- 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 the 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 built-in daybeds
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. While the built-in daybeds have turned out to be really handy and functional, I was also pleased by the fact that they were built entirely of leftover materials from building the shabin.
The instructions are a bit non-specific since it 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 (affiliate link). 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.
- 3 lengths of 8-foot long 2×4 lumber for the legs and framing
- 2 pieces of ¾ inch plywood for the top and sides
- Paint or varnish
The legs of the daybed were made from squares (see the picture above). We used three screws per joint with 3-inch screws leftover 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.