A Bed Frame Fit for a King

Well, it took three years, but our room now boasts a legitimate, 100% finished bed frame and headboard.  I veered away from the original plan for a white painted bed, opting for a stain with a linseed oil finish.  If perhaps down the road we prefer a painted bed, it’s much easier to go from stained to painted than the other way around.


We followed a similar style to the Sierra bed from Crate and Barrel, replacing the angled wood headboard for a colorful upholstered head.

Because the bed sits directly beneath the window, I worried about the green velvet fading with sun exposure.  To prevent uneven coloring, I pitched the idea to Ben of wrapping the headboard with a wood band.



The headboard frame is the same width and thickness as the border around the bed base.



With the wider frame edge, we extended the headboard to the edges, leaving three inches exposed on either side.



Adding that dose of color to our otherwise neutral room is exactly what I was looking for.



Colorful, but not obnoxiously so and looks great against the white wall.


I’m working on the building plans and step by step process to share soon.  Meanwhile, I’m brainstorming bench options for the base of our bed.  With all the wood in here now, I’m leaning toward a metal base with an upholstered top.

Bed Plans

When I left off with the bedroom changes-painting the accent wall white, updating the art and lighting situation-I mentioned needing a new bed.  Since moving in this house, we’ve severely lacked a real bed.  Immediately after moving in, we used a metal frame with the headboard from our old guest room, which was a slight step above a poor college student mattress on the floor look.  For crying out loud, we didn’t even have a bed skirt to hide the box spring.


After getting sick of the wobbly headboard, we quickly built a platform frame with a built-in bench at the end.  Neither of us really loved it, so we never finished it off with an upholstered seat and headboard.


It stayed this way until this spring when we hacked off the bench in an attempt to salvage the frame.


So that’s where we are today, with a half-finished frame neither Ben or I like.  Instead, I have plans for a new frame.  Something simple, with an upholstered headboard.  I really like the clean, simple look of this West Elm bed frame:

I’m just not sure I want that much space between the floor and the bottom of the rails, because I think our king bed would look like it’s floating.  On the other hand, I think this beautiful Restoration Hardware bed is a touch too close to the floor, which would make it nearly impossible to vacuüm/clean under.  Yet again, those simple lines are what I’m after.

Then there’s this Crate and Barrel beauty:

The proportions are great, and I love the thicker cap surrounding the mattress, but I wouldn’t get the soft fabric headboard I’m dreaming about.  Oh yeah, and I’m entirely too cheap to spend $1,800 on a bed frame.  To save oodles of money and get exactly what we want, we’re planning a DIY build, a modified version of the beds we built for the boys’ room.


The legs and frame will look similar, but we’ll add a cap over the legs to beef up the frame.  Also, the head and foot of the frame will look the same, but we’ll attach an upholstered headboard to differentiate between the two.


Instead of sealed wood, I’m leaning toward white paint, to help blend in with the wall and allow the headboard to be the star.  Though a dark stained wood to match the nightstand could look nice, too.


Regardless, it’ll be nice to finally have a finished bed to complete the room.  What’s that lingering thing looming over your head?  Not that there’s only one, in fact, I’d safely say there’s one thing in each room of our house.

Painting a Wood Wall White

Last I shared our master bedroom, it looked like this:


We had made some progress, especially compared to our starting point, but the to do list still had plenty of unchecked boxes including a new bed, seating arrangement, and possibly painting the wood wall white.


That last item, painting, was something I’d been considering for a while, to better flow with the white tongue and groove planks in the adjacent bath, entry, and kitchen.  Having painted new wood before, I suspected this reclaimed wood would toss me a curveball thanks to all the tar paper residue.

Reclaimed Cedar Planked Wall

Fortunately, after painting our deck ceiling, I had the perfect product in my possession: Sherwin Williams Exterior Oil-Based Wood Primer.

The reason I had to wait so long to tackle this step was the uncooperative weather.  Stupid summer with temps constantly in the 90’s.  Oil-based primers and paint are always stinky, so I waited for a few days of cool weather that would allow open windows and proper ventilation of the room.  My first coat of primer covered the wood beautifully, but the tar areas bled through lightly.


Per the instructions, I waited 24 hours before reapplying a follow-up coat for thorough, opaque coverage.  This primer is thick, and filled in some of the spaces between the boards, making it look sloppy.


