Monday, July 25, 2011

The New Old Bed

I didn't find any good daybed solutions in Maine but on the way back I stopped at the Cambridge Antique Market to pick up a little mirror that's been on my mind since my last visit.

And there it was.

Not exactly a daybed but an antique spool bed.

The headboard and footboard are fairly close in height and it's a twin size so I can use a standard mattress.  It's almost a daybed.  It's painted a color that almost makes it look like natural wood.  The original paint underneath is almost the same color as the walls.

Spool beds were first introduced about 1840.  I thought the fact that it was a twin size made it a newer piece but it turns out that twin beds became the rage in the 1890s.  They were sold as a sanitary solution to couples sleeping side by side.  You can read more about the fascinating history of twin beds at the Edwardian Promendade blog.

Apparently they're still desirable.  A twin bed at Garnet Hill is $3,368.

This spool bed at Newell Antiques in New York is listed at $950

Mine?  $110.

I'm not sure if I'm going to paint it or not.  It might just need a glaze to tweak the color a little bit.  I'm proceeding with caution so, for now, it needs a good cootie cleansing.

The past week's hot temperatures were brutal on the garden, particularly the hydrangea.

Update:  Since so many people have mentioned them, the pillow covers came from etsy seller PopOColor found here.  She does really nice work.  She's one of the only people I've found on etsy that tapers the corners of the covers so they don't dog ear.  But don't be gettin' my pillows.  Get your own!

I thought I'd bring a few inside to enjoy the air conditioning.

We all enjoy having a few flowers in the house.  If you do too, you're invited to Jane's flower party.

Stay cool!


  1. I have seen spool beds made into daybeds by cutting the foot board in half and using a piece for each arm of the daybed. I have always loved these spooled beds. It will go very nicely with your house.

  2. Brutal they may have been but your house looks cool and inviting.

    Love the jar of hydrangeas and that pillow cover. Where from sweet Romeo?

    Excellent buy on the spool bed.

    Now we wait. But knowing you we won't be waiting long:)

    xoxo Jane

  3. Gorgeous bed!!! You stole it for $90. Don't you just love it when that happens? Can't wait to see what you do to that room. And the Dining/Library room is beautiful. Love the Suzaki pillows, they add a nice subtle touch of color, but the pattern itself is a little bolder.

  4. It is perfect Steve~clean off the cooties and get it set up! I have to say I am in love with your sophisticated but not stuffy dining room. It is sooo pretty (in a manly way of course). I love the pillow you have there and the way you styled everything~perfection. You must be quite pleased.

  5. Its gorgeous....I have an old wood bed we picked up from Craigslist (not as spooly, but a similar vintage design) ....I am still wondering: 'to paint or not to paint'

    Probably not

  6. Hi Steve,

    Love the bed and the glazing idea!

    My hydrangeas took a beating too no matter how much I watered them.

    We are in for a few cool days and then the heat is back Thursday.


  7. What a score!! Ninety dollars is such a good price. Doesn't it feel awesome when you get something you have wanted for a long time? I can't wait to see what you will pick up for bedding.

  8. Love your spool bed/daybed idea. Your hydrangeas are beautiful, ours are just starting to flower. You Bostonians are always ahead of the curve!

    p.s. Did you get the cooties off??

  9. I love it at Janes place on flower Mondays don't you!?Your hydrangea in a jar... the perfect touch I think.Stay cool and cant wait to see how you set up the bed.

  10. Love the picture of your kitty enjoying the hydrangeas. The blues with white are very cooling. Bonnie

  11. The bed is awesome! When you said daybed, this is exactly what came to my mind.
    and seriously...your dining room turned out beautifully. Should be right on the cover of a magazine! love the fabric on the pillows - did you plant the blue hydrangeas to match? :)

  12. What a great find! I love the dark color stained frame on the photo you posted, but can't wait to see what you do with it.

    Your house is looking so lovely!

  13. $90! Hope you remained calm when you saw that price! I think my hydrangeas bloomed and died the next day. It has been in the 90's here since May. I planted them so I would not have to go to the market and pay $6 a stem.....that was the plan anyway.

  14. don't you love it when you find something for so little money? love the bed and whatever you do with it will be great. hydrangeas are in across the country i guess. yours are gorg. kitty is darling.

  15. I've always loved spool beds! I once snagged one at an auction for $40 but it was a 3/4 size so a little more awkward to make use of. :)

  16. I cannot wait to see this project take the end, a beautiful and very useful room.
    The glimpse of your dining room was very interesting. Not sure we ever saw the bookshelf styled...and...I love the pillow fabric.

  17. Would you consider refinishing the spool bed. Perhaps you could find a tradesman who would "dip" the bed so you wouldn't have to take the paint off by hand. I did that with some venetian shutters and was really happy with the result.

    My other suggestion for paint color would be something dark to give weight to the bed, black sounds kind of harsh though, maybe a faded blue? I'm grasping with no real sense of what would you would like or what would look good in the room.

    Yes yes on that dining room. Looks GOOD.

    OK, my log cabin. Another log in place this week. Neighbor offered to give me a couple of his very tall popular trees about 80 feet tall for my cabin. One log made felled in just the right location the other one felled across their shed - very near the middle actually. They have been extremely kind about that and plan on calling their insurance company. My contractor has a high school age son who seems to play baseball CONSTANTLY which requires my contractor to be in attendance AT EVERY GAME! Give me some advice here - is it possible that people can actually play baseball all year long? At the rate he is going my contractor will be ending up building me a log retirement home.

    Beautiful hydrangeas. Ann

  18. Love everything - amazing steal on the spool bed - love it for a day bed. Your dining room is looking so beautiful - love the pillow and the chairs and the beautifully-styled shelves, the flowers and the kitty.
    I would not want to leave the room.
    xo Terri

  19. I love spool anything. I just bought a spool chair and it has such a nice transitional feel. Modern and historical at the same time. You got a great deal!

  20. Lovely Hydrangeas and I love your new bed, looking forward to seeing in situ ... I had to think what you meant by cooties clean as its not a word we use here... then I remember watching, Johnie Bravo with the kids he was always going on about cooties, and it clicked, germ clean. I miss watching that it used to make me laugh... :) x

  21. I love it! I've been watign a spool legged table for a while now, but havent found the right one. can't wait to see pictures of it in the bedroom!

  22. Ah...the anticipation to see what you do with your spool bed...

    The hydrangeas are so cool looking and your cat cracks me up. I enjoyed that photo of the two of them on the bed.

  23. What a score! and yes, your house looks so cool and serene. That Cambridge Antique Market offers rare finds if one looks. It's always best if I'm not searching for a specific item.

    Blue looks so pretty in your house! I'll bet beautiful leaves as an arrangement would look pretty as well.

  24. Great looking bed, reminds me of the one President Lincoln died in.
    It was too short for him and his feet hung over the side. I love the look of hydrangea too. You have a great blog and I always look forward to reading your new posts.

  25. Finding the bed is a good start...kept going...

    BTW...the Dining is looking really good...

  26. Me: Oh goodie, TWO new posts by Steve.

    The picture of your dining room is magazine worthy. LOVE the pillow and your new little spool bed.

  27. What an interesting bed. It will look good in whatever colour your decide. I could see it in pitch black hi gloss (farrow and ball).

    You will make it look very special.

    Helen xx

  28. Just love the your new bed and totally love your dining room. :)

  29. The daybed idea is magnificent! My grandparents grabbed an 18th cen. mahogany 3/4 head and footboard from their neighbors' trash in the 90s. My grandfather narrowed it to a twin and cut the feet to make a toddler bed for my, then 2 yr. old son. I know, gasp! but it was slightly damaged and it is now a great candidate for a daybed in the future.

  30. Yay for CAM for coming through! No need to travel to Maine to find good stuff. I find the prices there are very reasonable and I look around ALOT. :)

    The dining room looks amazing! Love the pillows. More photos please.

  31. $90!! Don't you just love that? Cooties? So funny!

    Your hydrangeas look gorgeous! Even before I read your caption...I was looking at that pillow and loving everyone else, but don't worry...I'll get my own.

  32. I have always loved spool beds and they never seem to go out of style. Also if anyone is interested they sell a spool bed (Jenny Lind) in the children's catalog "The Land of Nod" and it comes in full or twin (the twin is $499. Not a bad price. You have impeccable taste, I'm sure whatever you do will be gorgeous. If you get a chance stop by and visit my blog I need help with my office redo! Lana

  33. Hi Steve. Leave it to you to find that bed. And I always love the history lessons you share. I can't wait to see how you work it in. I also just noticed the new romans in the dining room. They are perfection. You must be pleased. I had to laugh about the pillows not being dog eared! You know how I hate those :). I get such enjoyment out of your blog and your home. Thank you!

  34. Hi Steve,
    I found you through the Vintique Object. Thanks for leaving a comment about my English Bulldog! Your blog is fantastic! I recently found Jenny Lynn bed or spindle bed and painted it black. I love the detailing on yours. Great find. As a new follower, I have to go catch up on your other posts! Take Care,

  35. Nice score on the bed! It will go well w/the little table in the same room (at least I think it's in the same room -- the one you posted on 7/23).

    When you get a chance... may we have a peek at the little mirror you bought at CAM?

  36. Wow! What a great bed for $90! I love all the turnings on it. Looks like it will work out as a daybed. Ok...I'm going to go read about the sanitary benefits of sleeping in twin beds. Someone needs to tell the weenies that.

  37. This is a great one, Steve. I found a bed like this for my son when he was in elementary school. I think I paid $30 for it at a secondhand shop. And (wait for it) my husband THREW IT OUT when he cleaned out the basement a few years ago. I just about died. When I came home from wherever I'd been & went down to admire his handiwork, I asked where it had gone. ("Junk!" he sternly pronounced it.) Of course, someone coming down the alley saw it and toted it away within an hour of it being discarded. I mourn it still.

  38. love that bed!!! oooo how exciting! what a deal...


  39. I have one too! It's in this little tiny room. Love them. Great for a daybed.