The assignment was a doozy: Comfortably fit a queen-size bed, living area, dining table, and kitchen into a one-room, 416-square-foot Airbnb in Austin. But Bri Ussery and Jess Knopp, principal designers at Dōr Design House, didn’t bat an eye. Instead they outsmarted the tiny home by reinventing a classic. Enter the trundle bed 2.0. It’s slimmer than a Murphy bed, easier to put away, and nests underneath a platform sitting area.
To get approval to bring their $8,200 idea to life, the duo walked their client through a day in the life of a traveler. They explained how the custom design would essentially give her guests a twofer in terms of space and highlighted how simple it would be for renters to smooth out the blanket, push in the bed, and start their morning. “Once we illustrated the ease of use, our client was sold,” says Knopp.
Since the project was so out-of-the-box, the designers relied on a team of expert carpenters and tradespeople to bring their hand-drawn plans to life. Over the course of two weeks they hunkered down in the rental, building the queen-sized trundle out of welded steel, covering it in subfloor, and finishing it in a layer of durable maple flooring. “Not only is maple a hard wood, it has a matte finish which gives the platform a clean and minimal appeal,” Knopp says. The team even built the trundle so it comes all the way out, which makes cleaning underneath the platform a breeze.
The build was originally supposed to wrap in the spring, but government shutdowns due to the pandemic mucked up the team’s supply chain, kept the designers from hiring tradespeople, and made building materials unavailable. “Ultimately we weathered the storm,” says Knopp. “Thankfully, since short-term rentals pretty much halted, the client ended up not being in any particular rush.”
Not much has changed in Austin since the project was completed, so the client has been test-driving the Airbnb herself instead of renting it out. Her verdict? Knopp says she’s so blown away by how functional it is that she even jokes about never listing it for guests and just living there forever.