Like any furniture purchase, buying the right bunk bed requires a lot of thought and preparation. There are many factors to consider before making a final decision. Unlike other furniture purchases, however, buying a bunk bed will often involve a third party: the precious cargo that it carries -- your children. While you might see a bunk bed as an economical and space-saving solution to your children's slumber needs, your kids will undoubtedly view it as their own private abode. This Step-by-Step Buying Guide is here to help you choose the bunk bed that makes both you and your children happy.
Step 1: Determine your space needs
If you are already thinking about buying a bunk bed, space is most likely an issue. Small rooms benefit greatly from a bunk or lofted bed, but there are plenty of benefits for large rooms, too. First take some measurements to figure out how much space is available. It is extremely important to measure the ceiling height. All bunk beds vary in height, but the average bunk is going to stand between 5? to 6 feet tall. You want to make sure there is at least two feet of space between the bunk and your ceiling. This will cut down on unnecessary bumps and bruises. Standard bunk beds usually won't take up more space than a twin bed, but not all bunk beds can be considered standard. Bunks with pull-out beds, desks, or an L-shape design will surely require a greater sacrifice in living space.
Step 2: Which type of bunk bed will fulfill your needs?
Bunk beds have evolved over the years, and there are now many different types to choose from. From a basic, no frills design, to an elaborate combination of features, we offer bunks that cover this whole range of styles. The classic Twin-over-Twin design is still as functional as it always was, and can provide exactly what you need. If you are looking for something with a little more to offer, check out the different types of bunks that we carry:
Basic - The original bunk bed design. Available in Twin-over-Twin, Twin-over-Full, or Full-over-Full.
Loft - This style is becoming quite popular. The loft design consists of one bed suspended over either another perpendicular bed, or an open space occupied by a desk, drawers, or shelves. A versatile design with countless possibilities.
Futon (see right) - One lofted bed over a futon. The futon can be used as a couch during the day, and then converted to a full size bed at night. Creates a casual atmosphere for popular rooms known to attract guests.
Pull Out - Another space-saving design that stows a bed in the space beneath your bunk. Simply pull out the bed when extra sleeping space is needed. Also known as a trundle bed.
Step 3: Which features should you look for?
If you want to provide a room's worth of furniture with just one purchase, that is entirely possible with the array of features available for today's bunks. Many bunks have desks incorporated into their design. The desk is either placed under a lofted bunk, or attached at the end of the bed. As a supplement to a desk, storage drawers are often built-in under the bottom bunk or found in the form of a dresser on either side of a lofted bed. It is common for bunks with a desk to have bookshelves as well. With a desk and plenty of storage space, you can create a nice little "home office" for your child. These features can greatly enhance your bunk bed's functionality, and should be considered when deciding upon the perfect set up. Many of these features are available separately and can be added to your bed later on.
Step 4: Choose a style that fits
We offer bunk beds that fit any taste. Once you decide on the form of construction that you prefer (Wood, Metal, Wood/Metal), you should observe which style is a good match for you and your children. While it is ultimately your decision on which bed you purchase, it can't hurt to ask your children's opinion. Here are a few of the different styles we carry:
Casual - These beds are very traditional in their styling. Featuring darker wood grain finishes and overall simple designs, casual bunks create a comfortable atmosphere for your children.
Contemporary/Modern - These beds feature smooth lines and a clean-cut appearance. They don't rely on fancy carvings or detail to get noticed. Solid colors and subtle designs often define these pieces.
Cottage (see right) - Inspired by the architectural styles of the French countryside, these beds feature soft finishes, distressed woods, and fence-like characteristics. They carry a light and authentic charm.
Professional photography advice: you don't need to be a professional to take good pictures. These are just a couple of tips that will get you on the right track.
Not everyone is a professional when it comes to taking good pictures. But the good news is that you do not have to be. How often do you get your pictures back, only to realize the shot you took, isn't as great as you wanted it to be? But take heart. There are a few simple tricks, which will have you shooting like a pro.
Ever take a picture of a loved one, only to find that the face is dark when you get the picture back? There is a simple way to fix that. Watch the sun. Whenever possible, you should have the sun behind you when taking a picture. That way Mother Nature is providing the lights for you. The sun will highlight the areas you want to see, usually the face. If the sun is in front of you, it will cast a shadow right where you want to see.
Surprisingly, the best light comes in the morning and evenings. You will get some neat color tones at these times of the day. However, if possible, try to avoid shots in the middle of the day. That's when the sun is directly above you, and no matter where you place your subject, there will also be a shadow straight down. If it is a cloudy day, try using the flash - even if it is the middle of the afternoon. The flash will add light, which will add detail.
Here is a little test for you. True or false. When taking a picture, you want to have the subject right in the middle of the frame. False. One of the biggest mistakes people make, is to shot a person, head to toe, right in the middle of the shot. Here is something you can try next time you take a picture. Draw an imaginary tic-tac-toe board over the entire frame. Then try to position the subject where the lines meet, one of the four corners. If it is a person, try framing it in the upper portions. If it's something else, say a rock, try framing it in the lower portion. When shooting something on the horizon, frame it in the upper half if you want to show more land, frame it on the bottom half if you want to show more sky. Also, move in. That will get rid of a lot of the clutter in the picture. Take a look at some of your favorite people pictures. I bet most of them show just the face and not the entire body. The closer you get, the more details you will be able to show, the better the picture will look.
It can take years of practice to become a professional photographer. If taking pictures is something you enjoy, you might want to look into the hundreds of books that are available. But hopefully, these simple tips will get you well on your way to taking pictures like a pro.
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