Check out this simple design for a built-in daybed in a shabin, tiny home, or cabin.
If you have a tiny house, bunkie, or shabin, then space is everything. These built-in daybeds serve so many purposes:
- Storage: They have a huge amount of storage space underneath. We store practically everything there; bedding, cooking supplies, tools and paint, toys and so much more.
- Sitting: Since our shabin is only 8 feet wide, the side-by-side daybeds are ideal living room seating. We can even fit a folding table between the benches, perfect for playing a board game.
- Sleeping: Our shabin is so tiny, the daybeds aren’t exactly single-bed sized. However, they are fine for anyone sleeping in a sleeping bag, particularly if you’re a child.
How to make a built-in daybed
The key to our design was to have the daybeds permanently anchored to the wall and floor. This ensured that they were strong and sturdy, without many anchor points.
The instructions do not provide specific measurements since the size of the daybed will depend on your space and layout. We anchored our supports directly to the studs, so the spacing of the legs was based on that. We also had to make one daybed shorter than the other to accommodate the window.
The long daybed was 29-inches by 75-inches, and the shorter bed was 67-inches long. Standard seating height is 18-inches, so we made the beds 15-inches high, then topped them with a 3-inch latex mattress. We chose latex because it’s durable, long-lasting, and eco-friendly. Since we needed to have the mattresses custom-made and upholstered, the cost difference between latex and foam wasn’t the biggest part of the expense.
- These instructions don't include specific dimensions, since it will depend on your space. For exact measurements for our daybeds, please see the section above.
- The legs of the daybed were made from squares (see the picture above). We used three pocket screws per joint with the 3-inch screws left over from building the shabin. The number of squares required for support will depend on storage space needed under the daybed, and on the strength of the plywood used. As a reference, we used standard G1S construction plywood and the largest span between the legs was 23-inches.
- The squares were anchored to the floor and wall. The middle legs were attached directly to the studs for firm anchoring. The first and last legs weren’t on the studs so we used more anchoring points to compensate.
- To increase stability, we added bridging pieces to connect the squares (seen in the finished version). Since they were attached at an awkward angle, the screws were placed diagonally between the bridging and the squares. However, they were placed into the back sides of the wood and hidden by the plywood top.
- After the frame was complete, we remeasured the full top to ensure that it was square. Then we cut the plywood top to fit and attached it with screws.
- We also added plywood caps on the ends to provide a lip to hold the mattresses in place and hide the under-bed storage.
- Brad wrote up these instructions for me. If you have any questions, please leave a note in the comments section and I'll ask him for an answer.