121 Comments

  1. KateS
    January 21, 2014 @ 10:39 am

    It would be a shame to hide all that lovely wood…. have you thought about repurposing the headboard and part of the sides/end into a daybed?

    Reply

  2. savannah
    January 21, 2014 @ 10:42 am

    Is it possible to just use the headboard and find another room to use the rest of the bed frame? Your husband seems like a handy guy who could probably figure out how to make that happen! 😉 xox

    Reply

  3. Janet Ya Ya Westelle
    January 21, 2014 @ 10:42 am

    Or a throne?

    Reply

    • Linda
      January 21, 2014 @ 1:50 pm

      A throne. Genius.

      Reply

    • Mary Hall
      January 21, 2014 @ 4:19 pm

      A throne…I could totally see this working, but only if it were sitting in front of an awesome mirror so you could see yourself in all your splendor. Too bad you don’t have a mirror. 😉

      Reply

  4. Lori
    January 21, 2014 @ 10:44 am

    Um, you do know that you can get bespoke mattresses? Just a suggestion.

    You’re welcome, Paul!!

    Reply

  5. Penny
    January 21, 2014 @ 10:45 am

    It is easier to have a mattress custom-made (to fit the dimensions of the frame) than you think. (I had a double extra-long mattress/box springs made for an awkward shaped guest room.) Of course, that doesn’t solve the problem of getting everything up the stairs.)

    Reply

  6. Ellen
    January 21, 2014 @ 10:47 am

    Get that bed!!! You NEED that bed! It is easier to ask forgiveness than permission!!!

    Reply

  7. helenel
    January 21, 2014 @ 10:48 am

    My father did something like this to a bedstead that belonged to my great-grandmother. But my Dad is like a RAWR DO IT guy. So…he used steel. And bolts. And the bed was solid. And my mother bought bedskirts. So, even tho the “integrity of the piece” was compromised, it all basically looked good and didn’t wobble.

    You should see the rest of their 1890s Queen Anne Victorian, tho. Home Depot’d up the ying-yang. I used to cry after I’d been over there.

    Reply

  8. Jayne Z
    January 21, 2014 @ 10:49 am

    Seriously, you could have a good finish carpenter (maybe even Paul) just cut the sides of the bed, add a filler, finish to match the original and your problem is solved. I would definitely add a center support and box spring so the mattress sits up high enough in all it’s grandeur! Can’t wait to read the rest of the story.

    Reply

  9. magdalena
    January 21, 2014 @ 10:56 am

    Your Craigslist odysseys always have my husband and I in stitches! $300?! For that lovely lady? It’s like they paid you to take it.

    Reply

  10. judy
    January 21, 2014 @ 11:02 am

    I sold furniture and I can assure you, Paul and the Bed Troll that this is solvable. We took king sized bed frames(this was back in the day when everyone had a camel back sofa, two wing chairs and all cherry furniture or carved mahogany)- apart and forced them up narrow stairways that were designed in olden days for verrrrrrrrrrrrry teeny tiny people. Once you get your hands on it you will ………..Paul– will see that it can accommodate a king without surgery to your mattress or anesthesia (the anesthesia would naturally be for Paul) You can patch an extender on the inside of the rails and set a metal bedframe inside of that or just get larger slats to hold the mattress. Any-Hoo you are the most talented writer and you need to consider going Pro!

    Reply

  11. Valerie
    January 21, 2014 @ 11:06 am

    It really is a shame to cover all that fabulous wood with a mattress and comforter. Perhaps you could re-think the platform idea and make it a bed for Elvis! The platform probably wouldn’t be too low for Elvis. And she deserves a spectabilistic bed too! I’m sure Paul could whip up a padded platform that would fit inside the bedframe. He’s a sweetie like that. Consult the bed troll and let us know what she thinks. Love, love, love you and your blog.

    Reply

  12. Brynne@TheGatheredHome
    January 21, 2014 @ 11:10 am

    I love it! You are the writer I always dream of becoming 🙂
    That bed is fabulous, and I have supreme confidence in your crazed-bed-troll-problem-solving skills!

    Reply

  13. kerri
    January 21, 2014 @ 11:12 am

    So, you DID go get it, right?

    Reply

  14. Alex - Old Town Home
    January 21, 2014 @ 11:17 am

    Just to give a little fuel to the fire…You know our antique headboard and footboard from our master bedroom is a turn of the century bed retrofitted for a modern queen mattress? http://www.oldtownhome.com/2013/2/27/The-Finishing-Touches-Accessorizing-our-Master-Bedroom/

    It was actually an eBay find, and the retrofit wasn’t horribly difficult given the configuration of the bed. The side rails were moved out slightly and connected to the headboard and footboard with some steel angle pieces and about 8 bolts on each. Also, the side rails were extended a bit in the same way. Then those steel pieces were disguised with stained wood attached to them.

