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Laura's Sophisticated Studio




Washington, Washington D.C.



Square Feet:


What I Love About My Home

The tall ceilings and big windows! They make my apartment seem cozy instead of claustrophobic, with such narrow rooms. Even in a small footprint, having the ability to go vertical made a big difference in maintaining an open feel.

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home

Definitely storage. There is also only one very small closet in the whole apartment, with room for nothing more than my clothes. Because of my wonderful tall ceilings, I figured I might as well go up, and my boyfriend and I designed and built my loft bed to function essentially as a storage locker. The shelves on one end work as additional clothes storage, and are on wheels to slide out and provide access to the storage space underneath. I also installed a wall of shelves in the bathroom to provide some much-needed storage there.

Favoriting and voting have ended.

Comments (79)

I love that rug! and your bed terrifies me...I roll in my sleep!!

posted by EvieBDixon on April 14, 2011 at 3:50pm
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Is that... a Metro map shower curtain?
It really works for the space.

posted by bodicegoddess on April 4, 2011 at 1:32pm
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I love the space but I wouldn't call it a studio since it technically has a separate bedroom. Right? Still, it's beautiful...

posted by ablevin5 on April 4, 2011 at 2:28pm
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I LOVE the creativity of this space. I adore the couch, the rug, and the use of greenery. The bed is ingenious, but I couldn't do it. Would fall out for SURE. :-D

posted by Reeses902 on April 4, 2011 at 1:14pm
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I love the colours! I think that they will be great for quite a while! Unlike some colours that soon become irritating and/or out of style.

posted by SuzanneL_ on April 4, 2011 at 11:19am
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What a lovely apartment! You have a wonderful combination of clean, crisp lines, and pleasant warmth. The storage loft is such a clever idea, and it looks great!

posted by Johnnysolar on April 4, 2011 at 11:37am
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Amazing! Definitely a favourite for me. Question though: Ever worry about falling out of that bed?

posted by Cashew on April 4, 2011 at 11:38am
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I love this. I love the shelves in the bathroom. Definately something I would like to do.

posted by kimkej on April 4, 2011 at 11:39am
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Thanks everyone! I was originally going to have a railing on the bed, and it was a little intimidating the first few times I slept up there, but then I realized I have never fallen out of my bed when it was lower to the ground, so I figured I would be fine. It's been over a year now, and I have no problems without a railing.

bodicegoddess - good eye! I am a transportation engineer, so I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to things like transit maps.

posted by Sassyladie on April 4, 2011 at 2:11pm
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I forgot to mention - it's hard to tell from the photos, but it is slightly shorter than a typical loft bed. It is 5 feet to the bottom of the bed, and the top of the mattress is a little over 6.5 feet off the ground.

posted by Sassyladie on April 4, 2011 at 2:16pm
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Lovely use of space. I like that there is plenty of head room over the bed. I've slept in a loft bed with such little space that I couldn't breathe. This is liveable and beautifully done.

posted by JacksonMarie3 on April 4, 2011 at 2:25pm
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I really like this. I had the same initial thoughts as most people about the bed and falling out of it, but as jacksonmarie3 pointed out it's not so close to the roof as to be damgerous from that angel as well!

I love the curved window sil in the bedroom and the desk in the bedroom is beautiful.

I don't like the paint in the bathroom but overall I love the amount of plants and flowers and I adore the 2 chairs in the living room. Dare I say it, this apartment is not over Ikea'd! Has real personality.

posted by MoMoo on April 4, 2011 at 3:28pm
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oops - angel = angle!

posted by MoMoo on April 4, 2011 at 3:29pm
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All of your storage solutions are extremely clever. I particularly like what you've done with the bathroom. Those simple, inexpensive baskets on the shelves look really graphic against the wall color.


posted by DipDipDive on April 4, 2011 at 4:02pm
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The bed scares the hell out of me!

I love your orange rug, gorgeous, you've made wonderful use of color.

posted by mauishopgirl on April 4, 2011 at 4:07pm
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i like the first two pictures... make the rest like that.

posted by rlmesq on April 4, 2011 at 4:41pm
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I want to like this flat, I do but I don't understand the need to furnish it like a studio when it's not a studio. The layout is ideal, and a simple floor-to-ceiling wardrobe could have been easily combined to a down to earth, un-scary bed.

posted by Allegra M on April 4, 2011 at 4:35pm
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Loveit! The bedroom alone wouuld make for an interesting efficiency studio.

posted by Kinky Gazpacho on April 4, 2011 at 4:37pm
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I love the yellow paint! Can you tell us what color it is?

posted by CakewalkQueen on April 4, 2011 at 4:41pm
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I love all the colors! We're painting 2 walls of our living room the same color as your bathroom this weekend. The living room is adorable.

