Half inspiration and half "How To" this post will show you how I made an affordable modern platform bed for under $300.
Design. This is where you should spend a good deal of time. There are a lot of things that go into the design process, including, but not limited to: the space your bed goes into, your budget, your handyman skills, green products or not. You get the point. This particular project shown above was for a good friend. The budget was around $300, the space was small, I was fairly handy and had access to quite a few tools.
The actual bed is two separate parts, the top, and the base. We'll start with the base. I made the skeleton out of cheap 1/2" plywood. It eventually got covered with the nice walnut as show in the picture above. The base was made out of 4 separate pieces that were bolted together. I did this to maximize portability in case they ever moved and wanted to break it down into small parts. A sketch of the skeleton not bolted together is shown below.
The top didn't get the mitered (45 degree) corners the base got. It was just a 90 degree but joint, which doesn't look quite as nice, but it makes putting the finished walnut on a lot easier. I made it out of four different parts as I did with the base which were then bolted together. I did this for the sake of portability in the future. The overall dimensions of the top are about 6" wider per side, and at the bottom to get the overhang I wanted. It sits flush at the top of the bed to save space in the room. (note, my sketches are not really to scale sorry)
Next is the hardest part, using walnut ply (about $90 a sheet, ouch) cover everything that will be seen. This means using mitered edges where all the plywood joints meet. I used a tablesaw with the blade at a 45 degree angle, but you could use a circular saw with a straight edge clamped to the plywood. Take your time and think about everything three times before you cut. The space in the middle of the bed I spanned with multiple 1x4 pine slats.
To finish it I used a water based minwax polyurethane. Put a coat on, sand with 600 grit sand paper, repeat x 3. On your last coat sand with 1200 grit sandpaper for the glassy finish.