design hacker: d-i-y concrete block bedframe

d-i-y concrete block bed frame

We can’t remember when we started mentally re-designing things in our heads; it’s been part of our thought process for years, made even more acute by ‘the improvised life’. We look at a design and mentally “try it on”, in an instant envisioning what it would be like to use actually use it, make it, change it. HACK IT.

When we saw Remodelista’s recent post about Commune designer Chau Truong’s cool bed base made from concrete blocks, we actually climbed into that bed – in our heads. We discovered that it has the major design flaw we wrote about a few weeks ago: bigger-than-the-mattress-platforms make it practically impossible to get in and out of bed without scraping your shin. And one made of concrete blocks would be especially painful. Yikes!

So we started our mental redesign: we’d use fewer blocks to place them exactly the footprint of the mattress (even if it meant spacing the blocks a bit, or using a different size). To reduce their massive weight, we’d arrange the blocks in a rectangle with a hidden piece of plywood resting on them to support the mattress. We’d also place furniture sliders on the bottom of each block to keep them from damaging the floor and making it easier to move the bed.

And we’d paint those blocks white to soften the aesthetic a bit and make them more sculptural…

…for a start…

What would you do?

Related posts: design flaw? bigger-than-the-mattress platforms for beds

cinder block houses + studios (via alexander calder)

ethan greenbaum’s concrete block love (and inspiration)

concrete block love

chic concrete block sink

18 Responses to design hacker: d-i-y concrete block bedframe

  1. nameKarin koller webb 05.19.2011 at 10:21am #

    As an InnKeeper who makes many beds, i’d be considering my hands as I tucked in the sheets. Ouch!! Plywood indeed…

  2. Rebecca W 05.19.2011 at 4:38pm #

    As someone who has slept on a concrete platform bed in Mexico. I can assure you that stubbing your toe on the bed taks on a whole new meaning.

  3. Sally 05.19.2011 at 6:12pm #

    We would LOVE to see that concrete platform bed…

    Perhaps we’d move the blocks IN a little more, and make the plywood nice and smooth…

    It’s amazing how many things there are to consider in this rigged bed!

  4. Jim 05.20.2011 at 9:39am #

    There is a VERY good reason for that little recess at the bottom of kitchen base cabinets, bathroom vanities beds, etc. Toes the world over say “Thank you”.

    I love the appearance and feel of the overall room shown above. I’d like to know more about that black wall. Are they little horizontal shelves? displaying a collection of “matchbox” cars? My wind-up toys want to know…

  5. ModVocado 08.31.2011 at 12:58am #

    I have used five 6x8x8 blocks under my box spring and thrown my mattress on top, I have a lovely 8 inch clearance under my bed now for storage. I love this idea. Cost me less than 5 bucks and saved me 50-100 bucks on a new queen bed frame, one that would have accomplished the EXACT same thing. Not to mention the time and tools to assemble a frame. I say YaY for blocks!

  6. donny 05.01.2014 at 10:07pm #

    that block can be used to keep your small stuff too
    great design

  7. DJ2014 05.08.2014 at 1:15pm #

    I used this idea to create my puppy bed using toddler matress after he chewed the wood bed frame I got. The extra space on the cynder block works for my dog as it serve as a stepper and just look better as a base. I’m a sucker for Industrial Design and Minimalism, and never would of thought this idea.

  8. Sally 05.11.2014 at 11:21am #

    It’s funny how we can apply an idea in one way, and not think to do it in another, related one. I would have never thought of your iteration…ha!

  9. Alena 12.05.2014 at 5:16am #

    How many blocks are used totally for a twin bed? I don’t know how the center support is. Are there blocks under every portion of the bed?

  10. Sally 12.08.2014 at 1:04pm #

    I can’t recommend the blocks for a variety of reasons, namely that the carry vibration, though they look kind of cool. (I’ll be posting about the upshot of my bed experiments soon). That being said, one block at each corner should hold a normal bed frame. If you see bowing in the long span, you can always put one in the center of each.

  11. Joe 03.30.2016 at 2:45pm #

    yikes, that must have absolutely destroyed those wood floors.

  12. Sally Schneider 03.30.2016 at 9:54pm #

    Nah, I covered the floors with cardboard and garbage bags. The blocks are easy to move by sliding them on a rag rug.


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