    With the curved connection on the footboards you can likely do the same and then just make the curves a bit longer. Up at the headboard, you just move the rails out some and adjust the side details to accommodate.

    Very interested to see how this turns out, but I think it’s totally doable!

    Reply

  15. Karen B.
    January 21, 2014 @ 11:19 am

    I agree with some of your readers, get a custom box frame for the bottom, put your memory foam (after being cut down just a smidge) on top. The bed will be high enough and fabulous.
    I’m putting my house on the market and moving to Philadelphia, all for the furniture available on craigslist!
    Karen

    Reply

    • Mary Hall
      January 21, 2014 @ 4:22 pm

      Or Hagerstown, Karen B. Seems like they have some awesomeness there. Or they did. (Waiting for Part 2.)

      Reply

  16. Steph
    January 21, 2014 @ 11:21 am

    Just get the bed and buy the correct size mattress. It probably takes a full, will accommodate a queen with some maneuvering, and don’t forget the current owner’s measurements could be slightly off. Or way off. Mirror troll talking here.

    You can also have mattresses custom made. Isn’t it time for a new mattress anyway?

    You won’t miss the extra three inches of mattress. Trust me. I am over 6 ft tall and my husband is just under 6 ft tall. Sleeping sideways works fine. Sometimes. And we have a guest room if needed.

    As for the headboard – ask the guy to send you a photo of the back. I think these headboards sometimes come apart into two sections. See the horizontal lines? Why are they there otherwise? It must come apart. And since the bed was built for a Victorian house, and probably originally bought for a Victorian house, and it’s now not in a Victorian house – this must be the case, because how did it get out of the Victorian house? See – it’s completely logical.

    Reply

  17. Gusmom
    January 21, 2014 @ 11:22 am

    Look at RV mattresses. They are made with the traditional widths but a few inches shorter. Try campingworld.com or any other supplier of RV stuff.

    That said, I have seen some amazing antique beds that have been expanded to work with queen or king size mattresses. You have to realize you will sacrifice value of the piece when you do this (or have it done). However, a good furniture maker/repairer can extend the length of the runners on the bed and can split the headboard a bit on each side, leaving the beautiful header intact, adding sections to increase the width. If they do it right, you would never know the bed was modified.

    Reply

  18. Jenn
    January 21, 2014 @ 11:26 am

    As always, I am rolling. I feel like every time I find something on Craigslist I have the EXACT same scenario with my husband–almost word for word. I still have faith that some day they will understand our genius!

    Reply

  19. Jenny
    January 21, 2014 @ 11:26 am

    Elizabeth: That bed is wonderful and full of character. You must have it, so any measures to get it into your bedroom and fitted with an appropriate mattress are justified. Go do it.
    I understand this completely because I had searched for THE perfect sofa for years. I would not compromise. And lo! I finally found it, had it reupholstered just as my dreams of it had directed me for so long. It was a little (ahem) pricey, but I was doing this for my husband’s home. I was thinking of him, (ahem again) you know. The day it was delivered, it would not fit through our front door. Nor the back door. My only recourse was the sawzall. I handed it to the deliveryman and disregarded his widened eyes and protestations, threatening him that if he wouldn’t cut down the enclosing wall of the deck off my kitchen, I would, and probably cut off my foot, and he would be responsible. I would see to it that he would be responsible. So he did, and they moved that gorgeous sofa through the huge hole ,er, opening onto the deck, through the wide French doors of the breakfast room (just a minor effort to move the furniture there-) past the kitchen (tight squeeze past the ‘fridge, but we didn’t have to move it) through the dining room, and Yes! Into the living room! Perfect! Until I realized my sofa makes all the other furnishings look pathetic, so my next task is to convince hubby that HE needs all new lovely stuff to pair with that sofa. And that rather than repairing the deck, all he needs to do is make a gate where the hole-er, CONVENIENT new opening is, so next time there will be no problem getting the lovely new stuff into the house. As I said, all this work and planning has been for him. He works hard. He deserves a lovely home to rest and relax in after he has worked so hard all day. Just not on the sofa. He has a lovely recliner in his “man cave” for that.

    Reply

  20. Margaret
    January 21, 2014 @ 11:27 am

    Easy-peasy to make it fit. As a long time overseer of projects, I cannot see why Paul is making fuss! Just get it home and look at it. Once you have it onsite the solution will present itself. Don’t bother me with details, that isn’t my department.

