We used plans from Ana-White.com and adjusted them slightly to better fit our room. Rather than an angled set of stairs leading to the platform, we replaced it with a short vertical ladder. We also increased the height of the bed to allow for another bunk in the lower section for when Callaghan outgrows his crib. Plus, we added handles to the bed which made it easier for Luke to get up and down.
This bed was quick to build (my brother and Josh tackled it in 4 hours - sanding taking the bulk of time) and was relatively inexpensive (around $75). Plus it only required one tool purchase - but oh, what an amazing tool it is. We finally picked up a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig and I am in love. After this project was in place we started dreaming of all the other pretty things we could build.
As of now, I've left the bed natural (lumber company stamps and all) because I haven't quite decided if I want to stain or paint it. I'm kind of digging the warmer tone of the unfinished wood in the space so I might just sand and seal it with some poly and call it good - or stain it a nice light/medium tone. One update I couldn't help making is adding a curtain to the section beneath the bunk using a tension rod and four navy curtains I scored at GWill for $6. To say Luke is a fan of the change is an understatement.
For two boys with three years between them, the loft bed was the key to utilizing the room's space to its fullest potential. It allowed us to elevate our older son's bed leaving plenty of floor space for play and room for a crib. With the bed out of the way all I have left to figure out is how to organize all the toys! I'm obviously a super fan of the fabric bins but any other ideas out there - especially for those boxes of puzzles?