posted by LauraInCancun on April 4, 2011 at 4:42pm
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Great idea. Looks really neat, lively energizing colors. Clearly not for anyone with vertigo or a sleepwalking habit ;-)

posted by visualeyes on April 4, 2011 at 4:42pm
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The use of space is brilliant. But most of all I'm DYING for your rug. Where's it from please? Exactly what I need to finish off my living room! :)

posted by lonestarstateofstyle on April 4, 2011 at 4:42pm
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This space looks super cozy. I love your sofa. I wished I could see a close up of the space above your desk. I would like to see how your organized it.

posted by brightred on April 4, 2011 at 4:54pm
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Is this a studio apartment (per title)? It looks like a one bedroom to me. Either way, it's well done. Clever use of organization.

posted by CallDoctorBison on April 4, 2011 at 4:59pm
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Thanks again for all the comments! I had no idea that my bed would get such a visceral reaction!

The apartment is indeed a one-bedroom, not a studio, just to clear that up. The reason I went with a lofted bed as opposed to floor-to-ceiling cabinets is the width of the room. I used a wide-angle lens, so it doesn't look as narrow in the photo, but without having the bed cantilevered, I would have nowhere to put my desk or have any sort of work area. There is also randomly sized stuff in the storage locker, like an extra chair, that wouldn't fit in a normal wardrobe. I do have shelves all along the wall that isn't in the photo.

lonestarstateofmind - I actually got the rug off craigslist a year or two ago, but I believe it was originally from West Elm.

CocoChic - I will have to look it up, but I picked it out from Benjamin Moore, and had it mixed up in Olympic to get the no VOC paint. It definitely had gold in the name.

posted by Sassyladie on April 4, 2011 at 5:10pm
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I too feel nervous about the bed but it looks lovely. My favorite is the canvas boxes you used on the bookshelves. What a clever way to make your storage look really neat. I may have to steal that idea!

posted by knitsmcgee on April 4, 2011 at 5:25pm
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I've never fallen out of bed either, but wouldn't want to risk it with one at that height. I didn't see a ladder to it, please tell me you don't climb up the shelves I saw underneath the bed.

Like the Metro map shower curtain!

posted by RMF325 on April 4, 2011 at 5:58pm
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There is only one thing I don't like: the yellow. I'm just not a yellow person, it washes me out, and I would hate to look sick when I was home.

I love the bed. I lofted for years and never had a problem.

The orange chair in the bedroom is adorable. The overall flow of the space is great. And the tub (last picture) looks huge!

I can see myself in a space like that!

posted by HandmadeKatie on April 4, 2011 at 6:51pm
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Absolutely darling! That dresser is to die for! And I love your sofa. I adore the lofted bed but I would definitely need a rail to hold me in at night.

posted by A Whimsical Girl Named Debbie on April 4, 2011 at 7:02pm
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Wow, definitely does not look under 400 sq. feet.

posted by Jennie Jackson on April 4, 2011 at 7:50pm
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I love orange.

posted by apappa on April 4, 2011 at 8:05pm
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Oh my gosh love. The colours make it so lively and warm. You've created such a contrast of spaces within the small space, I wish I could do that! My flat is this size but it doesn't have the ceiling height, unfortunately.

posted by nutmeg21 on April 4, 2011 at 9:11pm
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It looks like I'm not the only one wondering about the bed...falling off? Fear of heights? What a great idea though!

posted by Tracy333 on April 5, 2011 at 11:19am
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Talk about setting the bar high right at the start... this is a wonderful approach to the space, well done.

posted by Juliet___ on April 5, 2011 at 11:29am
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gorgeous home, laura!

posted by kelly beth on April 5, 2011 at 1:43pm
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(sigh) I just don't get all the love. The gorgeous room with the bay window is sadly filled with the monolith bed unit, that is not neccessary IMO since this is not a studio. The rest of the decorating and the layout is SOOOOO nice and then....you come to the room-filled-with-giant-box.

I guess you can tell I am not a city apartment dweller. I just can't figure out that this is WAY OUT in the lead of favorites at this point.

posted by wyndwalkr on April 5, 2011 at 2:00pm
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I love the colors in the main rooms, so warm and bright. With all your windows the light is wonderful. I'd have a bed rail... but I totally get having a loft bed--this is after all 360 sq. feet! Less than 20'x20' to include EVERYTHING. I don't know whether I COULD edit down to so little though I like to think I could. And where, oh where, did you get those living room chairs? I would love to find a set like that.

posted by Starrigger on April 5, 2011 at 5:07pm
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The first photo had me intrigued - I had to click to see more. I really like the bathroom color and the storage in the bathroom - especially the use of the same container repeatedly with different items in them. Cute.

I do like the loft bed....and am in awe of the ceiling height and light you get in your apartment.