    Reply

  21. Pamela
    January 21, 2014 @ 11:31 am

    First off……….I live to read your blog. Love your wittiness…oh and your creativity is pretty swell as well. I think like you do, but never did I think people would understand what I meant if I wrote it out; then I found your blog and your “smarty pants” comments and I understand everything you say. I get it and obviously I’m not the only one that gets it. Go figure.

    But about the bed. It is lovely, very lovely! But I have a suggestion. What if you doubled the lovliness and ask your friend “Craig” to find you twin Victorian beds? (And I don’t mean that you have to sleep in separate twin beds like June & Ward Cleaver) This could work to your benefit for several reasons: 1. Will fit easily up the stairs 2. Can be bolted together and a king size mattress will fit 3. King size box springs can be bought in two pieces and will fit in each bed 4. You’ll have TWO lovely headboards to adore 5. If you do decide to sleep apart 6o years from now, you can change it back to twins. 6. No lose situation

    Good luck on your search and rescue mission. I have two victorian beds in my shop right now. I must be a better “Cragslist” puruser than you, I only paid $75 for the one and $50 for the other; both are full size and the one with the highest headboard is just begging to go home with me. “Please, please, please…..I promise I’ll make you very happy in bed every night” she keeps telling me……..I’m beginning to fall for her line.

    Reply

  22. Jenn
    January 21, 2014 @ 11:32 am

    Yep, you (Paul) could totally take it apart at the corners (or just before the curves for the purpose of the end of the bed) and expand it to fit the size mattress you want.

    And the short answer to the too-low issue is bed-risers (simple, inexpensive, and work like a charm)!

    Reply

  23. Kay
    January 21, 2014 @ 12:08 pm

    I bought a leather sectional couch from my landlord when I moved out – he had it in a bedroom turned into a tv room. The movers couldn’t get it out the bedroom door no matter how much stuffing they took out of it, so I measured the window and voila, it just made it through (after I removed the um window sashes – thank goodness they were new, modern replacement windows. No major carpentry required – just a screw driver and good eyes to see where the spring flew to.). My current residence has much larger doors! Since the Victorians didn’t make queen sized beds, I am going to just make a headboard. Someday. I’m still trying to figure out how to put together twin beds from my childhood since the movers lost the gorgeous maple side rails. All four of them.

    Reply

  24. Kathleen Grace
    January 21, 2014 @ 12:08 pm

    Having read so many of your posts (delightful!) I know what a handy guy Paul is. Many of these old beds can be fixed simply by extending the side rails. No problem at all.
    Please do not tell him this was my idea.

    Reply

  25. Elizabeth
    January 21, 2014 @ 12:10 pm

    I live in a 900 square foot ‘Hall and Parlour I House’.
    This is my fabulous, big Civil War Bed (that I think we brought in through the front window)? (I don’t remember because it has been so long – kind of how you forget how much labor hurt after you have that cute baby in your arms…) I told my husband that I want a 2×4 platform built for the box spring and matress – so I can finally put the right side rail in place. Right now it is held in place with heavy telephone wire. But you can’t see that because of the dust ruffle!
    It’s the first photo:
    http://bittersweetdesignstudio.blogspot.com/2011/09/project-900-sqft-purging-and-organizing.html

    Reply

  26. Diane Amick
    January 21, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

    OK – one of your new missions – I, and the rest of your followers – need a workshop situation with you as leader – to teach all of us poor, unimaginative, slow-thinking Craigslist wannabe’s how to make sure OUR husband/significant other/worker-bee/helper/measurer/cutter/fitter sees the futility of discussing (arguing) about every little item we find/can’t live without and the POSSIBLE problems curtailed after jumping prior to measuring/thinking/discussing/figuring ad nauseum. Don’t they know we ALWAYS win anyway? We need instruction and diagram training from The Queen of Craigslist, so that next time they will be speechless and just accepting of our genius. Where do I sign up?

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      January 21, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

      I gave this some thought… and realized that I am simply more annoying than other wives.

      Getting this stuff is a hassle for Paul, but I guess it must be less of a hassle than being hounded by multiple trolls?
      xoxo
      ps- but we should still have a conference.

      Reply

    • Lori
      January 21, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

      I just ask. He knows nothing about home improvement, and he loves seeing me happy. Works…every…time. And, he does not ask how much it costs either!

      Now, computers…I am toast. So, he wins there.

      Reply

      • Krista
        January 22, 2014 @ 11:55 am

        I would totally go to this conference. Sign me up!

