Breathing new life into old furniture; it’s one of my favourite things. I was going to call this post ‘Frankenstein Furniture’ but we are not at all talking about Mary Shelley’s glorious monster. I’m talking about creating something pretty fantastic out of a motley collection of old furniture; namely, single beds.
When the monkey brothers started sharing a room they had a set of wooden bunk beds, which Mr BC whipped up out of a thrifted pair of bunk bed ends and the sides of teenage daughters ancient bunk beds. Those bunk beds looked stylish and did a great job for a few years, until a ‘friend’ of The Gentlemen’s broke the top, long side bit of the bed by jumping on it repeatedly, to ‘see if he could break it’. Righto. After that, my in laws gifted us a set of metal bunk beds that they no longer needed. These where extremely sturdy, but they broke my heart a little every time I looked at them, because they just looked so…generic. By the time our eldest had moved out with her boyfriend, we had acquired a further two single beds from my in laws, which where promptly put into use now that the boys had their Own Room. It was a red letter day, let me tell you.
But those beds where squeaky, and rattly, and the slats fell apart if you so much as looked at them. If two people sat on the bed, the mattress would fall to the floor. I have no idea how they functioned prior to arriving here, but they weren’t working out at all. They looked worse than generic, and their functionality didn’t make up for it. I felt bad that my children didn’t have proper beds to sleep on, and started saving to buy them a decent, solid, well made bed. I started looking at catalogs and sales at major furniture outlets, and wanting that whole perfect child’s room feeling of being a great parent. I started thinking I could just throw everything away and start fresh, and fuck the landfill, because the angelic sleep of my babies is more important than the environment. And then I checked myself and wondered why we couldn’t have our cake and eat it too – there had to be a way.
Luckily, there was! Mr BC looked at the bits and pieces of beds and put together a plan, and then he put together two beds. The thrifted bunk bed ends where cut in half and re sized, to create the legs for both beds – see above. The sides and slats of the metal bunk beds where put to use in the new single beds. We had a pair of single bed ends that Mr BC’s Nana and Poppa had bought when they first got married, before the war; these were made for older, narrower beds. They would have been perfect attached to an ensemble, but that is not what we had. We didn’t want to cut the bedheads at all, but they needed to fit into a wider base frame, which couldn’t be altered because that would have meant adjusting the width of the slats. In the end, a bit of extra structure was added to ensure everything fit sturdily – see below. Everything was pieced together carefully, with new brackets and hardware, before being given several coats of gloss white paint.
Ta da! Proper beds for my darlings to sleep in at night. No squeaks, no rattling, no falling apart. These beds are super sturdy. The are set high off the ground, with space for two mattresses, one on top of the other, to keep them cosy and comfortable. I love that they are using the bed ends that were used by their great grandparents. I love that we’ve managed to save landfill, while creating something new and useful and exactly what we needed. Best of all, the monkey boys love their new beds.
Would you like to see some other furniture up-cycles that we have done? Check these out!