Well done.

posted by sunnygirlsf on April 5, 2011 at 5:20pm
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I'm jealous of the ridiculously high ceilings and all the storage in the kitchen. The loft probably wouldn't work for me but I think it is a resourceful and well done solution...some lofts can be really ugly!

posted by lishmry on April 5, 2011 at 6:03pm
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I love the chair in picture two. What is the source?

posted by Qwerpy on April 5, 2011 at 6:03pm
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I'm still working on finding the living room paint color, but I can answer a few of the other questions.

It would indeed be scary if I climbed up the shelves in the photo to get into the loft, especially since they aren't attached to the loft and on wheels. The ladder is on the side by the windows, it is shown on the floorplan.

The tub is actually a large shower, and it's about 3'x4'. It just looks so big because the bathroom is so small. :)

The green living room chairs I bought for $5 apiece when my boyfriend's office moved and they sold a bunch of their furniture. I've seen an identical chair, and several similar ones on craigslist, so keep an eye out there.

The wooden chair in picture 2 I actually bought from a stand on the side of the road in Honduras (I bought 2 of them for $17 - the other one is under the loft). I dismantled them, sanded each piece and stained them. They are called appalachian chairs, and I've seen them online, so just do a search for them.

posted by Sassyladie on April 5, 2011 at 6:19pm
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Sorry but I just don’t get it! Why with all the gorgeous apartments so far in this contest is everyone liking this Ikea look a like space? I’m sorry but it looks like a high end dorm room, I’m starting to think this contest is all about how many people you know and that will vote for you, I mean… did you even see Jay’s and Adam’s space and OMG Evan’s LA loft, it’s incredible yet everyone seems to love the Ikea/Crate and Barrel look!!!

posted by labrooklyn on April 5, 2011 at 7:05pm
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I found the paint for the living room - it is actually Pratt and Lambert Burnished Gold (11-13).

posted by Sassyladie on April 5, 2011 at 9:26pm
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Ok...although my stomach gets queasy whenever I look at the photo of your bed (you are braver than brave), you have decorated with colours that are vibrant, yet not overpowering and your accessories all match wonderfully. Very comfy well laid out apartment!

posted by smoothsailing on April 5, 2011 at 10:46pm
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Wow! It doesn't look as small as it is! I can see by the floor plan that if the bed wasn't a loft bed the space in the bedroom wouldn't accommodate a desk area as well, so I don't understand why some are saying it's unnecessary...Besides, it looks cool and that would be reason enough, I think!
I love most of the colours, especially the bathroom. I'm not really a yellow wall person, but the space definitely looks cheery and it's not overwhelming!
So cute! If I was your friend you'd have a hard time getting me to leave your place!

posted by pheebs79 on April 6, 2011 at 12:43am
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I like your sewing cabinet! What kind is it!?

posted by SansSouci572 on April 6, 2011 at 2:32pm
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SanSouci572 - are you referring to the desk under the loft bed? I bought it at the Eastern Market flea market here in DC, and it is a vintage, if not antique piece of furniture. I mostly do use it for sewing!

posted by Sassyladie on April 6, 2011 at 3:54pm
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Where did you get the light blue fabric for the bottom of the curtains? They look great. I love the whole place actually.

posted by DNBursky on April 6, 2011 at 10:58pm
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DNBursky - it is a solid linen that I painted the pattern on with fabric paint. It turned out to be a bit more of an involved process that I thought it would be, but I was really happy with the results.

posted by Sassyladie on April 7, 2011 at 12:15am
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I know someone who had a sleepover guest roll off a loft bed that was even "safer" than this one. The sleeping loft was closed in all around except for a transom window. The window was closed at the time but she still fell out (during 'the act' no less) and broke her neck. A huge lawsuit still in play plus this person will be in wheelchair for life. I would highly advise rethinking this bed as adorable as it is.

posted by FengShuiByFishgirl on April 7, 2011 at 4:04pm
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Great use of color! I really like the bathroom.

posted by Roozter on April 7, 2011 at 6:38pm
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You are brave for sleeping here but I adore the color! And the repetition in storage, it actually works surprisingly well.

posted by ohkatie on April 8, 2011 at 1:49am
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PleasePlease tell me where I can get a chair like the one in picture 2!!!

posted by bzzzt on April 8, 2011 at 6:22am
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bzzzt - I got my chair in Honduras, but it is known as an appalachian chair, and you can find them here as well. I originally saw this style chair on Apartment Therapy actually, and fell in love with it (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/good-questions/good-questions-identify-this-wooden-chair-066972). Every website that I can find that sells them at the moment appears to be out of stock, but if you are handy, you can buy a plan to build it, which wouldn't be hard - http://www.bearwood.com/product3621.html

I sanded and stained mine, and it does take a while to do that, because it has so many individual pieces, so something to consider before buying or building.

posted by Sassyladie on April 8, 2011 at 9:49am
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brightred - here is a closeup photo of the desk - http://www.flickr.com/photos/lmcwethy/5598483301/

