A fun and efficient way to add extra beds at a cottage is to plan a bunk room.

Usually for the kids, this provides extra beds for friends or family to share time at your cottage together – instead of shuffling them off to a seldom-used spare bedroom or outside to a bunkie or cabin. Bunk rooms allow us to significantly increase the number of beds without increasing the size of the cottage. And bunk beds need not be the narrow, slightly unnerving sizes of the past; we have created spaces for twin, double and queen bunk beds, either stacked or with smaller sizes above.

Extra beds can be aligned – with identically-sized beds or smaller beds above – or rotated so that the upper bed is parallel to the wall while the lower bed has its headboard against the wall. These can also be augmented by adding a trundle bed under the lower bunk, which is rolled-out for use – although to accommodate trundle beds we should allow extra floor space.

Ladders to the upper bunk can be sloped so that they’re easier to use, and their location should be considered ahead of time so that they don’t get in the way of the lower bunk occupant, or block circulation space in the room or a trundle bed below. Creating a ceiling height of 9’ or more allows greater maneuverability – and kid-at-heart adults – in both upper and lower bunks.

Careful planning allows for some thoughtful and memorable spaces. We have created individualized berths, where each bed gets its own window, lamp and recessed shelf for phones or e-readers or even what we used to call “books”.

And by adding solid head and footboards – and individual curtains in front – a private space can be created for everyone, after the late-night whispered conversations finally end.