a mixture of apple cider vinegar and steel wool that steeped for a few weeks.  I did a dry brush technique where I very lightly painted the liquid on in random and sparing strokes because I didn’t want the whole thing to become one solid color.  It looked like this…

staining headboard

Once it was dry, I went over it with a watered down brush dipped in Minwax Special Walnut stain.  I really liked the way the color turned out.  I had to experiment with different techniques and stains to achieve the barnwood look.  I think it came pretty close.

Here is the final product installed in the loft.

birds nest headboard 1

I installed it with screws into the studs along the outside edges.  Then I used a finish nailer and cedar trim to make a frame to cover the screws.  I love how it warms up the space and has become a focal point from the bonus room.  I hope you like it!

To read the stairs/drawers post, click here.

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