Hubby and I have been passively looking for a new bed. Actually, what I really mean is an old but new-to-us bed frame (we already have a mattress and box-spring). We love Antiques and naturally are drawn to them. Our house is over 100 years old, as is a lot of our furnishings so it makes sense that we would look for an Antique Bed. We want a queen sized bed frame to accommodate our queen mattress :) The trouble is, most actual Antique beds we see are Full/Double size or 3/4 length mattress sized. But we keep our eyes open..
We currently are sleeping on a box-spring and mattress, well two mattresses that sit on the box-spring now that I think about it. We do not have a bed frame. We just haven’t found one we liked. We shopped for a new bed at the usual furniture stores, but the quality wasn’t as high as the prices. There were a few styles for sale that kind of reminded us of vintage furniture, but still they really tend to look like a shiny, new bed. So we quit actively looking.
Then, a few years ago, we saw a beautiful bed; an Antique one that was queen sized. It was at an auction we attended. We looked at it and drooled a bit~ the bed was a wonderful Sleigh Bed with rounded parts and a high headboard. It was fairly large in size but just a queen in any case. It was beautiful, well made and tempting. Well, okay then. When it came up for bids, the bed was offered only as a complete bedroom suite set with dressers, vanity and chairs. We weren’t wanting a whole bedroom suite :( It was depressing but we were willing to walk away as it really didn’t fit our needs. Plus, we were sure a suite would cost more than we had in mind for the day~ Oh well, you win some, you lose some. Years of attending auctions has taught us many things, like knowing when to quit. *sigh* But because we were so fond of the furniture items, we stuck around at the edge of the standing audience and watched the bidding, just to see how things would go. Lo and behold, NO ONE was bidding. I think they expected someone to jump in and bid at about $1000; but no one was interested. Sometimes the owner will put a minimum selling price on the item(s) and then the auctioneer won’t go lower than that. We all waited. The auctioneer was surprised but then he lowered the price. Still, no one placed a bid. Rick and I thought that it might be hard to sell off the whole set so just maybe they would sell by the piece. Well, now we were very curious and stepped closer so we wouldn’t miss any action. Again, the auctioneer lowered the starting bid (it was ridiculous but it has to start somewhere~). Well, now we were wondering if we might actually have a chance, so we waited until the starting bid was quite low and we bid on the new bed. ~well, the new bed and the rest of the matching pieces. And as we did, we were thinking, “What if ?”.
The furniture was a beautiful honey-colored Maple. The construction was wonderful, the items were in fantastic condition. The style was elegant and the bed was beautiful. It would nearly match the dresser and vanity we already had in use in the bedroom. But all those extra pieces ? What would we do with them ? Of course we could sell off what we didn’t need but where to store them in the meantime ? Never mind, we probably won’t be the winners…
Back to the bidding, a few folks put in their bid but then dropped out. Suddenly it was down to two bidding parties; Rick and I, and another couple. We knew how much we were willing to spend and though we liked this bed, we would stop when the bidding hit our price limit. We bid up a little, they quickly bid again. Then we took our time to bid up a little but they quickly bid higher. We’ve been in bidding wars before and you can often tell that the other party is not willing to give up. This felt like that was happening and we knew we were not going to be able to match their bids for long. Reluctantly, we pulled out of the bidding at $400 (gulp !). Going once, going twice and Sold ! They bought the bedroom suite~ They were so excited and honestly, they seemed like a nice couple. We smiled at them and were actually happy for them to win the bid.
We moved on and bought some box-lots (sort of mystery collections) and assorted other little collectibles. We managed to find some fun art pieces and lots of really nice glassware items. We had a refreshing snack of freshly- made soup and pie. Rick and I enjoy the kick-back atmosphere of a country farm auction. There are odd mechanical things that we know nothing about but they still intrigue us. It’s fun to see old family photos and tarnished silver items. We are always amazed by the great number of items for sale in various stages of wear, loaded with patina. Auctions are a great place to do some serious ‘people-watching’ as well. There are often a variety of friendly kids and animals running about, too. It’s stimulating yet relaxing. ~It was a long day and we had a lot of fun. Now we needed to pay and finish loading our many piles of merchandise into our van.
As we were hefting loads toward the parking area, we were approached by the winners of the bedroom suite. They told us they had been talking things over and they weren’t sure they had room for this furniture. They really didn’t think it would fit their room and they asked if we’d be interested in buying it from them for the price they paid. We did not expect that, but were happy to take it off their hands ! It took us a few trips to bring home everything we had bought. We were exhausted but happy with our finds and very excited about our new bed :)
At home, reality hit: the new bed was too big for our bedroom. We tried a few different arrangements of the furniture but it was obvious the bed plus our tiny nightstands would not fit on any wall of the room (and still be able to open and close the closet and bedroom doors). And, our mattress was a tad too big for the frame. It just wouldn’t work. Yes, we were crushed. We knew we could eventually sell off all the pieces, but though we had come close, now there was no new bed for us.
~Fast forward to yesterday; while browsing on our local online Garage Sale site, a new listing popped up. It was a lovely queen size bed for sale ! Though it was not an Antique, the style was quite Vintage-looking with cameo bead appliques in the wood and carved accents. Here’s a photo for you:
Isn’t it pretty ? See all the ornate details on the posts ? Oh. My. Goodness. Do you believe in love at first sight ?! We quickly let the person know we were interested and asked when/where we could see it. They replied that they had just bought a bedroom suite but really only wanted the dressers and side tables so they were selling the bed. They were on the road (on the way home from buying the set just then). They offered to stop by with the load still on their trailer so we could look it over. So that’s what happened :) They arrived at our house about 20 minutes later and we bought our new bed. How lucky are we ?
~That was yesterday evening. We knew we would need help (muscles) to bring the bed upstairs. We called on a local son to come over today. Before he arrived, Rick and I decided to haul some of the smaller pieces of our new bed up to our bedroom. We started with the foot-board. It was heavy. I mean, HEAVY. This thing is solid wood. I am not a weight-lifter but I was determined to help as much as possible. Also, I was excited to sleep on our new bed tonight so I persevered. I should point out that we live in a two story house. We have an open stairway. However, there are two stair landings with sharp turns. (Please forgive the image quality; it’s after midnight and the hanging entryway light glares..)
Well, Rick and I got the foot-board up there. Just barely. I offered to dismantle our bed to make room for the new bed to come in. Rick cautiously advised me to wait “just in case”. He was a tad concerned that we’d have problems getting the much taller and heavier head-board up the stairway. (gulp)
Our son arrived and they struggled a bit just picking up the head-board. They brought it in and attempted to steer it into the stairway but it did not fit. They raised it up over the bottom newel post and banister but it could not go up further. It would hit the ceiling and there was no room to maneuver. They brought it outside again and laid it down on the porch to re-evaluate. The measurement wasn’t the problem exactly, it was the height of the stairwell opening and the issue of the tight turns at the two landings. That was not negotiable. One last idea was to see if the head-board could be disassembled. This sounded reasonable ! Rick brought out a screwdriver (to remove the screws) and rubber mallet (to push pieces apart). Several screws were removed, mallet was applied. This was screwed and glued rather solidly and it was not coming apart :( Sadly, we put away the tools and stacked the bed pieces against the front of the house on the porch. I took a couple photos and now have our new bed listed on various online sites. I hope it sells fast~ I’m sure someone out there is looking for a beautiful new bed….
Will we keep looking for a new bed ? Probably. Will we find one ? Who knows~ For now, (to quote The Godfather), it’s time to ‘go to the mattresses’.
I need to head on up to bed. To our old bed. Oh well, at least it fits up there.
**Do you like Vintage and Antique items ?
We have a few new listings in our Vintage Etsy shop..no beds, though. I invite you to visit~