Knowing I’d still have to paint, I held off cleaning out the grooves.  After two coats of white paint, I used a utility knife to scrape the paint out, leaving clean gaps and a full textured ship lap looking wall.


Though I liked the warmth of the wood wall, it didn’t flow with the rest of the room or house.  Painting the accent wall white gives me a blank slate to work against.  Moving forward, I still have projects to tackle, like a new bed, complete with a lovely green velvet upholstered headboard hence the taped up text fabric.


While I was making changes, I switched out the lamps and art.  The triangular lamps I made took up a lot of space on our floating nightstand, so while in Minnesota I picked up two Ranarp sconces from Ikea.

Smaller light fixtures left more space above the nightstand than before, so I painted feathers on watercolor paper to create science poster art.


Each piece cost less than five dollars and didn’t require frames thanks to the style.  I cut quarter-inch thick by 1 1/2 inch wide hemlock strips one inch longer than the paper, applied a coat of special walnut stain, and stapled through the paper into the back of the wood.  A string of twine is a simple hook, also stapled into the wood.


Thanks to the lightweight design, a thumb tack with a small wood slice glued to the front keeps the art in place.


Then, as usual, one thing leads to another and I didn’t like the mismatched look of the dark art wood and the light nightstand.  Not to worry, a coat of matching stain on each was a quick fix and really finished off the look.


Ahh yes, much better.




Up next, sewing a matching set of curtains for the window above our bed.  After many attempts to get my hands on another six yards of white linen, I finally broke down and had the fabric store order some for me.


With the deck project in full swing, I’m not sure when the bed will be a priority, but it’ll make all the difference in finishing off the room.  Now to decide how I want to handle the other side of the room.

Ladder Rack

With recent fluctuating temps, light layers are the key to staying comfortable.  Outdoors and well as in.  To neatly store extra blankets, I built a leaning ladder for our bedroom.


To get started, I used two 3/4 by 2 3/4 inch by six-foot long poplar boards and two 4 foot long 1 inch dowels.  Before cutting, I measured and marked the boards for four rungs.  Mine are spaced 15 inches apart, starting from the bottom.


Using a Forstner bit, drilling the holes was quick and easy.



After drilling all holes and cutting the dowels, I used 220 grit paper to sand each piece before assembly.


Honestly, sanding almost took more time than all the other steps combined.  Attaching everything was simple.  Working on the garage floor, I squeezed a liberal amount of Gorilla wood glue in the four holes of one board as well as the dowel ends.


That was easy, but inserting the second side was a bit trickier.  Another set of hands would have been really helpful, to line the glued dowels up with the other board.  To keep everything tight while the glue dried, I placed a clamp at each rung.


Twenty-four hours later, I pulled the clamps off and lightly sanded the extra glue off.


The two foot wide rungs are perfect for king sized blankets.


I might make a second for the basement to store guest bedding.  Much easier and cuter way to store blankets than a stack on a chair.

Put it on My Tab

Moving on with our master bedroom makeover.  With the new window and door in and trimmed, our old curtains were too short.  This set will work perfectly in the basement, but we needed something else.


I’m no stranger to making curtains, but I wanted to add a little detail: leather tab tops.  While in Minnesota this summer, I found a few scraps of gorgeous cognac toned leather.  Just enough to make my tabs.  Using other supplies Ben had, I was able to finish the job.  I used 1 1/8 inch wide by 7 inch long leather strips, a leather punch, and screw post rivets.


First, I used the punch to make a hole 1/2 inch from the bottom of each end of my leather strips.  Surprisingly, the punch made a clean hole through three layers of my linen panel, too.


Then I put the smooth side of my screw through the leather, then my curtain top, and through the other end of the leather piece.


Rather than basic white linen panels, there’s just a touch of rich leather.


And the way these hang?  Perfect draping.  So much more sleek than the bulky blackout curtains of yore.


Honestly though, the suede backing doesn’t slide super easily.  We’ll live with these a few more days to see how it goes.  I’m thinking I could cut another set of leather strips to add inside.  That way, the smooth side could face the rod, but we’d still have the pretty side to look at.  Any other suggestions to solve this problem?


Yet another simple change, but something I’m crazy about.  Here are my two current favorite elements together.


Baby steps, but we’re nearing the end.