Sunday, February 17, 2013

Loft and Painting


When Raku, my roomate, and I opened the door to our room, it was plain white. White is boring. So we bought some "Mango Orange" paint from Dickson Brothers and True Value (we bought a small tester then a big gallon). Both of those hardware stores are near the MIT/Harvard Square area. I found some Gaffer Tape around the Edgerton Center, and Ed Moriarty, a truly awesome and inspiring person who works at MIT's Edgerton Center, found some paper I could use for preventing paint blobs. We then proceeded to tape all the places we didn't want to get orange paint on. (I really wish I had pictures of this process. That was back when I wasn't a blogger).

So, I need to back up a second. Raku and I signed up to be roommates, but we were assigned two different singles. During Rush, we had heard the idea that two people moved into one room and then turned the second room into a movie theater/building/everything/awesome room. Raku and I decided to do something similar. We planned to paint one room orange, the other blue, and then put portals on the doors.

We slept in our other single while we were in the process of painting. We basically went the first month at MIT without completely unpacking our suitcases.

After putting two coats of paint on, it turned out really nice.


We both wanted to build a loft. We managed to scrap some nice 2x4 and 4x4 boards by helping disassemble the fun rides in East Campus's courtyard. Every Rush and CPW, East Campus builds awesome contraptions (like roller coasters and ride-able double pendulums).

(Skipping all the design process) Here's the final product. If you want to read about the rest, click the read more link below the image.

Completed Loft :)
We came up with a bunch of ideas for lofts (we wanted to build a new design).

One was to build a raised "floor" and sleep underneath it. I was completely in favor of this; however, the thought of dust, rats, and cockroaches swayed me.

Another design was to have the beds above the entrance into the room. We would have done this if it wasn't for the fire alarm and sprinkler.

We have a sink in our room!!! East Campus is awesome!

Yet another design, was to make a full loft. In other words, we would make a second story in our one story room.

With all these ideas, we decided to make some design specifications.

Design Specifications:

  • Light should still reach the floor (eliminates a second floor type loft)
  • High enough to avoid bumping our heads on
  • Low enough to allow sitting up in bed
  • No posts in the middle of an open space
  • Sturdy/Solid

Our favorite design was an "L" loft. Here's a sketch.

We had originally planned to make this "L" shaped loft in order to open up some space. It turns out that the room was too narrow to put the beds in that position (because its a single). The room at one point was actually a staircase, and it sounds very hollow/scary when we jump.

The Final Final Loft

The design we ended up building had two parallel beds with 4 posts in the front and 2 in the back. It met all our design specifications and had some extra perks. This way we could put our book shelves in front (near the sink for storing stuff). We also made the loft to be 5'8" (slightly lower than our height) so we could sit up in bed. By making the loft lower, we had to raise the horizontal bar connecting the two in front (making for a heightened entrance).

Notice the 2 x 4 beam at the top
It turned out that the heightened entrance also made a good railing for on top of the beds.

Here you can see two front 4 x 4 posts on one side of the loft.

I found some really nice 2x12 boards in the EC West Parallel basement. (They had a sign on them saying they would be used by a certain date, but it was after that date. After talking to some people, I decided they were up for grabs. If the person happens to read this and wants them back, I would be glad to buy some for them). 

Any way, these 2x12s fit the mattress height perfectly.  

(The pictures were taken after the building process. We had finally unpacked by then.) 

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