        Reply

  27. Sara
    January 21, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

    I love your blog, a fact which scares my husband. I may have a solution to your mattress dilemma. Here in MN there is a company called The Original Mattress Factory. They make their mattresses right here in the Twin Cities. They can make custom sizes to fit antique beds and it will not cost you a fortune. They also do split queen box springs for the tight stairwells in older homes. I bet they could ship to you. Good luck, that bed is gorgeous! http://www.originalmattress.com/

    Reply

  28. Julie Williams
    January 21, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

    This has to be the best buy on the freakin planet for the entire year! Hello! It is
    going to be absolutely incredible in your beautiful home.

    Reply

  29. Rebecca Brovont
    January 21, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

    Not to worry, I have actually done this. I inherited by Great Grandparents’ Empire bed made about 1830 by Berkey and Gay in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was handcarved mahogany and massive looking but not the right dimensions for a queen mattress. I had new sideboards made (out of Honduran mahogany) allowing me to specify a new length to the bed and we re-attached the sideboards in a different place on the posts accommodating more width. Problem solved.

    Reply

  30. Sharon
    January 21, 2014 @ 12:39 pm

    I bought a 70’s era electric knife to cut down foam to size. Works like a dream, mostly.
    I found it on Craigslist, of course.
    I’m looking forward to Part 2 of the Bed Saga!

    Reply

  31. My Crappy House
    January 21, 2014 @ 1:08 pm

    Of course you need that bed. That’s a no brainer. However, why not put it in a guest room as is and hold out for a king size? You’re sure to find something amazingly Victorian in a king eventually, right?

    Reply

  32. elizabeth kowal
    January 21, 2014 @ 1:24 pm

    i’m dying of jealously over your new beautiful bed! i wouldn’t hesitate for a second on somehow cutting the mattress to fit!

    Reply

  33. Suesan
    January 21, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

    Seriously funny stuff, but it sounds like your husband and my husband are far too weighed down by practical matters that should never get between a girl and her creativity! Go you. I’m a new follower and excited to hear how this story ends.

    Reply

  34. Diane West
    January 21, 2014 @ 1:35 pm

    Sorry, I don’t have time to read all the comments right now, so someone might already have suggested this, but…why don’t you get it for the guest bedroom? That way you can have the bed but you don’t have to try to make the king-size mattress fit into a full size bed. I hate to tell you but NO WAY that’s gonna work. Although you could put it into Photoshop and stretch it… 😉
    Actually I have a bed that’s very similar—it’s in storage right now (long story) and I will use it in my next house’s guest room.

    Reply

  35. Katherine
    January 21, 2014 @ 1:39 pm

    Don’t worry, you have nothing left to hammer out, as I happen to live in France and I control it. That’s one lovely bed (I suspect) you’ve got there!

    Reply

  36. LaurieC
    January 21, 2014 @ 1:50 pm

    Yayy! I have a bit of sense of humor after all – I laughed out loud this time! Thank you Paul for that. Or it could be left-over joy from doing my EZ taxes on line successfully last night, and looking forward to an early return. No, it was your superb writing, fabulous mental thought processes, and great diagram artwork!… and Paul’s “Interesting.” comment and reply. Thank you for giving me laughter today! Looking forward to “The rest of the story”.

    Reply

  37. Tiffany
    January 21, 2014 @ 1:52 pm

    I was having THE MOST

    Reply

  38. Tiffany
    January 21, 2014 @ 1:58 pm

    Oops. I am new to leaving comments, obviously – disregard that false start.

    As I was trying to say, I was having THE MOST disgruntling day today (and yes, in my world, a day can be disgruntling). Your bed post just made me grin and feel like all is going to be well in the world, because you have even better shenanigans going on than I do. I’m not alone!

    As soon as I get home from my day job, put the baby to bed, and can go outside and work on my giant gold Humpty Dumpty frame – the Victorian one that is utterly fabulous (once it’s all glued back together and I finish learning how to faux finish the white parts), and I have great plans for making into a giant magnet board where I will hang smaller frames that I have made magnetic. That’s once I figure out how to add a backboard that won’t weigh 800 lbs, somehow get home the sheet metal that is wider than my vehicle, and convince my husband to help me hang it.

    He hates large, gold, useless things. Fortunately for me, he loves me more than he hates my latest massive craigslist treasure.

    So thanks for reminding me go back to obsessing about my creative project, instead of letting the frustrations of my day get me down. :0)

    Reply

  39. Rhonda
    January 21, 2014 @ 2:01 pm

    What a gorgeous bed, and a great price as well! Others have suggested this, but we have actually done it. We have a house full of antique beds (and everything else!) and most all of our beds have had the side rails lengthened to accommodate the mattresses. Works like a charm!

    Reply

  40. Carolyn V
    January 21, 2014 @ 2:03 pm

    I can’t wait for part two!!! I miss you when you don’t post. I wish you would post every day- even just random thoughts 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply