Create a bedtime oasis with this sleek project including sliding end tables.
I've been building furniture full-time for 21 years and have made more than 1,000 pieces, including dozens of beds. But until recently I had never built a sleigh bed. So when a friend and long-time customer asked me to build one for her, I had some research to do.
Here's a project I've been looking forward to building for some time. This queen-size bed completes the five-piece bedroom suite that includes an armoire, dresser, night stand, and wall mirror.
Straight lines and a modern look are hallmarks of a platform bed. And that simplicity gives platform beds an unrivaled versatility. They seem to be a natural fit in almost any setting and a welcome addition to any decor. This bed is an excellent example of that.
King size is pricey and we didn’t want to spend the money on a bed frame that wasn’t going to match our dressers so we looked into platform beds. I found a few plans online, but the basic design was so simple that I decided to just wing it and make my own plans using standard construction lumber. We made the trip to our local furniture store and fell in love with a foam mattress. We placed our order, took some measurements and after Thanksgiving I built our new bed in a busy afternoon. Here’s how I did it.
This is the second of my adaptations of the bed design. Note that the head-posts are not angled, instead a two layer mortise is used. Also all the slats extend through the side rails and are pegged. This is an adaptation to the use of pine and prevents bowing of the slats. The mortices in the foot-posts have also been slightly altered. The bed has been sized to take a modern full size mattress. No attempt was made to follow the original measurements, but things were kept in relative proportion. Square pegs were used in this version.
The English "poster bed" features four tall corners that are either turned, tapered, or in some cases, kept square. Sometimes in these beds the top is resolved as a canopy that is held up by the four corners. On the other hand, the provincial style bed features the use of curves in the head and foot boards as well as in the skirting.
A lot goes into the design and construction of a bed. You don’t have to worry about aesthetics alone; you also have to consider the practical aspects of it. How high the mattress sits above the floor and the height of the headboard and foot-board are as important as the design. And on top of all that, sturdy construction is another critical factor.
building a platform bed
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