We built the organizer board, which has outlets for charging electronics and speakers which I can hook up to my ipod or whatever.

posted by Sassyladie on April 8, 2011 at 11:47am
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Freakin love the bed, the colors, and soft cozy couch. Way to go!!! By the way, where does everyone get the room drawing from?

posted by thehealthguru on April 8, 2011 at 4:41pm
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So I'm behind the curve on this, but I love the colors and vibe of your place. And those curtains in the bedroom are great.

posted by azr2005 on April 9, 2011 at 10:31am
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Love the orange as an accent color in a sunny space. The storage locker works, but don't you fall off the bed? Scary! I'd prefer deep drawers under a "slightly" high bed platform.

posted by scoutandboo on April 9, 2011 at 2:33pm
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So lovely! What a fantastic use of yellow and orange!! Very brave and pulled off extremely well - kudos! :)

posted by llmademoiselle on April 10, 2011 at 2:34pm
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I love the loftbed design. Amazing use of storage space and all in all a clutter free comfy cozy apartment.

posted by eatwritelive on April 11, 2011 at 10:24am
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It is really amazing that you were able to create the feeling of a proper "home" in this small space. Everything seems to be in its place but nothing seems forced. So light and airy and liveable.

posted by cvgmiami on April 12, 2011 at 12:53pm
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I like the use of matching containers on shelving. It keeps things looking uncluttered & tidy.

posted by Betsy Olsson on April 13, 2011 at 2:30pm
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love, love, love EVERYTHING! Thank you for sharing!

posted by OggDefying on April 14, 2011 at 11:43pm
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I think it's lovely. Your home was the first that I chose to be my favourites. I even posted it on my blog. Where did you get your orange rug?

posted by Pamela L on April 15, 2011 at 4:59pm
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what a cool place!! the colors are perfect

posted by CherelleNJ on April 17, 2011 at 11:37am
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Cool idea to create a bed on top of a closet, don't roll over too quickly in bed! Idea - could you put in storage/drawers within the window seat? It's a nice built in, but imagine being able to have drawers as part of it - would give you a bit more storage :)

posted by DB Modern on April 17, 2011 at 12:51pm
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Love the wooden living room chair. Some very nice touches. The bed, well, you'll never get me into it! ;-)

posted by the copland on April 17, 2011 at 4:49pm
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Thanks again for all the votes and comments!

@Pamela L - I bought the rug on Craigslist, but I believe it was originally from West Elm. They no longer have it, though.

@DB Modern - That is a really great idea! I rent, so I don't think my landlord would take to kindly to me altering a wall, and I don't know how much space is actually back there, because the bay window tapers at the bottom on the outside of the building, as you can see here - http://someoneelsehaslmcwethy.blogspot.com/2009/12/sneak-peak.html. My main problem was having large, awkward items too, so that was why I went with the more "storage locker" design.

posted by Sassyladie on April 18, 2011 at 1:43pm
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Love, love, love this place!!

posted by rachaelk on April 19, 2011 at 9:57am
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One of my favorites, I keep coming back to it. Laura, you haven't fallen off the bed since you posted this right? Just checking on you. :)

posted by cvgmiami on April 19, 2011 at 7:45pm
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@cvgmiami - Thanks so much! I haven't fallen off, but I have been sleeping closer to wall, since everyone has been so concerned. :)

posted by Sassyladie on April 20, 2011 at 9:22am
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This is cute but I don't think "Sophisticated" is the right word. But still very precious.

posted by scandesign on April 22, 2011 at 5:07am
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Um, that bed scares the crap out of me!

posted by suzy8track on April 23, 2011 at 7:41pm
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For sleeping in that bed alone you are favorited.

Great use of color throughout as well.

posted by warlesha21 on April 23, 2011 at 8:16pm
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I also know someone who was injured falling off a bed (and it was not even lofted) while sleeping. I know you said you've never fallen out before, but it only takes one time! I'm not judging or preaching; just expressing sincere concern.

posted by Clairesf on April 24, 2011 at 3:33am
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A bed on the ground with a tiny bit of storage is such a waste of space. I wonder why more people don't have beds higher up. The bed doesn't look sophisticated but it is functional. }
it isn't very sexy having to go up a ladder to get into bed with a guy.

posted by House Voyeur on April 24, 2011 at 7:58pm
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It's happy-fall-off-your-bed-night.

posted by Steve_from_DesignBlog on April 27, 2011 at 4:55pm
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Yay Laura! You made it top ten.

But don't get too excited or you might fall out of bed.

posted by cvgmiami on April 28, 2011 at 9:21pm
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Where did you get the bed, if you dont mind me asking.. im moving into a studio and that bed would work perfectly!

posted by calgarin on October 14, 2011 at 12:22pm
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