Craigslist is my spirit animal – The bed saga, Pt. 1
The bedrooms at our old house were about the size of shoeboxes, but at this house we have plenty of room for a king-size bed.
The bed-shopping experience has been derailed by my ever-escalating symptoms of GFTD: Giant Fancy Thing Disease.
Giant Fancy Things are out there.
I will be getting them.
My affliction is particularly advanced – to the point where practicality has stopped playing any role at all in my design choices.
Do you see a problem here? No? Me either.
For three whole months I succeeded in
ignoring this bed thinking about this bed every day.
Aside from the minor issue of being the wrong size, it was originally listed at $1,000. Plus it was far… 2.5 hours worth of far. I do not even know how it ended up in my search results because I don’t look outside the Philadelphia area. If I did, I would spend all my time doing NOTHING but driving around like a mad woman.
Not to mention how I would bankrupt us in 5 days.
But it turns out that the primordial mirror troll has a sister – the bed troll.
Every few days she would whisper – get me that bed. It is mine. I need to love it.
I kept telling her – please, be serious. We need bigger, not smaller.
But she would just shrug and say – what does that have to do with anything? It is giant. It is fancy. Why not get it?
So I emailed the guy… and just like all my other Craigslist finds, there was:
1 – surprisingly good news.
2 – an insurmountable problem that I decided to ignore.
The good news:
-The bed is actually wide enough. Sort of. Depending on your definition of “enough.”
-He would take $300 if we came THAT day.
The bad news:
-The bed is not quite long enough.
You can decide for yourself whether this is important or not; personally, I decided it wasn’t and the next step was to tell Paul the good news.
After 9 years of marriage, I have learned that Paul and I explain our ideas very differently; I like to use an evangelical fervor to get right to the heart of the matter.
I focus on communicating the pure awesomeness of the possibility… And in contrast, sometimes Paul’s response of excessive questioning and detail-seeking makes me feel like he is not appreciating the idea.
So when possible, I will draw him a diagram. That way when he starts with the questions, I can just point and say– your concerns are addressed here, in section 34.B – and I am less likely to destroy my own campaign by shouting: NOT RELEVANT! NEXT QUESTION!
Paul said – I thought we were getting a king-size bed? I nodded and said – believe me. So did I. But apparently, we are getting this bed.
Then I broke out my diagram.
He looked at it for a minute and then said – you have the mattress being longer than the bed?
I said – yes.
Paul said – so… the mattress will just… hang over?
I said – yes.
Paul said – I do not think that will look good.
I said – it will.
You notice my brief, unapologetic responses? This is my New Year’s resolution: explain nothing. I do not owe the world a justification for my genius.
Besides, who even cares if the mattress does not fit the bed exactly? We are the only ones who hang out in our bedroom… do we really need to be concerned that people might judge us for violating societal-norms regarding arbitrary and restrictive mattress-to-bed-length ratios?
But I caved pretty quickly because Paul did not seem convinced and I did not want him to think I had not thought this through… So I said – well. The other option is that we could cut the mattress. It is just memory foam. We could use the Sawzall.
Paul said – the Sawsall? Interesting.
The bed troll shouted at me– I told you! I told you that was a good idea!!
But she does not know Paul like I do.
I said to him – what do you mean, interesting?
Paul said – you think part of getting a new bed is when you cut the mattress with power tools. That is interesting.
The bed troll whispered – don’t listen to him. You are an innovator. A freer of the mattress-oppressed… just ask your friends on the Internet.
I smiled at Paul, but I used my fake smile that means– later, when you cannot find your keys, I will pretend I have no idea where they are.
Then I pointed out – of course, obviously, it would be BETTER if the mattress fit the bed. But why would we allow something as mundane as a MATTRESS to prohibit us from sleeping in grandeur?
How is THAT logical? It’s not. It is actually beyond non-logic. Into the realm of idiotic.
Only a fool would not make the mattress fit the bed.
Plus, I told Paul – You are the one who was always saying about compromise, compromise, compromise. Maybe this is a case of not being able to have it all. Maybe now is compromise.
Paul said – maybe. Or maybe this is a case of already having it all. We have a bed, a mattress, they fit together… But out of curiosity, and not as an endorsement of this idea… How exactly do you imagine our mattress being paired with this bed?
So I pointed at the diagram and explained how I was thinking we could just lay a piece of plywood over the top of the base… Sort of like a platform bed.
Paul said – that seems low. Too low. Hobbit low.
I looked at the photos. And I could see how that was sort of low… but the bed troll whispered –don’t worry about that now. Now is just the time for getting it. Prioritize. Focus. Goals.
So I said – well. I don’t know… but that is not the important part.
Paul said– no. That IS the important part. Because you are going to want me to FIX it.
I looked around, confused how I ended up discussing matters of such unimportance, and I realized it was time to redirect – I had arrived at the time in a conversation with Paul where he has misappropriated the entire topic.
He is good at this. Very subtle. And I always follow him down that path, into the woods… answering his questions and talking about things that do not matter… until I look around and realize I have no idea where I am and it is getting dark and it is time to marshall us back into formation.
So I said– do you SEE the headboard? Why are we talking about anything else?
I mean, sure. It’s too bad the bed is not the right size and everything… But DO YOU SEE THE HEADBOARD? Throw up your hands! Join the tent revival!
Paul said – there will be no rejoicing if I cannot fit the headboard up the stairwell.
I said – my friend, I will make it fit.
If necessary, I will rearrange the laws of space and time and molecular composition… One of my readers is a quantum physicist, and she said that will absolutely work.
And what did the bed troll say? Nothing… She was silent because she knows that once you have something IN the house, the war is won… All that’s left is to hammer out who controls France.
I am working on part two as fast as I can.
You will be surprised to learn that my space-time-continuum-rearrangement did not go as planned.
Update: here’s the bed, part two. And here’s part three: a VIDEO where we haul the bed up to the roof and THROUGH a window.
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?
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
Janet Ya Ya Westelle
January 21, 2014 @ 10:42 am
Or a throne?
January 21, 2014 @ 1:50 pm
A throne. Genius.
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. 😉
January 21, 2014 @ 10:44 am
Um, you do know that you can get bespoke mattresses? Just a suggestion.
You’re welcome, Paul!!
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.)
January 21, 2014 @ 10:47 am
Get that bed!!! You NEED that bed! It is easier to ask forgiveness than permission!!!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
January 21, 2014 @ 11:12 am
So, you DID go get it, right?
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!
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!
January 21, 2014 @ 4:22 pm
Or Hagerstown, Karen B. Seems like they have some awesomeness there. Or they did. (Waiting for Part 2.)
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.
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.
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!
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.
Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
January 21, 2014 @ 11:30 am
A- you win.
B- you are a genius.
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.