August 19, 2009

The Tale of the Big Girl Bed


I have envisioned Hannah's big girl bed since she was about one. I knew exactly what I wanted, but was just not sure how to achieve it. I even bought a four poster bed, that I planned to deconstruct and use the components to build with. When she turned two, I knew that the crib was on borrowed time. (She is a climber by nature).
My Dad has worked with wood as long as I can remember. He has always had some form of "shop" in the garage of every house we lived in. He truly has a passion and an amazing gift of creating some of the most beautiful things. He moved to Tennessee a few years ago, and dreamed of actually leasing space to start his own business in woodworking. He is now a professional craftsman, and produces fabulous wood counter tops for kitchens, tables, and other surfaces.
So, before it was time to start building, I started picking his brain on how to make it happen. On a trip to Dallas last fall, we sat in the garage and talked about what I could and how I should go about it. He kept saying that he would love to help, (seeing as how he has every woodworking tool known to man). Then he suggested that he build it for her for Christmas. From scratch. And I could design it. I was secretly jumping with glee inside, but I didn't want him to overdo himself.
It was an amazing experience, and more than anything, it was great to be able to do it with him. I sketched out what I wanted, then scoured the web for bits and pieces of different beds (posts from here, headboard from there, etc) so that he could get a better visual. Then the rest was up to him, he was used his creative ingenuity to make my ideas cohesive. He drove it to Dallas in late January last year, in pieces. When he arrived at our house, I was blown away. It was/is beautiful, and so special. He made it out of white pine, cut and shaped every piece. Measured and installed all the hardware. And that in itself is amazing. In order for the rails, headboard foot board and canopy rails to connect you can not be more than 1/32 nd of an inch off. so you have to drill and carve out each piece precisely. He chose the moldings and wood appliques, and carved the bed to fit each. I chose a style I think will be very versatile for every phase she will go through. It can grow with her. It fits a sweet toddler/preschoolers room for now, and later, I can add dramatic curtains to flank the posts inside the canopy for a teens room. (Although, that is bittersweet to think about) Another very cool aspect that makes it personal, he made finials out of birdhouses I found at JoAnnes. He attached them with a dowel, and they can be easily switched out when we are ready for a change.










We set it up in my garage and I primed it, used an acrylic pearl finish for the base coat, acrylic artist paints to create depth and age, rubbed the entire thing down with an oil glaze, and applied as many coats as polyurethane as I could, knowing that it would take a beating from a very special little person. All the while it was freezing in Dallas, which happens about every 4 years.





Here is a barren before look
(When she started to "pole vault" over the crib rail into the bed, we knew it was time to do a mattress on the floor and get her used to sleeping in a real bed)
Also, please excuse the 70's bedding - we had just bought the mattress, and didn't think about getting twin bedding.... :)



And the after of the most special big girl bed a little girl could ask for.




Thank you to the most wonderful Popa and Daddy two girls could ask for!
We love you!!


I have BIG plans for the bedding, I have already designed it, and bought the most gorgeous fabric. Now I just need a block of time to work on it, Hannah starts preschool in September, so that's the first thing on my to do list. But don't worry, she is not stuck with the groovy orange 70's sheets, she has a sweet floral matelasse coverlet :)

7 comments:

Dawn-Hydrangea Home said...

Gorgeous job on that bed! Thanks for stopping by!

AnneYarbs79 said...

LOVED it even before it exsisted! Love you more! Way to go, lady!!

Becky said...

That bed just reminds me of The Secret Garden for some reason. It is absolutely amazing. Can't wait to see the final project all made up.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

What an amazing piece of furniture!!! So special b/c it was handmade. I love it! :)

Infarrantly Creative said...

Wow that is gorgeos. Thanks for the stopping by. I would love for you to stay and visit a while.

Beth said...

How incredibly beautiful and so special that you & your dad worked on it together! What a special family heirloom it will become! Love it. Can't wait to see the bedding.

Older and Wisor said...

Okay, seriously? Where has your dad been all my life?? AMAZ-ING.

My grandfather is in construction by trade, but in his semi-retired "free" time builds pergolas, canoes, mantels...too bad he's in Washington state. Whenever I make something, I always know in the back of my mind that I'm not doing it the way "grandpa would," but that doesn't stop me ;) "A little putty and a little paint, makes a lady what she ain't," right?

Thanks for stopping by...we're in Plano. Practically neighbors ;)