After taking everyone's comments into consideration (thank you!) we bit the bullet and got the bunkbeds this weekend. We still need to tweak the furniture and wall art (and generally try to make the room more cheerful) but here they are:
After considering lots of different styles and manufacturers we went with the Hemnes bunks from IKEA. I love the warm, medium-toned wood. They are super-sturdy and can be split apart to make two beds down the line. I would have loved to break out of our IKEA mold, but they just make it too easy to not spend a fifteen hundred bucks on Pottery Barn Kids beds.
We added a shelf above Bunny's bed (thanks for the tip!) so that she can keep an assortment of books near her. We also put the fear of god into Wallie re: climbing up the ladder. The fact that she's a bit of a fraidy cat about such things is working to our advantage right now. Two days in and bedtime is going okay. The practice runs of having them sleep in the same room for a week definitely helped. I could hear them talking to each other last night, and so far it's cute rather than annoying.
My only question: How the heck do you make the bed on the top bunk?
We opted to put the bunks in Wallie's room, the darker and more
cave-like of the two bedrooms thanks to two shady trees in our
backyard, and now Bunny's room is a sun-filled play/guest room. We
added a shelf so they can see their toys and it's amazing what a
difference good storage makes. We also need to fine tune the furniture
placement here (and put things away properly), but here are the rugrats
in their new play space:
The white cubic shelf is the new IKEA shelf. J. built it yesterday and, yes, we're still married. (I know better than to go near him when he's knee-deep in IQ-testing pictorial directions and metric tools. ...I know better now, that is.)
We haven't seen much of the girls since their toys were set out late yesterday afternoon; they've been too busy playing. Completing the room is a comfy leather arm chair that our neighbor parked on the sidewalk yesterday.
Unrelated to the bunks but related to IKEA: We've started a purge of plastics and/or items made in the PRC. (We're the perfect target-audience for paranoia-inducing news stories.) We've moved so often that the girls don't have many toys so there wasn't much to toss there, just a few painted cars and plastic dinos.
We also decided to get rid off all our plastic/melamine kid plates,
cups and utensils in favor of sturdy glass items. J. went through the
entire IKEA marketplace looking at everything and it was nigh
impossible to find things made in places other than China. We ended up
with a motley assortment of dishes made in France and Portugal, but
still need to find some kid-friendly utensils. I may just end up
getting more small forks and spoons from our flatware set which is also
made in Portugal. (The bunks and shelving were made in Finland.)